Sunday, 31 May 2015

Textual Significance Of Ideational Metaphor: Textual Status

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 241):
Ideationally, grammatical metaphor is a resource for reconstruing experience so that, alongside congruent configurations, we also have alternative metaphorical ones. At the same time, these different configurations map onto different textual patterns. For example, a figure maps onto a message; but a participant maps onto part of a message, so that a figure construed as if it was a participant can be given a textual status within that message.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Metaphorical Mode Of Construal

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 241):
The metaphoric shift does not mean that the natural relationship between meaning and wording is destroyed; rather, this relationship is extended further when new domains of realisation are opened up to semantic categories through metaphor. The shift does however create a greater distance from the everyday experience; the metaphorical mode of construal makes it possible to recast that everyday experience, retaining only certain features from the congruent wording but adding others that it did not include.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ideational Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 241):
The metaphors we are considering here are in fact all shifts within the ideational realm — from sequence to figure, from figure to participant, and so on — and their primary effect is ideational. They constitute a resource for reconstruing experience along certain lines, redeploying the same categories that have evolved in the congruent mode of construing experience.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Given Theme & Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 239):
The significant point is that the Theme of an English clause has to be nominal. Not that there cannot exist other kinds of Theme — adverbials, prepositional phrases or even verbs; but these construe Themes which are highly marked (verbal Themes in particular), embodying features of contrast which are not appropriate in these contexts. The only kind of grammatical entity that construes the message in precisely the way required, without special effects, is a nominal — which may be a nominal group or else a nominalised clause or clause complex.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Theme & Information

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 239):
If the Theme of a clause (realised as the element in first position) is also explicitly located as Given, this has a very strong ‘backgrounding’ effect: the message is ‘you already know this; now use it as a stepping-off point for a further move, to something you don’t know’. By the same token, the remainder of the clause (either the whole of it or the culminating element) is strongly ‘foregrounded’. The total construction is obviously a powerful device for reasoning and argumentation.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Why Semantics & Grammar? Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 237-8):
Why then in our present interpretation have we to recognise two parts, one a lexicogrammar and one a semantics? Because the system continued to evolve beyond that point [congruent construals], enriching itself (i.e. engendering a richer model of experience) by forcing apart the two ‘facets’ of the sign so that each could take on a new partner — sequences could be realised by other things than clause complexes, processes could be realised by other things than verbs, and so on. […] It is this step that gives rise to grammatical metaphor. When a sequence is realised as a clause complex, or a process as a verb, this is congruent: it is the clause complex, and the verb, in the function in which it evolved. When a sequence is realised as something other than a clause complex, or a process as something other than a verb, this is metaphorical. Some other grammatical unit is supplanting them in these functions.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Why Semantics And Grammar Are Modelled As Two Separate Strata

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 237):
Of course, what we are recognising here as two distinct constructions, the semantic and the grammatical, never had or could have had any existence the one prior to the other; they are our analytic representation of the overall semioticising of experiencehow experience is construed into meaning. If the congruent form had been the only form of construal, we would probably not have needed to think of semantics and grammar as two separate strata: they would be merely two facets of the content plane, interpreted on the one hand as function and on the other as form.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Congruent Forms

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 236-7):
… from the standpoint of the evolution of language, when we say they are the congruent forms we are claiming not merely that they evolved first, but that this is why they evolved. One of the contexts in which grammar came into being — one of its metafunctions — was that of construing human experience; and, as we have seen, the model that emerged was one that construed the continuum of goings-on into taxonomies: taxonomies of parts (meronymic) and taxonomies of kinds (hyponymic). The central construct was that of the ‘figure’; figures could be further constructed into ‘sequences’ and also deconstructed into ‘elements’. How did the grammar construe this hierarchy of phenomena? — as clauses, clauses complexes, and elements in the structure of the clause …

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Metaphorical Relationship As Directional

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 235):
On all these grounds [of semogenetic and derivational priority] we have to acknowledge that the metaphorical relationship is not a symmetrical one: there is a definite directionality to it, such that one end of the continuum is metaphorical and the other is what we shall call congruent.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 235): 
We would not, in considering grammatical metaphor, maintain a simple dichotymy between ‘literal’ and ‘metaphorical’; rather we would propose that there is a continuum whose poles are ‘least metaphorical’ and ‘most metaphorical’.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Lexical & Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 234):
Thus in many instances, not unexpectedly, lexical and grammatical metaphor go together. … But they are not automatically associated, and in most instances of grammatical metaphor, if we reword in a less metaphorical direction, we can retain the same lexical items, merely changing their word class [transcategorisation] (often with morphological variation, e.g. we act effectively / the effectiveness of our actions).

