Monday, 5 May 2014

The Ideational Grammar Construes Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 17):
The view we are adopting is a constructivist one, familiar from European linguistics in the work of Hjelmslev and Firth.  According to this view, it is the grammar itself that construes experience, that constructs for us our world of events and objects.  As Hjelmslev (1943) said, reality is unknowable; the only things that are known are our construals of it — that is, meanings.  Meanings do not ‘exist’ before the wordings that realise them.  They are formed out of the impact between our consciousness and its environment.