Friday, 24 February 2012

Propositions & Proposals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 111):
The semantic function of a clause in the exchange of information is a proposition; the semantic function of a clause in the exchange of goods–&–services is a proposal.

Grammatical Resources For Speech Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 110):
As a general rule languages do not develop special resources for offers and commands, because in these contexts language is functioning simply as a means towards achieving what are essentially non-linguistc ends. But they do develop grammatical resources for statements and questions, which not only constitute ends in themselves but also serve as a point of entry to a great variety of different rhetorical functions.

Offers & Commands

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 110):
Unlike statements and questions, these are not propositions; they cannot be affirmed or denied.

Ontogenesis Of Speech Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 109-10):
… infants typically begin to use linguistic symbols to make commands and offers at about the age of nine months, whereas it may be as much as nine months to a year after that before they really learn to make statements and questions, going through various intermediate steps along the way.

Mood Tag

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 109):
It serves to signal explicitly that a response is required, and what sort of response it is expected to be.

Fundamental Speech Rôles

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 107):
Even these elementary categories already involve complex notions: giving means ‘inviting to receive’, and demanding means ‘inviting to give’. The speaker is not only doing something himself; he is also requiring something of the listener. … giving implies receiving and demanding implies giving in response.

Clause As Exchange

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 106):
… the clause is also organised as an interactive event involving speaker, or writer, and audience. … In the act of speaking, the speaker adopts for himself a particular speech rôle, and in so doing assigns to the listener a complementary rôle which he wishes him to adopt in his turn.

Clauses With No Thematic Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 100):
Minor clauses … clauses with no mood or transitivity structure, typically functioning as calls, greetings, exclamations and alarms … have no thematic structure … .

Rheme Only Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 99, 100):
… many non-finte clauses have neither [structural nor topical Theme], in which case they consist of Rheme only. …
Exophoric ellipsis … Such clauses have, in fact, a thematic structure, but it consists of Rheme only. The Theme is (part of) what is omitted in the ellipsis.

Postposed Subject Vs Predicated Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 97-8):
… where one nominal element of the clause — typically the Subject, but not always — is delayed to the end and the appropriate pronoun is inserted as a substitute in its original slot. … one common type of these clauses is that where the postposed Subject is an embedded ‘fact’ clause. … But these are not predicated Themes; the postposed Subject is not a relative clause …

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 …).

Predicated Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 96):
… the conflation of Theme with New is a regular feature. The sense is of course contrastive, because of the exclusive equation … It is this mapping of New and Theme, in fact, that gives the predicated theme construction its special flavour. …
Since tonic prominence is not marked in writing, the predication has the additional function in written English of directing the reader to interpret the information structure in the intended way.

Given + New & Theme + Rheme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 93):
It is the speaker who assigns both structures, mapping one on to the other to give a composite texture to the discourse and thereby relate it to its environment. At any point in the discourse process, there will have been built up a rich verbal and non-verbal environment for what is to follow; the speaker’s choices are made against the background of what has been said and what has happened before. The environment will often create local conditions which override the globally unmarked pattern of Theme within Given, New within Rheme.

Theme Vs Given

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 93):
The Theme is what I, the speaker, choose to take as my point of departure. The Given is what you, the listener, already know about or have accessible to you. Theme + Rheme is speaker–oriented, whereas Given + New is listener–oriented.