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Lexical Metaphors Have Grammatical Implications

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 234):
… lexical metaphors have grammatical implications: they occur at the lexical degree of delicacy in the overall system, but precisely because grammar and lexis form a continuum related by delicacy, lexical domains are in fact more delicate elaborations of grammatical ones. So, for example, if understanding is construed metaphorically as grasping, it follows that a high degree of understanding can also be construed according to the same material model: understand very well => grasp firmly, as in she grasped the principles firmly. Similarly, if intensity is construed metaphorically in terms of location or movement in abstract space, this lexical reconstrual also has grammatical consequences, e.g. in terms of circumstantial elements within metaphorical figures: prices fell sharply, prices rose to a new high, costs hit the ceiling, and so on.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lexical Metaphorical Syndromes: Most Favoured Motifs

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 233n):
Because of the vastness of lexis, we do not have a general description of lexical metaphorical domains within the overall ideation base. But it is possible to discern that a central resource for metaphor is human bodily experience; and that the human body itself, concrete phenomena located in space-time, and features of daily social life are the most favoured metaphorical motifs.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Lexical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 233):
There are two other characteristics of lexical metaphors which are also central to metaphor in its grammatical sense. The first is syntagmatic: lexical metaphors tend to occur in regular clusters, which we shall refer to here as “syndromes” … The second is paradigmatic: lexical metaphors typically involve a shift towards the concrete, a move in the direction of “objectifying” (‘making like an object’, not ‘making objective’) …

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Lexical & Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 233):
Lexical and grammatical metaphor are not two different phenomena; they are both aspects of the same general metaphorical strategy by which we expand our semantic resources for construing experience. The main distinction between them is one of delicacy. Grammatical metaphor involves the reconstrual of one domain in terms of another domain, where both are of a very general kind … Lexical metaphor also involves the reconstrual of one domain in terms of another domain; but these domains are more delicate in the overall semantic system.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 227):
We have seen that sequences, figures, and elements are congruently realised in the grammar as follows: 

clause complex




But these resources may be expanded by taking up further options in realisation; for example, sequences may alternatively be realised by clauses and even groups.  This what we refer to as grammatical metaphor.  Grammatical metaphor expands the semantic potential of the system.

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Power Of Ideational Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 225-6):
The ideational base as we have presented it so far, with its framework of sequences, figures and elements, serves well enough for construing the experience of daily life, and for organising and exchanging commonsense knowledge. But it proves inadequate to meet the semiotic demands of advanced technology and theoretical science. In the construction of scientific knowledge, the system needs to invoke the power of metaphor on a more global scale.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Transphenomenal Motifs & The Construal Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 225):
Thus our concept of “construing experience through meaning” refers to the construal in human consciousness of an ideational system in which such [transphenomenal] motifs play a crucial part. Expansion and projection are, as we put it earlier, fractal principles; they generate organisation within many environments in the ideation base, at different strata and at different ranks within one stratum. These environments are thus related to one another through the local manifestations of these different motifs; and this opens up the system’s potential for alternative construals of experience … . What this means is, that whatever is construed can also be reconstrued, giving yet another dimension to the topology of semantic space.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Other Transphenomenal Motifs

