Monday, 31 December 2012

The Sentence

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 371):
… the clause complex is realised graphologically as a ‘sentence’ … . The sentence is the highest unit of punctuation on the graphological rank scale and has evolved in the writing system to represent the clause complex as the most extensive domain of grammatical structure.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Location Of The Clause Complex: Metafunction, Rank & Stratification

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 369):
In terms of metafunction, it is organised by the logical mode of the ideational metafunction, contrasting with circumstantial augmentations of the clause (experiential) and cohesive sequences (textual). … In terms of rank, it is located at the highest rank of the grammar — clause rank; and it is thus related to the clause in terms of logical complexing rather than in terms of experiential constituency. … In terms of stratification, the clause complex realises a semantic sequence of projection or expansion; and it is, in turn, realised by a sequence of tones in speech and by a sentence in writing.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Grammatical Realisations Of Sequences As Scale Of Integration

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 369):
These grammatical opportunities for realising a sequence of projection or expansion form a scale defined by two poles: one pole is the simple clause with a circumstantial element and the other is the cohesive sequence of two independent clauses. The clause complex thus covers the region intermediate between these two poles. … closer to the pole of circumstantial augmentation, there are clause combinations where one clause is dependent on a dominant clause, the two thus being of unequal status [hypotaxis]; closer to the pole of cohesive sequences, there are clause combinations where the two clauses are interdependent on one another, the two having equal status [parataxis].

Friday, 28 December 2012

Grammatical Realisations Of Sequences

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 369):
A sequence of projection or expansion may be realised by two clauses that are combined structurally to form a clause complex, as in a happened and then b happened or after a happened, b happened.  But there are two alternative forms of realisation.  On the one hand, the sequence may be realised by two clauses that are not combined structurally but are linked cohesively instead: A happened.  Then b happened.  Here the grammar provides a ‘clue’ as to the nature of the semantic link; but it does not integrate the two clauses into a grammatical construction.  On the other hand, the sequence may be realised by a single clause with a phrase (or adverbial group) serving as a circumstantial element within it: after the time of a, b happened.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Augmentation By Circumstance Vs By Clause Complexing: Semiotic Weight As Motivating Factor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 369):
In the creation of text, we choose between augmenting a clause ‘internally’ by means of a circumstantial element and augmenting it ‘externally’ by means of another clause in a complex. The decision depends on many factors; but the basic consideration has to do with how much textual, interpersonal and experiential semiotic ‘weight’ is to be assigned to the unit.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Augmentation: Circumstances Vs Clause Complexing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 368, 369):
… a circumstantial element in a clause contains only a minor process, not a major one; so unlike a clause it cannot construe a figure, it cannot enact a proposition/proposal and it cannot present a message. In contrast, clause complexing always involves assigning clause-hood to an augmentation of expansion or projection: the augmentation has the full potential of a clause, in experiential, interpersonal and textual terms. … while circumstantial elements are part of the ‘configurational’ organisation of the clause, clauses in clause complexes are part of a chain-like or serial structure.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Expansion And Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 367):
Circumstances augment the configuration of process + participants in the clause in terms of either projection or expansion. These two types of relation correspond, in turn, to different process types: projection corresponds to verbal and mental clauses, and expansion corresponds to relational clauses. Projection and expansion are also manifested as the logico-semantic relations that link clauses together to form clause complexes.

