Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Modality & Orientation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 149):
… explicitly stating [or leaving implicit] the source of the conviction: it is either being said to be objective … or presented as a subjective judgement on the speaker’s part …

Modality, Polarity & Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 149):
This paradigm shows that probability is organised as a system of three values: a median value ‘probable’ where the form of the negative is the same whether it is attached to the modality or the proposition, and two outer values, high ‘certain’ and low ‘possible’, where there is a switch from high to low, or from low to high, if the negative is shifted between the two domains. …
Exactly the same set of possibilities arises in respect of the three other dimensions of modality. … It is this parallelism in their construction of semantic space, all lying within the region between the two poles of positive and negative, that gives the essential unity to this particular region of the grammar.

Modality, Mood & Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 148):
Thus once a proposal becomes discretionary, it shifts into the indicative mood to accommodate the modal operator; this also means it take[s] the full indicative person system, not the restricted person system of the imperative. Modalised clauses are thus in principle ambiguous as between proposition and proposal

Realisations Of Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
Again, both obligation and inclination can be expressed in either of two ways, though not, in this case, by both together:
(a) by a finite modal operator … ;
(b) by an expansion of the Predicator …
(i) typically by a passive verb …
(ii) typically by an adjective … .

Polarity, Modality & Proposals: Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
In a proposal, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is prescribing and proscribing; positive ‘do it’, negative ‘don’t do it’. Here also there are two kinds of intermediate possibilities, in this case depending on the speech function, whether command or offer.
(i) In a command, the intermediate points represent degrees of obligation: ‘allowed to/supposed to/required to’;
(ii) in an offer, they represent degrees of inclination: ‘willing to/anxious to/determined to’.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Mood And Comment Adjuncts: Stratal Perspective

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 132):
The networks of mood and comment Adjuncts are drawn up in the perspective ‘from the same level’: they encompass just those items that function as interpersonal Adjunct. Thus they do not include expressions from the same semantic domain which do not function as Adjuncts: typically non-finite clauses, for example to be honest, to tell you the truth, come to think of it. Such expressions would be included in a network drawn up in the perspective ‘from above’.

Speech Functional (Interpersonal) Comment Adjuncts: Subtypes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 131):
The speech functional type also falls into two sub-types, qualified and unqualified. The qualified type is closely related to projection; they can be expanded by ~ speaking as in generally speaking, and if construed as a separate intonation unit they will typically take tone 4 [fall-rise]. The unqualified type, which cannot be followed by ~ speaking, are either claims of veracity (if separate, then tone 4) or signals of assurance or admission (if separate, then tone 1 [fall]; the clause is then typically tone 1 if assurance, tone 4 if admission).

Speech Functional (Interpersonal) Comment Adjuncts: Occurrence & Orientation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 131):
The speech functional (interpersonal) type may occur with either declarative or interrogative clauses, but with a change of orientation: in a declarative, they express the speaker’s angle, while in an interrogative they seek the angle of the listener. Their locations in the clause are more restricted; they strongly favour initial or final position.

Propositional (Ideational) Comment Adjuncts: Occurrence

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 129-30):
The propositional (ideational) type occur only with declarative clauses. They appear at the same locations in the clause as the mood Adjuncts — though for different reasons: they are less integrated into the mood structure, being located rather according to their significance for the textual organisation of the clause. In particular, they are strongly associated with the boundary between information units — realised as a boundary between tone groups: hence the commas that typically accompany them in writing. So they often occur medially, following the item which is prominent; otherwise, they may occur as Theme, frequently as a separate information unit, or in final position as Afterthought.

Comment Adjuncts Distinguished

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 129):
There is no very clear line between these and the Mood Adjuncts; for example, the ‘comment’ categories of prediction, presumption and desirability overlap semantically with the mood categories shown under modality. The difference is that comment Adjuncts are less closely tied to the grammar of mood; they are restricted to ‘indicative’ clauses (those functioning as propositions), and express the speaker’s attitude either to the proposition as a whole or to the particular speech function. In other words, the burden of the comment may be either ideational [propositional] or interpersonal [speech functional].

Mood Adjuncts Of Intensity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 127):
Adjuncts of intensity fall into two classes, of which again one relates to expectation.
(i) Those of degree may be total, high degree or low degree … These Adjuncts (especially the ‘total’ ones) are typically associated with interpersonally loaded Processes or Attributes; the same adverbs also function regularly as Sub-modifiers within a nominal group.
(ii) Those of counterexpectancy are either ‘limiting’ or ‘exceeding’ what is to be expected: the meaning is either ‘nothing else than, went no further than’ or ‘including also, went as far as’.
Adjuncts of intensity occur medially or finally in the clause, but seldom initially — they cannot be thematic …

Mood Adjuncts Of Temporality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 127):
Adjuncts of temporality relate to interpersonal (deictic) time. They relate either
(i) to the time itself, which may be near or remote, past or future, relative to the speaker–now; or
(ii) to an expectation, positive or negative, with regard to the time at issue.

Mood Adjuncts: Types & Positions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 126):
These are so-called because they are closely associated with the meanings construed by the mood system: modality and temporality; and also intensity. This means that their neutral position in the clause is next to the Finite verbal operator, either just before it or just after it. But there are two other possible locations: before the Subject (ie in thematic position — those of temporality and modality have a strong tendency to function as Theme) and at the end of the clause as Afterthought.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Existential ‘There’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 119n):
… this there is a pronoun. The proportionality is:
the : that : it :: a(n) : one : there

Validity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 117):
Semantics has nothing to do with truth; it is concerned with consensus about validity, and consensus is negotiated in dialogue.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Postposed Subject Vs Predicated Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 157):
In Theme predication, the final clause is a relative clause functioning as Post-modifier to the it (where it means ‘the thing that’, ‘the time that/when’ and so on). The clause as postposed Subject, on the other hand, is a fact clause … and it is related to the it by apposition (paratactic elaboration).
… a clause with predicated Theme always has the verb be, and has a non-predicated agnate … A clause with postposed Subject has no such agnate form; moreover such clauses are not restricted to the verb be. Being facts they typically occur in clauses where the proposition has an interpersonal loading; for example, a Complement expressing modality or comment (it is possible/unfortunate that …), or a Predicator expressing affection or cognition (it worries/puzzles me that …).

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Conjunctive Adjuncts Vs Conjunctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 83-4):
… whereas conjunctions set up a grammatical (systemic–structural) relationship with another clause, which may be either preceding or following, the relationship established by conjunctive Adjuncts, while semantically cohesive, is not a structural one (hence they can relate only to what has gone before). These Adjuncts often are thematic; but they do not have to be.

Textual & Interpersonal Themes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 83):
… the speaker or writer is making explicit the way the clause relates to the surrounding discourse (textual), or projecting his or her own angle on the value of what the clause is saying (interpersonal) …

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Instantiation As Process

Matthiessen (1998: 5.18):
A text can be interpreted as an ongoing process of selection of features — an ongoing instantiation of a more permanent system.