Thursday, 9 October 2014

Semantic Sequences & Grammatical Complexing

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 127):
One question that arises here is the extent to which the semantics and the grammar are in phase with one another. It is conceivable that a semantic sequence of figures could be realised in the grammar by a single clause with complexes at group/word rank — i.e., the sequencing is downranked in the course of realisation. One argument in favour of exploring this possibility is that it would be possible to sort out the potential ambiguity of examples such as Henry and Anne went to the movies — grammatically, we have a group complex (Henry and Anne), but semantically, it could be either a sequence of figures […] or a sequence of elements […].