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Semantic Effect Of Clause Complexing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 365):
Semantically, the effect of combining clauses into clause complexes is one of tighter integration in meaning: the sequences that are realised grammatically in a clause complex are construed as being sub-sequences within the total sequence of events that make up a whole episode in a narrative. … But the integrating and choreographing effect achieved by clause complexes is not, of course, restricted to narratives; it is a feature of texts of all kinds.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Word Classes And Group Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 361-2):
… the mapping between classes at group/phrase rank and functions at clause rank is fairly complex: a group/phrase of a given class can typically serve a number of different clause functions (the exception being the verbal group). When we move down one step along the rank scale to consider the relation between word classes and group/phrase functions, we find there is a stronger tendency towards a one-to-one relationship: a word of a particular class tends to serve only one group/phrase function. The major exception is the class of adverb; but this is partly a matter of delicacy: certain adverbs function only as Head, whereas others function only as Modifier or Sub-Modifier.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Why Prepositional Phrases Are Not Groups But A Kind Of Minor Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 361):
But note that prepositional phrases are phrases not groups; they have no logical structure as Head and Modifier, and cannot be reduced to a single element. In this respect, they are clause-like rather than group-like; hence when we interpret the preposition as ‘minor Predicator’ and ‘minor Process’ we are interpreting the prepositional phrase as a kind of ‘minor clause’ — which is what it is.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Prepositional Phrase: Experiential Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 361):
Likewise on the experiential dimension the preposition functions as a minor Process. The nominal group corresponds in function to a Range. But the constituency is the same whether we represent the prepositional phrase experientially or interpersonally.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Prepositional Phrases Vs Non-Finite Clauses [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 360):
There is in fact an area of overlap between prepositional phrases and non-finite clauses; some instances can be interpreted as either, and some non-finite verb forms can be classified as prepositions, for example regarding, concerning, including.  In principle, a non-finite clause implies a potential Subject, whereas a prepositional phrase does not; but the prevalence of so-called ‘hanging participles’ shows that this is not always taken very seriously … .  More significant is the fact that non-finite clauses are clause; that is, they can be expanded to include other elements of clause structure, whereas prepositional phrases cannot.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Why Many Prepositional Complements Have The Potential To Become Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 360):
… prepositional Complements increasingly tend to have the same potential for becoming Subject, as in this floor shouldn’t be walked on for a few days.  No doubt one reason for this tendency has been the lexical unity of phrasal verbs; because look up to is a single lexical item, with a one-word near-synonym admire, it is natural to parallel people have always looked up to her with she’s always been looked up to.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Prepositional Phrase: Interpersonal Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 360):
A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus a nominal group … . We have explained a preposition as a minor verb. On the interpersonal dimension if functions as a minor Predicator having a nominal group as its Complement; …

Monday, 17 December 2012

Prepositional Phrase: Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 359, 361):
The prepositional phrase serves as Adjunct in the modal structure of the clause.  Like the adverbial group, it can serve as circumstantial Adjunct or, less commonly, as interpersonal Adjunct; and like the conjunction group, it can serve as conjunctive Adjunct.  In addition, it can be rank-shifted to serve as Postmodifier in a nominal group or adverbial group. …

The exception is prepositional phrases with of, which normally only occur as Postmodifier; the reason is that they are not typical prepositional phrases, because in most of its contexts of use of is functioning not as a minor Process/Predicator but rather as a structure marker in the nominal group (cf to as a structure marker in the verbal group).  Hence of phrases occur as clause elements only in two cases: (1) as circumstance of Matter, for example Of George Washington it is said that he never told a lie, (2) as one of a cluster of circumstances expressing a sense of ‘source’, all ultimately derived from abstract locative ‘from’: died/was cured of cancer, accused/convicted/acquitted of murder and so on.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Complex Prepositions Vs Prepositional Phrases [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 359):
Complex prepositions such as in front (of), for the sake (of), have evolved from prepositional phrases, with front, sake as ‘Complement’.  Many expressions are indeterminate between the two … however, there is a difference; those that have become prepositions typically occur without a Deictic preceding the noun (in front of not in the front of), and the noun occurs in the singular only (in front of not in fronts of).

