Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Range

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 157):
The Range rôle is quite pervasive; it can occur in all types of figure that are construed as self-agentive, and also in certain figures of being that are construed as other-agentive. The Range construes the range or domain of the actualisation of the Process, with reference to taxonomic scope (as in play : play tennis / volley ball), spatial scope (as in climb : climb mountains /hills) etc.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Medium: Obligatory In The Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 156):
In the grammar therefore the Medium appears as an obligatory element — the only element that has this status in the clause. This does not mean that we will find a nominal reflex of the Medium made explicit in the syntagm of every clause; there are various ways in which the Medium may be present as a cryptotypic feature rather than as an overt form. Nevertheless its presence is required in some guise or other; and this distinguishes the Medium from all other participants in the figure.

Blogger Note:

had been raining
function structure

nominal group
verbal group

But see Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 289).

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Nucleus

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 156):
Semantically, the nucleus construes the centre of gravity of a figure, the focal point around which the system of figures is organised. When we describe the Medium as “actualising” the Process, we are really saying that the unfolding is constituted by the fusion of the two together — there can be no Process without an element through which this process is translated from the virtual to the actual.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Close Bonding Of Medium And Process: Medium And Manner Of Performance

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 156):
The manner of performance of a process may vary, in which case it is the Medium by which it is typically determined. This may be a major variation in the mode of actualisation, for example ‘open + door, open + account, open + eye’ where the process is respectively mechanical, verbal, or physiological; or simply a minor difference in the means that is employed, e.g. ‘brush + teeth, brush + clothes’. In many cases, the difference in the manner of performance is the basis of a lexically codified taxonomic distinction.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Close Bonding Of Medium And Process: Medium As Criterial Of Figure Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 155):
In the taxonomy of figures, the nature of the Medium is more criterial than that of any other participant or circumstance. For instance, if we consider processes such as ‘strew, spill, pour, sprinkle’, it is the Medium, not the Agent, which enables us to differentiate among them (cf. sprinkle + salt, spill/pour + water, coffee; strew + flowers); similarly with ‘bend, straighten, flatten; melt, freeze, evaporate, condense; crack, break, shatter’ and so on.

Friday, 26 December 2014

The Close Bonding Of Medium And Process: Restrictions On Medium

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 155):
Of all the participants, the Medium is the most restricted in terms of the range of phenomena that may function in that rôle. We can see this in relation to the general types of figure: 
type of figure
range of phenomena functioning as Medium
phenomenon (of any kind — but not a metaphenomenon, i.e. not fact)
conscious being
symbol source
phenomenon (of any kind, including metaphenomenon)
[…] In other words, whatever the type of figure, the participant that is most closely bonded with the Process is the one that takes on the generalised rôle of Medium; it is this that is in a relation of mutual expectancy with the Process.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

The Generalised Model Of Participation-In-Process: Causal Origin Of Unfolding

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 154):
The Medium’s actualisation of the Process may be construed as being brought about by a further participant — the Agent. If the figure is construed with an Agent, it is other-agentive; if it is construed without an Agent, it is self-agentive.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Generalised Model Of Participation-In-Process: The Nucleus

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 154, 155):
Medium and Process form the nucleus of the whole figure — that part of the figure which is essential to the complementarity of unfolding and persisting. […] The model thus construes a nuclear figure consisting of a process unfolding through the medium of a participant. […] It is in the combination of Medium + Process that we find the complementarity between the temporal unfolding (the Process) and the atemporal persistence (the Medium).

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Generalised Model Of Participation-In-Process: The Medium

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 153-4):
The model that generalises across these various domains of experience is different from any one of these particular submodels. It sets up one central participant that is common to all processes. This is the participant through which the process comes to be actualised. We refer to it as the Medium. […]
The participant functioning as Medium may be affected in various different ways, depending on the particular domain — the 'trace' may be physical, mental, and so on; but the status of Medium generalises across these domains.

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Particularistic SubModels Of Participation-In-Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 153): 
The particularistic model, then, comprises a set of submodels: (i) impacting, (ii) conscious processing, (iii) symbolic processing, (iv) relational ordering.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Particularistic Model Of Participation-In-Process: Topology

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 153):
What we find, if we try to take in the picture as a whole, is a kind of focussed model in which the essentially human processes of consciousness, and the prototypically human processes of symbolic action, constitute the experiential centre; while the two other types of figure, that of doing on the one hand and of being on the other, lie on opposite sides of this centre: the one (doing) lying towards the pole of the concrete, with experience construed as ‘this impacts on that’, the other (being) lying towards the pole of the abstract, with the experience construed as ‘this is related to that’.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sensing & Saying: Conscious Processing & Symbolic Processing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 153): 
The general motif of figures of sensing is ‘conscious processing’; that of figures of saying is ‘symbolic processing’.

