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’.

Realisations Of Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
Both probability and usuality can be expressed in the same three ways:
(a) by a finite modal operator in the verbal group … ;
(b) by a modal Adjunct of (i) probability or (ii) usuality … ;
(c) by both together.

Polarity, Modality & Propositions: Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 147):
In a proposition, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is asserting and denying; positive ‘it is so’, negative ‘it isn’t so’. There are two kinds of intermediate possibilities:
(i) degrees of probability [‘either yes or no’]: ‘possibly/probably/certainly’;
(ii) degrees of usuality [‘both yes and no’]: ‘sometimes/usually/always’.

Polarity: Not

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 145, 145n):
… the negative word not occurs in two functions: either it is simply a formal or written variant of the Finite negative element n’t, in which case it is part of the Finite; or it is a distinct modal Adjunct in Mood or Residue. In the latter case it is phonologically salient and may also be tonic …
In non-finite clauses, … the not (or other negative modal Adjunct) may constitute a Mood element either on its own, or together with the Subject if there is one. … if the agnate finite clause is negative (as shown by the tag …) then the negative Adjunct functions as Mood element. If the agnate finite clause is positive … then the negative Adjunct forms part of the Residue.

Polarity: Yes & No

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 144):
… these are direct expressions of polarity, but they have more than one functional status. If they are expressing a speech function [statements], they are mood Adjuncts; if not, they are continuatives [textual Themes] and have no place in the mood structure.

Polarity & Mood Tags

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 143-4):
not does not get reduced if the verb is non-finite; and this reflects the systemic association of polarity and mood. What carries the polarity feature, positive or negative, is the speech functional component of the proposition or proposal; hence when the speaker adds a mood tag, meaning ‘please check!’, the unmarked form of the tag is the one which reverses the polarity … If the polarity in the tag remains constant, the meaning is assertive rather than seeking corroboration. It is this reversal of polarity in the tag which enables us to identify the polarity of clauses containing other negative expressions, such as no, never, no one, nowhere, seldomif the negative word is part of some element in the Residue, the clause itself may be positive