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Preposition Group Vs Prepositional Phrase

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 359):
It is important to make a distinction between a preposition group, such as right behind or immediately in front of, which is a Modifier-Head structure expanded from and functionally equivalent to a preposition, and a prepositional phrase, which is not an expansion of anything but a clause-like structure in which the Process/Predicator function is performed by a preposition and not by a verb.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Preposition Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 359):
Prepositions are not a sub-class of adverbials; functionally they are related to verbs.  But they form groups by modification, in the same way as conjunctions; … Again, there are more complex forms such as in front of, for the sake of which can be left unanalysed.  These are also subject to modification, as in just for the sake of, immediately in front of.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Conjunction Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 358-9):
Within the 'primary' word class of adverbials, there is another class besides adverbs, namely conjunctions. […] they form three subclasses, namely linker, binder and continuativeConjunctions also form word groups by modification, for example even if, just as, not until, if only.  These can be represented in the same way, as b^a structures (or a^b in the case of if only).  Note, however, that many conjunctive expressions have evolved from more complex structures, eg as soon as, in case, by the time, nevertheless, in so far as.  These can be treated as single elements without further analysis.  They are themselves, of course, subject to modification, eg just in case, almost as soon as.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Adverbial Group: Postmodification

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 357, 358):
Postmodification is of one type only, namely comparison. As in the nominal group, Postmodifiers are rank-shifted, or embedded; they may be (a) embedded clauses, or (b) embedded prepositional phrases. …
This is the only instance of embedding other than in a nominal group. All other embedding in English is a form of nominalisation, where a group, phrase or clause comes to function as part of, or in place of (ie as the whole of), a nominal group.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Adverbial Group: Premodification

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 356):
Premodifiers are grammatical items like not and rather and so; there is no lexical premodification in the adverbial group. […]  The items serving as Premodifiers are adverbs belonging to one of three types — polarity (not), comparison (more, less; as, so) and intensification. […] Those of intensification indicate higher or lower intensity; they are either general intensifiers that are interpersonally neutral (very, much, quite, really, completely, totally, utterly; rather, fairly, pretty,; almost, nearly), including the interrogative adverb how, or specific ones that derive from some interpersonally significant scale (amazingly, astonishingly, awfully, desperately, eminently, extraordinarily, horribly, incredibly, perfectly, terribly, terrifically, unbelievably, wonderfully).

Monday, 10 December 2012

Adverbial Group: Function & Logical Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 354, 355):
The adverbial group serves as Adjunct in the modal structure of the clause — either circumstantial Adjunct or modal Adjunct (mood or comment). …
The adverbial group has an adverb as Head, which may or may not be accompanied by modifying elements. Adverbial groups serving as circumstantial Adjunct have an adverb denoting a circumstance as Head — for example, a circumstance of time … or of quality … .
Adverbial groups serving as modal Adjunct have an adverb denoting an assessment as Head — for example, an assessment of time … or of intensity … .

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Diagnostic For Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 353):
There will often be doubt about whether these complex lexical items can be interpreted grammatically as a single Process or not. In such cases it is important to consider the transitivity of the clause as a whole, to see whether it appears to be structured as process plus participant or process plus circumstance. Thematic variation often shows a preference one way or the other.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Textual Motivation For Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 353):
… to leave the focus unmarked — that is, at the end … a phrasal verb splits the Process into two parts, one functioning as Predicator and the other as Adjunct, with the Adjunct coming in its normal place at the end. … This also explains … [why] if the Goal is a pronoun it almost always occurs within the phrasal verb. … a pronoun is hardly ever newsworthy, since it refers to something that has gone before, so if the Goal is a pronoun it is virually certain that the process will be under focus. (But not quite; the pronoun may be contrastive, and so it can come finally …)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Phrasal Verbs Realise A Single Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 352):
Experientially, a phrasal verb is a single Process, rather than Process plus circumstantial element. This can be seen from their assignment to process types … [and] is reflected in thematic variation.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Phrasal Verb: Expansion Of The Event?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 351n):
A major point of difference between the verbal group and the nominal group is that the Event (unlike the Thing) is not the point of departure for the recursive modifying relationship. Hence it does not figure as an element in the notation. It could be argued that a phrasal verb represents an expansion of the Event … But we have not explored this line of approach here.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Phrasal Verbs: Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 351): 
Phrasal verbs are lexical verbs which consist of more than just the verb word itself. They are of two kinds, plus a third which is a combination of the other two:
(i) verb + adverb…
(ii) verb + preposition…
(iii) verb + adverb + preposition…