Friday, 19 December 2014

The Categorisation Of Experience That Underlies Figures Of Saying

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 153):
In figures of saying, the Sayer is the symbolic source: prototypically human, but not necessarily so (e.g. the instructions tell you to switch it off first). The Process is symbolic; but here too there is a subtype of figures of saying that imparts a similar sense of action and impact, those where the Sayer ‘does something to’ another participant by means of a verbal process, as in Don’t blame the messenger, Everybody praised her courage. We refer to this participant as the Target; and again, we may note a partial analogy with figures of doing (though only partial — for example, such figures cannot take a resultative Attribute or other representation of the outcome.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Categorisation Of Experience That Underlies Figures Of Doing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 152):
The ‘doing’ figure is based prototypically on a schema we might refer to as “action and impact”. There is always an Actor, the participant that performs the Process; and in an example such as the boys were jumping, the Process stops there — that is all there is to it. But in examples such as the boys were throwing stones, or the stones hit the wall, the Actor’s performance of the Process extends beyond, so as to ‘impact’ on another participant — this is the one known as the Goal. In the typical case (the “active voice”, in grammatical terminology), the clause unfolds iconically, reflecting the movement of the impact from Actor to Goal. And […] the latter may then be followed by a representation of the outcome of the impact — a resultative Attribute (he knocked it flat), a circumstance of Rôle (he cut it into cubes), or a circumstance of Location (he threw it into the corner).

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Why The Phenomenon Of Impinging Sensing Seems To Be Playing A More Active Rôle

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 152):
Why does it give this impression? Partly no doubt because of the agnate form Are you pleased by those colours? where the Phenomenon those colours is brought in indirectly, like an instrument or means. But this is part of a larger syndrome whereby, on the one hand, there are are other related ‘sensing’ figures like How do those colours strike you?, where the verb strike suggests a fairly violent kind of action; and on the other hand the prototypical form of a ‘doing’ figure seems quite analogous to these, as in Were those boys hitting you? (with those boys as Actor, you as Goal).

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Categorisation Of Experience That Underlies Figures Of Sensing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 152):
Sensing is clearly modelled as a process of human consciousness, with the Senser as a human being — so much so that merely coming to occupy that rôle is sufficient to endow the participant in question with human-like consciousness. The Phenomenon, on the other hand, is given a somewhat ambivalent status: in one of its guises (as in [emanating] Do you like those colours?) it seems to be just part of the environment; but in its other guise (as in [impinging] Do those colours please you?) it seems to be playing a more active rôle.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Figures Of Being: Forms Of Participation Involved

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 151-2):
In the limiting case, there is only one participant, the Existent; but generally there are two participants, the one being related by the process to the other. They may be being related by ascription, as Attribute to Carrier; or by identification, a rather complex relationship involving two pairs of participant rôles: Identifier and Identified, and Token and Value. These latter intersect with each other, so that there are two possible rôle combinations: (i) Identified/Token and Identifier/Value [decoding]; (ii) Identifier/Token and Identified/Value [encoding].

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Figures Of Doing: Forms Of Participation Involved

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 151):
Here there is one participant, the Actor, who performs the process in question; and this process may then impact upon another participant, the Goal [dispositive] (or may result in bringing the Goal into (material) existence [creative]). Other participants that may be present are the Beneficiary [Recipient or Client], the one that derives “benefit” from the process; and the Scope, the one that defines the domain over which the process extends.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Figures Of Saying: Forms Of Participation Involved

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 151):
Here one participant, the Sayer, is involved as the originator of a process of symbolic (semiotic) activity, or “saying”. There may be another participant, the Receiver, whose rôle is that of ‘decoding’ what is said. What is said may itself be construed as further participant, the Verbiage; or else it may be projected as another figure [locution] within the same sequence. Finally, there may be a participant functioning as Target of the saying process.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Figures Of Sensing: Forms Of Participation Involved

