Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Axial Relations: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 13):
These two modes of construal are related: on the one hand, syntagmatic organisation realises paradigmatic organisation; on the other hand, types in a network of paradigmatic organisation correspond to fragments of syntagmatic specification — this is one way in which such types are differentiated.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Two Modes Of Construing Experience: Paradigmatic Vs Syntagmatic

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 13):
In paradigmatic construal, we construe a phenomenon as being of some particular typesome selection from a set of potential types. … In syntagmatic construal, we construe a phenomenon as having some particular composition — as consisting of parts in some structural configuration.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Scope Of Ideational-Semantic Representation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 13):
Since our approach is via the grammar, we have taken the boundaries of the grammar as criterial, using the clause complex — the highest rank of ideational organisation —to define the scope of the ideational-semantic representation. This is not a necessary constraint; but it is one that is motivated in terms of the overall design, and which may turn out to define the optimal moment of interfacing between the ideational and the other components. … The constraint does not imply, however, that the scope of ideational semantics does not extend over sequences longer than a clause complex.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

But What About Pragmatics?

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 12):
There is no separate component of “pragmatics” within our interpretive frame. Since it emerged as a distinct field of scholarly activity, pragmatics has by and large been associated with two aspects of language. 
On the one hand, it has dealt with those aspects of the meaning of a text which depend on specific instances — particulars of the situation and of the interactants, and inferences drawn from these. But just as, in grammatics, we do don't distinguish between the grammar of the system and the grammar of the instance — a systemic theory is a theory of both, and necessarily (therefore) of the relationship between them — so in semantics we would not want to separate the system from its instantiation in text. In this respect, pragmatics appears as another name for the semantics of instances. 
And on the other hand, pragmatics has served as an alternative term for the interpersonal and textual domains of semantics. Here the distinction that is being labelled is one of metafunction, not of instantiation; but it seems undesirable to obscure the relationship between ideational meaning on the one hand, and interpersonal and textual meaning on the other hand by locating them in different disciplines.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Text Base

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 12):
The text base provides the resources that enable the speaker to produce contextualised discourse and to guide the listener in interpreting it. These include resources for engendering a wide variety of diverse rhetorical structures, for differentiating among the different values and statuses of the components of the unfolding text, and for ongoingly expanding the text so as to create and maintain the semiotic flow.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Interaction Base

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 11-2):
The interaction base provides the resources for speaker and listener to enact a social and intersubjective relationship, through the assignment of discursive rôles, the expression of evaluations and attitudes. The base includes both the semantic strategies speaker and listener deploy in dialogic exchanges and the social personæ of the interactants. This second component is a model of the interpersonal and ideational distance between speaker and listener.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Ideation Base

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 11):
The ideational semantic resources construe our experience of the world that is around us and inside us. The phenomena of our experience are construed as units of meaning that can be ranked into hierarchies and organised into networks of semantic types. The units of meaning are structured as configurations of functions (rôles) at different ranks in the hierarchy. For instance, figures are configurations consisting of elements — a process, participants and circumstances; these figures are differentiated into a small number of general types — figures of doing & happening, of sensing, of saying, and of being & having.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Powerful Effect Of Rank-Shifted Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 10):
… clauses that are shifted downwards on the rank scale to serve as if they were groups or phrases. Such down-ranking is known as rank-shift. This has the powerful effect of expanding the resources of grammar by allowing the meaning potential of a higher-ranking unit to enrich that of a unit of a lower rank. … Such rank-shifted clauses construe what we call macro-phenomena.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Rank Scale: Constituency Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 9-10):
The rank scale determines the overall constituency potential in the grammar: in English, clauses consist of groups (/ phrases), groups consist of words, and words consist of morphemes.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Clause Syntagm (Vs Structure)

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 9):
… the sequence of classes realising the functionally specified elements within the configuration of functions […] is called a syntagm to distinguish it from the (function) structure. It specifies constraints on the units serving within the clause — the units on the rank below the clause on the grammatical rank scale.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Textual Metafunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 7-8):
The textual metafunction is an enabling one; it is concerned with organising ideational and interpersonal meaning as discourse —as meaning that is contextualised and shared. But this does not mean processing some pre-existing body of information; rather it is the ongoing creation of a semiotic realm of reality.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Interpersonal Metafunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 7):
The interpersonal metafunction is concerned with enacting interpersonal relations through language, with the adoption and assignment of speech rôles, with the negotiation of attitudes, and so on — it is language in the praxis of intersubjectivity, as a resource for interacting with others.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Ideational Metafunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 7):
The ideational metafunction is concerned with construing experience — it is language as a theory of reality, as a resource for reflecting on the world.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

An Essential Task Of Semantics: Modelling Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 7):
One essential task for our semantics is that of modelling a particular phenomenon of the content plane that is known as grammatical metaphor. This is the phenomenon whereby a set of agnate (related) forms is present in the language having different mappings between the semantic and grammatical categories … One way in which we shall seek to demonstrate the validity and power of a semantic approach is by using it to handle grammatical metaphor, and to show how this pervasive aspect of the lexicogrammar expands the potential of the meaning base.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Domains Of Grammar And Semantics

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 6-7):
But this closeness of fit between the semantics (i.e. the meaning) and the grammar does not mean that our grammatics can take over the semantic domain. Adopting a functional approach enables us to extend the domain of grammar in significant ways in the direction of semantics — not thereby reducing the scope of the semantics but rather enabling us to investigate how experience is construed in semantic terms

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Why A Functional, Semantically Motivated Grammatics?