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Contrast & Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 351):
The distinction between ‘contrastive in tense’ and ‘contrastive in polarity’ is realised only if at least one secondary tense is chosen; it is however regarded as systemic in all instances, with ambiguity arising where there is no secondary tense.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Realisation Of Mood: Finiteness, Aspect & Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 351):
There is no system of mood in the verbal group.  If a clause is ‘free: indicative’ or ‘bound: finite’, the verbal group is ‘finite’.  If a clause is either ‘free: imperative’ or ‘bound: non-finite’ the verbal group is ‘non-finite’.  The verbal group of an imperative clause is ‘perfective’ in aspect and ‘no secondary’ or ‘present’ in (secondary) tense; negative variants have the special realisation don’t.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Verbal Group Systems By Metafunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 349):
(i) Textual: voice, contrast and ellipsis;
(ii) Interpersonal: polarity, finiteness and modality;
(iii) Experiential: aspect and event type;
(iv) Logical: secondary tense.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Event Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 348):
… the system network of the verbal group is a network of systems representing contrasts that are purely grammatical in nature.  The only system that extends in delicacy towards distinctions that are realised lexically is the system of event type — the verbal group analogue of the thing type system in the nominal group.  This system is concerned with distinctions among verbs relating to their temporal properties (thus complementing the clausal system of process type, which is concerned with distinctions among processes relating to configurations of process plus participants).

Friday, 30 November 2012

Serial Tense Subcategorises Events Grammatically

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 346):
What has happened is that relative time — before, at or after a defined time reference — has come to be interpreted, in the semantics of English, as a kind of logical relation; a way of subcategorising events similar to the subcategorising of things, except that the latter is multidimensional (and hence lexicalised), whereas the former is based on a single semantic dimension and can therefore be expressed entirely by grammatical means.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Serial Tense Vs 'Aspect' Nomenclature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 345):
What is remarkable about serial tense is its regularity: the way in which each choice of tense, whether past, present or future, defines a location in time which is then used as the point of departure for a further choice among the same three tenses. This regularity is obscured, and distorted, by the categories of the structuralist analysis, and especially the ‘aspect’ nomenclature of perfect and progressive (or continuous).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Tense System Differences: Deixis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 344):
The difference between this [System III] and System II is that in System III the effect is simply to eliminate the entire choice of primary tense. System I minus the α tense gives System III. The non-finite or modalised verbal group has no deictic tense element: non-finites because they have no deictic at all (that is what non-finite implies: not anchored in the here-and-now); modalised because, while they have a deictic element (being finite), their deixis takes the form of modality and not tense. Strictly speaking, the first secondary tense of the non-finite should be labelled α, since that becomes the Head element; but it seems simpler and clearer to retain the association of α with finiteness and show non-finites as beginning with β.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Non-Finite Tense Systems (System III)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 344):
System III is the tense system available in non-finite and in modalised forms of the verbal group. Here a further neutralisation takes place, that is, both that in system II (affecting the past) and a parallel one affecting the future. … What happens here is that (i) past, past in present and past in past are all represented by past; (ii) future, future in present and future in future are all represented by future. There are twelve such triads; the total number of tenses in System III is therefore 36 – (2 x 12) = 12.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Sequent Tense Systems (System II)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 343):
System II is that which is available after a past projection [ie projecting clause] such as they said. … What happens here is that in the environment of a ‘past’ feature, the past element in three of the System II tenses is neutralised; past, past in present and past in past [are] all represented as past in past. Since there are six such triads, System II has 2 x 6 =12 fewer tenses than System I.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Finite, Sequent & Non-Finite Tense Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 342-3):
There are in fact three distinct systems of tense in English:
  • System I: finite 36 tenses
  • System II: sequent 24 tenses
  • System III: non-finite/modalised 12 tenses

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Restrictions On Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 339, 340):
Since the tense system is recursive, there should be no longest possible tense.  However, in practice there are certain restrictions which limit the total set of those that occur.  These restrictions, or ‘stop rules’, are as follows:

