Friday, 10 January 2014

How The Systemisation Of Grammatical Metaphor Enabled The Emergence Of Scientific Registers

Halliday (2008: 105):
The effect of the metaphoric processes, now operating in syndromes that permeated the entire text, was to create a new virtual reality in which phenomena of all kinds — not only entities but also processes, qualities, circumstances and logical relations — could be classified into taxonomies, measured, and used to reason with; and each new step in the argument could become the given for a further move. It was as if the grammar was holding the world still, in its place — freezeframing it, so to speak — as it was being observed, quantified, and theorised about. Where the grammar of daily life, with its commonsense theory of experience based on the clause, presented a flux of doings and happenings and the people and things that take part in them, the new grammar of science, based on the nominal group, stabilised the flux and imposed order on the phenomenal world.