Wednesday, 10 October 2012

No Deictic Element In A Nominal Group [System Value Realised By Absent Structural Token]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 316):
If there is no Deictic element, the nominal group is non-specific and, within that, non-singular. In other words, a nominal group may have no Deictic element in its structure, but this does not mean it has no value in the Deictic system — simply that the value selected is realised by a form having no Deictic in the expression.

Deictic Type & Number System Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 315-6):
… there are two different systems of number in the English nominal group, one associated with each of the two kinds of Deictics.
  • (i) With specific Deictics, the number system is ‘non-plural/plural’; mass nouns are grouped together with singular, in a category of ‘non-plural’. …
  • (ii) With non-specific Deictics, the system is ‘singular/non-singular’; mass nouns are grouped together with plural, in a category of non-singular.

The Definite & Indefinite Articles

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 315):
Thus the so–called ‘articles’ of English, ‘definite article’ the and ‘indefinite article’ a(n), are terms in, respectively, the specific and non–specific systems of nominal deixis. … Historically, the and a(n) are reduced forms of (respectively) that and one

Non–Specific Deictics: Total Or Partial Determiners

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 315):
Non–specific Deictics are … total or partial determiners. These convey the sense of all, or none, or some unspecified sub–set …