  • (i) Apart from alpha, future occurs only once.
  • (ii) Apart from alpha, present occurs only once, and always at the deepest level.
  • (iii) Apart from alpha, the same tense does not occur twice consecutively. …
These restrictions limit the total number of finite tenses to 36.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Voice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 338-9):
The expression of voice is an extension of that of tense.  The active has no explicit marker; the passive is expressed by be or get plus V-en (past/passive participle), appearing as an additional modifying element at the end.  The passive thus functions like an additional secondary tense; and it displays a distinctive combination of presentness (be) and pastness (V-en) suggesting ‘to be in a present condition resulting from a past event’For this reason, there is no very clear line between passives and attributes having passive form.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Primary & Secondary Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 337, 338):
The logical structure of the verbal group realises the system of tense. … Thus tense in English is a recursive system.  The primary tense is that functioning as Head, shown as alpha.  This is the Deictic tense: past, present or future relative to the speech event.  The modifying elements, at beta and beyond, are secondary tenses; they express past, present or future relative to the time selected in the previous tense… In naming the tenses, it is best to work backwards, beginning with the deepest and using the prepostion in to express the serial modification.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Verbal Group: Limitations Of Experiential Labelling

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336-7):
However, the structural labelling of the words that make up the verbal group is of limited value, not only because the meaning can be fully represented in terms of grammatical features (of tense, voice, polarity and modality), but also because it is the logical structure that embodies the single most important semantic feature of the English verb, its recursive tense system, and the elements of the logical structure are not in the individual words but certain rather more complex elements.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Verbal Group: Metafunctional Components

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
The textual meaning is embodied in the ordering of the elements. The interpersonal meaning resides in the deictic features associated with finitenessprimary tense or modality — together with any attitudinal colouring that may be present in the lexical verb. And further systematic distinctions of both kinds may be realised by intonation and rhythm

Monday, 19 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Textual Motivation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
Initial position is thematic; and the natural theme of a process or participant is its relation to the here-&-now.  Final position is informative; and the newsworthy component of a process or participant is some aspect of its lexical content.  So the structure of groups recapitulates, in the fixed ordering of their elements, the meaning that is incorporated as choice in the message structure of the clause.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Underlying Commonality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
Both verbal and nominal group begin with the element that ‘fixes’ the group in relation to the speech exchange; and both end with the element that specifies the representational content — the difference being that, since things are more highly organised than events, there are additional lexical elements in the nominal but none in the verbal group.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 336):
The verbal group begins with the Finite, which is the verbal equivalent of the Deictic, relating the process to the ‘speaker-now’; the Finite does so by tense or modality, whereas the Deictic does so by person or proximity, but each of these provides the orientation of the group. The verbal group ends with the Event, which is the verbal equivalent of the Thing; the former expresses a process, which may be an event, act of consciousness or relation, whereas the latter expresses an entity of some kind, but both represent the core of the lexical meaning.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Experiential Structure Of The Finite Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 335):
The experiential structure of the finite verbal group is Finite (standing for ‘Finite operator’) plus Event, with optional elements Auxiliary (one or more) and Polarity.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Verbal Group Viewed From Above And Below