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 6):
But to show that a grammar is a theory of experience we use a functional, semantically motivated grammatics, since this allows us to seek explanations of the form of the grammar in terms of the functions to which language is adapted.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Grammar Vs Grammatics

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 6):
In linguistics, while we do distinguish “language” (the phenomenon) from “linguistics” (the study of the phenomenon), we fail to make such a distinction with the word “grammar”, which means both the grammar of a language and the study of grammar. To avoid such a pathological ambiguity, we find it helpful to refer to the study of grammar by a special name, grammatics. […] Thus we can say that a grammatics is a theory of grammar, while a grammar is (among other things) a theory of experience.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Natural Relation Between Semantics And Lexicogrammar

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 5):
What this means is that experience is construed twice in the content plane, once semantically and once lexicogrammatically.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Stratal Metaredundancy: Meaning, Wording, Sounding

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 4, 4n): 
Semantics, or the system of meaning, is realised by lexicogrammar, or the system of wording (that is grammatical structures and lexical items); and lexicogrammar is realised by phonology, or the system of sounding. … 
This is the traditional formulation; more properly: semantics is realised by the realisation of lexicogrammar in phonology.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Levels & Expansion Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 4n):
The ambiguity [of ‘level’ as either stratum or rank] resides in the overlap of two grammatical relations, those of elaboration (‘be’) and of extension (‘have’) …

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rank Scale [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 4n):
… the hierarchy of units according to their constituency potential.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Stratification: Orders Of Abstraction

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 4):
Here the relationship is not one of ‘consists of’ or ‘is a subset of’: the [cotangential] circles show the stratal environment of each level — thus lexicogrammar appears in the environment of semantics and provides the environment for phonology. This ordering of levels is known as stratification. … each level is a network of inter–related options, either in meaning, wording or sounding, which are realised as structures, based on the principle of rank. … 
Language, therefore, is a resource organised into three strata differentiated according to order of abstraction. These strata are related by means of realisation.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Content Plane

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 4):
We might refer to the Hjelmslevian notion of the “content plane” as incorporating both a grammar and a semantics (Hjelmslev 1943). Grammar and semantics are the two strata or levels of content in the three-level systemic theory of language, and they are related in a natural, non-arbitrary way. The third level is the level of expression, either phonology or graphology.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Systemic Grammar Vs Formal Grammar

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 3-4):
A systemic grammar is one of a class of functional grammars, which means (among other things) that it is semantically motivated, or “natural”. In contradistinction to formal grammars, which are autonomous, and therefore semantically arbitrary, in a systemic grammar every category (and “category” is used here in the general sense of an organising theoretical concept, not in the narrower sense of ‘class’ as in formal grammars) is based on meaning: it has a semantic, as well as formal, lexicogrammatical reactance. [The reactance of a category is its distinctive treatment.]

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Meaning Vs Knowledge

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 3):
Thus “knowledge” and “meaning” are not two distinct phenomena; they are different metaphors for the same phenomenon, approaching it with a different orientation and different assumptions. But in almost all recent work in this area, the cognitive approach has predominated, with language treated as a kind of code in which pre-existing conceptual structures are more or less distortedly expressed. We hope to give value to the alternative viewpoint, in which language is seen as the foundation of human experience, and meaning as the essential mode of higher-order human consciousness. […] What we are doing is mapping back on to language those patterns that were themselves linguistic in their origin.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Experience Defined In Linguistic Terms

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 3):
Our contention is that there is no ordering of experience other than the ordering given to it by language.  We could in fact define experience in linguistic terms: experience is the reality we construe for ourselves by means of language.

Friday, 4 April 2014

All Knowledge Is Constituted In Semiotic Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 3):
We contend that the conception of 'knowledge' as something that exists independently of language, and may then be coded or made manifest in language, is illusory.  All knowledge is constituted in semiotic systems, with language as the most central; and all such representations of knowledge are constructed from language in the first place.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Meaning Base Vs Knowledge Base

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 2-3):
A meaning base differs from a knowledge base in the direction from which it is construed. In modelling the meaning base we are building it ‘upwards’ from the grammar, instead of working ‘downwards’ from some interpretation of experience couched in conceptual terms, and seen as independent from language.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Meaning Is A Social Intersubjective Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 2):
… our own approach, both in theory and in method, is in contradistinction to that of cognitive science: we treat “information” as meaning rather than as knowledge and interpret language as a semiotic system, and more specifically as a social semiotic, rather than a system of the human mind. This perspective leads us to place less emphasis on the individual than would be typical of a cognitivist approach; unlike thinking and knowing, at least as these are traditionally conceived, meaning is a social intersubjective process. If experience is interpreted as meaning, its construal becomes an act of collaboration, sometimes of conflict, and always of negotiation.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Construal Of Experience As Meaning

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 1):
The construction of experience is usually thought of as knowledge, having the form of conceptual taxonomies, schemata, scripts and the like. We shall offer an interpretation complementary to this, treating experience not as knowing but as meaning; and hence as something that is construed in language. In other words, we are concerned with the construal of human experience as a semantic system; and since language plays the central rôle not only in storing and exchanging experience but also in construing it, we are taking language as our interpretive base.