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 151):
Here there is one participant, the Senser, who is construed as a conscious being engaged in “inert” conscious processing (“sensing”, as distinct from conscious processing as a form of active behaviour). This may involve another participant, the Phenomenon, which enters into the consciousness of the Senser [impinging] (or is brought into (mental) existence by the Senser’s conscious processing [emanating]). Alternatively, the Senser’s conscious processing may project another figure [idea] within the same sequence.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Particularistic Model: The Principle On Which The Grammar Categorises Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 150-1):
In the most general terms […] the principle is that all phenomena can be interpreted as falling within a small number of broad experiential domains:
those happening “inside”, within the realm of our own consciousness; 
those happening “outside”, in the perceptual world that lies around us; 
those that are not kinds of happening at all, but rather kinds of being and of relating to something else.
We have referred to these as, respectively:
(1) figures of sensing — or, more inclusively, (since ‘languaging’ is treated as a distinct phenomenal realm), (1) figures of sensing and 
(2) figures of saying
(3) figures of doing — or, more explicitly (since the word ‘doing’ might suggest intentionality), figures of doing & happening
(4) figures of being — or more accurately (since ‘having’ is construed as a kind of relative ‘being’), figures of being & having.
Each of these types of figure has its own special character, as revealed by the way it is organised in the lexicogrammar.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Particularistic Model Of Participation-In-Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 150):
In what we are calling its “particularist” modelling, the grammar is categorising experience for us (or we are categorising our experience through our grammar) by construing a small number of different types of figure, differentiated according to what kind of process is taking place and what kinds of participant are involved — in what relationships to each other and to the process.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Composition: The Two Models Of Participation-In-Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 149-50):
There are two models of participation-in-process embodied in the semantic system of English —
(i) One is particularistic: it diversifies our experience of participant interaction into four domains — doing, sensing, saying, and being. 
(ii) The other is generalised: it unifies our experience of participant interaction across the different domains.
Thus the system strikes a balance in the construal of figures between unity and diversity — between differentiating one aspect of experience from another and generalising over the whole. These constitute distinct but complementary perspectives.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Outcome Of Dispositive Doing & Happening: Figures Of Doing Or Being

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 148-9):
If the process is dispositive, the outcome is more variable; it may be either (i) a figure of doing (more specifically, doing [to]/happening), or (ii) a figure of being (more specifically, being [at]/having):
(i) the cat chased the mouse      outcome: ‘the mouse ran’
(ii) the boys mended the roof     outcome: ‘the roof was whole’
John gave his sister a violin      outcome: ‘John’s sister had a violin’
[The being outcomes] may be elaborative (intensive), extending (possessive) or enhancing (circumstantial). …
Notice that in some cases the outcome is embodied in the clause by which the figure is realised; for example in middle variants of the doing & happening type (the outcome of John ran is 'John + run'), and in clause[s] with resultative elements (Attribute, Rôle) such as I'll boil the eggs hard (outcome: 'eggs + be + hard'), Let's appoint Fred timekeeper (outcome: 'Fred + be + timekeeper').

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Outcome Of Creative Doing & Happening: Figures Of Existing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 148):
If the process is creative, the outcome is that some entity comes into existence: such a figure may be construed as a doing with effectum, as in he baked a cake; but it may simply be a creative happening such as icicles formed. In either case the outcoming figure is one of being (more specifically, existing):
he baked a cake     outcome: ‘there exists a cake’
icicles formed        outcome: ‘there exist icicles’

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Doing & Happening Can Be Subcategorised By The Outcome Of The Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 148):
As pointed out earlier, doing is a process of change involving time and energy. Such change implies an outcome; the outcome may be of various kinds, but it is always such that it can be construed by another figure. We can therefore examine what kind of figure emerges as the outcome of the one under investigation.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Doing & Happening: Traditional Grammatical Distinctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 148):
The subtypes that have generally recognised in the grammar are (1) intransitive/transitive; (2) within intransitive, action/event; and within transitive, effectum/affectum. The first is the distinction between doings that involve only a doer (intransitive: John ran) and those that also involve something ‘done to’ (transitive: Mary threw the ball); realised respectively as Actor + Process, Actor + Process + Goal. The second is that between an intentional act by an animate (typically human) being (John ran) and an unintentional action or inanimate event (John fell; rain fell). […] The third is the distinction between a Goal that ‘exists’ prior to the doing of the deed (affectum: Mary threw the ball) and one that is brought into existence by the doing (effectum: Jack built a house).

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Being & Having: Enhancement Relations Between Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 146-7): 
One participant enhances along a circumstantial dimension of time, space, cause, condition and the like. … Thus enhancing figures may be used to construe arrangements or orderings in space or time, such as chronologies, maps or structures. … Enhancing figures construing temporal and causal ordering play an important rôle in constructing knowledge in a metaphorical mode

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Elaboration, Extension & The Interpretation Of Meaning

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 146):
Elaboration and extension are agnate, one with the other; they offer alternative modes of construal, often with little apparent difference. … But if we technicalise these alternatives, they do constitute significantly different approaches to the interpretation of meaning … in systemic-functional work, elaborating interpretations tend to be taken further than in many other approaches: this means emphasising realisation, delicacy and identities across metafunctions to supplement the traditional emphasis on constituency and composition.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Extending Being & Having: A Theory Of Constituency And Composition In Language

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 145): 
Extending figures can thus be used to construe meronymic taxonomies. In other words, they are (among other things) a theory of constituency, semantic composition, and other meronymic relations in language; so they can be used to create further relationships of the same kind.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Being & Having: Extension Relations Between Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 145):
One participant extends another in a relation of composition, possession, or association. As with elaboration, there is also the intersecting variable of either identity or membership.