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 335):
The verbal group is the constituent that functions as Finite plus Predicator (or as Predicator alone if there is no Finite element) in the mood structure (clause as exchange); and as Process in the transitivity structure (clause as representation). …
A verbal group is the expansion of a verb, in the same way that a nominal group is the expansion of a noun; and it consists of a sequence of words of the primary class of verb.  … it contains a lexical verb, which comes last; a finite verb which comes first; and an auxiliary verb [or verbs], which comes in between.  No other ordering of these three components is possible. …
Because there is very much less lexical material in the verbal group — only one lexical item, in fact — the experiential structure is extremely simple; and most of the semantic load is carried by the logical structure, including the tense system.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Construal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 334):
In all such nominal expressions where Head and Thing are not conflated although both are clearly present, what is being construed is a phenomenon that from one point of view appears as a single entity and from another point of view as two.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Extended Numeratives: Measure Vs Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 334):
While measure items [aggregate, portion, quantum] delimit the Thing in terms of quantity, those of type [variety, facet, make-up] delimit it in terms of generality: some species of it, some aspect of it, or its composition.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Extended Numeratives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
They can be represented as a matrix of two variables: (i) measure (quantity) / type (quality), (ii) the set relationship of Head to Thing (collective (Head > Thing), partitive (Head < Thing), quantitative (Head = Thing)). What all these have in common is that, while the Thing is the entity that is functioning as participant in the transitivity structure of the clause, the logical Head of the construction is something that constrains the entity in terms of the two variables mentioned above. It is the Head that determines the value of the entity in the mood system, and therefore as a potential Subject.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Classifier As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This occurs in examples such as the category of Subject, the concept of freedom, the city of Rome, where the Head word specifies the class to which the Thing is said to belong.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Epithet As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This is a more restricted type in which the Head is almost always an attitudinal noun embodying some positive or more usually negative appraisal. For example … that monster of a skyscraper

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Numerative As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
This may be cardinative or ordinative, definite or indefinite: three of those tiles, loads of money, the last of the survivors.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing: Deictic As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 333):
All non-specific Deictics can function as Head in this construction; note that a(n), no, every become one, none, every one, and weak some [sm] becomes some.  For example, another one of my friends, some of that chicken liver paté

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Dissociation Of Head And Thing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 332):
What happens here is that one of the pre-modifying functions is taken on by something that is itself a nominal group, in such a way that the Thing gets embedded in a prepositional phrase with of, which then functions as post-Head Qualifier, as in a cup of tea. … Where the Head is dissociated from the Thing in this way, it can be conflated with any of the premodifying functions.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Premodifier: Word Complexes Vs Word Rank Embeddings

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331-2):
The Premodifier can then be interpreted in logical terms as a hypotactic word complex.*  The Premodifier may accommodate hypotactic word complexes … and word rank embeddings … including compressed phrases and clauses … . The word complexes derive from the potential for logical expansion built into the noun as Head; the embeddings from the functional scope of the experiential configuration into which the noun enters as Thing.
* In previous editions the Postmodifier also was brought into the scope of the logical representation. But this appears to complicate the description without adding further to its explanatory power.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Head/Thing As Fulcrum

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
The complex functional entity formed by the conflation of Head and Thing acts as the fulcrum of the nominal group: before it, as Premodifier, a sequence of words having distinct experiential functions; after it, as Postmodifier, one or more embedded items which may be prepositional phrase or non-finite or finite clause.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Epithet As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
There is one functional environment in which we regularly find Epithet as Head, namely when the nominal group occurs as Attribute, typically in an attributive relational clause. … This type of nominal group (sometimes referred to distinctively as ‘adjectival group’) is unique in that it is normally unable to function as Subject in the clause. … Other than this type, Epithets and Classifiers do not normally function as Head. The exception is the superlative, which in other ways also (for exampe, place in sequence) resembles a Numerative of the ordering kind rather than an Epithet …

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Multivariate Structure [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 331):
… the type of structure exemplified by Deictic + Numerative + Epithet + Classifier + Thing we call a multivariate structure: a configuration of elements each having a distinct function with respect to the whole.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Univariate Structure [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 330-1):
What the logical analysis does is to bring out the hypotactic basis of premodification in the nominal group, which then also explains its penchant for generating long strings of nouns … .  We refer to this kind of structure as a univariate structure, one which is generated as an iteration of the same functional relationship: a is modified by b, which is modified by c, which is … [etc].

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Premodifier & Postmodifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 330):
The element following the Head is also a modifying element; we can distinguish the two positions by using the terms Premodifier and Postmodifier. The distinction is not a functional one, but depends on the rank of the modifying term; … But the Postmodifier does not itself enter into the logical structure, because it is not construed as a word complex.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sub-modification: Internal Bracketing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 330):
Within this logical structure there may be ‘sub-modification’: that is, internal bracketing … . Sub-modification may have the effect of disturbing the natural order of elements in the group … .

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Subcategorisation: Modification

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 329):
… seeing [the nominal group] as a logical structure … means seeing how it represents the generalised logical-semantic relations that are encoded in natural language. … for the purposes of the nominal group we need to take account of just one such relationship, that of subcategorisation: ‘a is subset of x’. This has usually been referred to in the grammar of the nominal group as modification

Monday, 29 October 2012

Textual Metafunction & Nominal Group Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328-9):
Textual meaning is embodied throughout the entire structure, since it determines the order in which the elements are arranged, as well as patterns of information structure just as in the clause (note for example that the unmarked focus of information in a nominal group is on the word that comes last, not the word that functions as Thing).

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Interpersonal Metafunction & Nominal Group Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328):
Interpersonal meanings are embodied (a) in the person system, both as pronouns (person as Thing) and possessive determiners (person as Deictic); (b) in the attitudinal type of Epithet; (c) in connotative meanings of lexical items functioning in the group, and (d) in prosodic features such as swear-words and voice quality.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Experiential Metafunction & Clause Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328):
… the kind of meaning that is expressed in a particle-like manner is the experiential; it is this that gives us our sense of the building blocks of language.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Interpersonal Metafunction & Clause Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328):
The interpersonal meanings are expressed by the intonation contour; by the ‘Mood’ block, which may be repeated as a tag at the end; and by expressions of modality which may recur throughout the clause. The pattern here is prosodic, ‘field’-like rather than wave-like.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Textual Metafunction & Clause Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328):
The textual meaning of the clause is expressed by what is put first (the Theme); by what is phonologically prominent (and tends to be put last — the New, signalled by information focus); and by conjunctions and relatives which if present must occur in initial position. Thus it forms a wave-like pattern of periodicity that is set up by peaks of prominence and boundary markers.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Metafunction & Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 328):
… it is a general principle of linguistic structure that it is the experiential meaning that most clearly defines constituents. Interpersonal meanings tend to be scattered prosodically throughout the unit; while textual meanings tend to be realised by the order in which things occur, and especially by placing of boundaries. These are very general tendencies, worked out differently in every language but probably discernible in all.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cline Of Generality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 327):
On this scale, the most general type of noun is in fact a pronoun, which is the limiting case of anaphoric generalisation … There is no clear grammaticalising towards the ‘particular’ end of the cline, though it is perhaps worth remarking that the function of Classifier in the nominal group provides the resource for expanding any class of thing into more particular subclasses.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Cline Of Animacy

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 326-7):
Here again the grammar makes a categorical distinction: (a) conscious things, which are those referred to as he/she, (b) non-conscious things, those referred to as it. … while there is a clear foundation in the world of experience, with people at one end and inanimate or abstract objects at the other, many things (like non-human animals) lie in between; and, as always, the grammar is free to construe the world as it pleases.  The conscious/non-conscious distinction can also therefore be looked at as a cline …

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cline Of Countability

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 326):
Mass nouns representing abstract things, and also things which are concrete but general, often move into the count category … .  We could think in terms of a cline of countability, ranging from those nouns (and pronouns) which construe things as fully itemised, at one end, to those which treat them as totally unbounded at the other.  Typically, living beings and concrete objects are itemised, abstract entities (and nominalised processes and qualities) are unbounded, with institutions and collectives falling in between.  But the distinction is made in the grammar, so the same entity may be construed in more than one way … .

Saturday, 20 October 2012


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 326):
Things are represented in English as either (a) discrete, and therefore countable, or (b) continuous, and therefore uncountable; … count nouns select for number: singular/plural, while mass nouns do not. … The distinction is not quite as clear-cut as this suggests.  Mass nouns are often itemised, and hence also pluralised; the meaning is either ‘a kind of’ … or ‘an amount of’ … .  There will then be an agnate expression having a measure/type word as Head …