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 225):
There are other “transphenomenal” motifs, often related to these [fractal types], which are more specific in their scope; for example the foregrounding of perceptual space, and of the concrete having extension in space, so that these serve as models for construing more abstract, non-spatial realms; and more specifically, the spatial construction of the human body as an orientational framework.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Elaboration As Auto-Genetic Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 224-5):
Here we have foregrounded especially the motif of elaborating, with particular reference to its manifestation in the identifying and ascriptive figures of being. We have tried to show how elaboration makes it possible to “import” extra-linguistic experience into the meaning base by actively construing it (as in ‘that [thing there] is a circle’); and also to “transport” meanings internally from one region of the ideation base in order to construe new meanings in another (as in ‘balance means you hold it in your fingers and it does not go’).  The extension of meaning in delicacy — not merely generalising across different types but construing such types into dimensional and open-ended taxonomies — is a function of the elaborating potential, exploiting the basic dimensions of the system itself.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Fractal Types As Auto-Genetic Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 224):
The fractal types of projection and expansion are also a primary resource by which the semantic system creates new meanings. […] The ideation base thus itself embodies, auto-genetically, the principles on which it is organised and enabled to develop further, such that the primary systems of ideational meaning then serve as a grid within which more delicate categories are construed.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Fractal Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 223-4): 
… the fractal types constitute an additional order of agnation that is projected onto the ideational system as a whole. We can refer to this as fractal agnation. Because of this, a qualifying sequence and a figure of circumstantial being, such as cause, are agnate; they are both manifestations of the fractal type of enhancement.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Sense In Which Expansion & Projection Are 'Fractal Types'

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 223): 
Since projection and expansion operate across the various categories of phenomena, we referred to them as transphenomenal categories. As transphenomenal categories, they are meaning types that are in some sense “meta” to the organisation of the ideation base: they are principles of construing our experience of the world that generate identical patterns of semantic organisation which are of variable magnitude and which occur in variable semantic environments. Such patterns therefore constitute fractal types.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Transforming Experience Into Meaning

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 222):
These two motifs [meaning as expansion and meaning by projection] together have made it possible for human beings to transform experience into meaning, taking the experience of meaning itselfthe “inner” processes of consciousness — as the central figures, and those with the ability to mean — prototypically humans themselves — as the central participants. These then serve as the point of reference for construing “outer” experience, the complementary experiences of the processes of doing and being.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Fundamental Semantic Motif: Meaning By Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 222): 
The second motif is that of meaning by projection: the way new dimensions of semantic space are created by the orders of human consciousness, sensing and saying — by projecting into existence another order of reality, one that is constituted by language itself.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Fundamental Semantic Motif: Meaning As Expansion

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 222): 
The first of these is meaning as expansion: the way regions of semantic space are opened up and defined by the three vectors of elaboration, extension and enhancement — elaborating a region that is already as it were staked out, extending the region’s boundaries to take in more, and enhancing the region’s potential by enrichment from its environment.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Participants And Macro Circumstances: 3 Kinds Of Mixed Categories

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 220):
The grammar does draw a line between the two: participant as nominal group, circumstance as prepositional phrase. But because of the continuous nature of the distinction, we find three kinds of mixed categories: (i) participants that may look like circumstances (being introduced by prepositions); (ii) circumstances that may look like participants (being introduced without prepositions); and (iii) pairs where one is a circumstance, the other a participant, but with very little difference in their meaning.

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Overlap Of Participants And Macro Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 218-9):
We referred to the cline from participants to circumstances as the “degree of involvement” in the actualisation of the process. This degree of involvement ranged from the closest, the Medium, which is part of the nucleus of the figure, to those that appear most remote, circumstances such as Matter (e.g. concerning your request) and Angle (e.g. in my own opinion). Somewhere in the middle was an area of overlap, where participants and circumstances are very closely akin. The two overlap because there are some functions which can be construed either as a form of participant in the process or as a circumstance attendant on it.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Relation Of Macro Circumstantial Elements To Figures

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 218):
… looking at these same circumstantial elements from a complementary standpoint, from the point of view of their own internal composition […] a prepositional phrase represents a figure in miniature, with a structure analogous to one component of a figure — closest, perhaps, to Process + Range (so we refer to the participant in the circumstantial phrase as a “Minirange”). This means that, shifting our perspective, we can also suggest how the circumstantial elements are related to different figures. Table 5(5) combines the two perspectives, showing their relationship both to participants and to figures.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Relation Of Macro Circumstantial Elements To Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 218):
Looking at them as oblique “cases”, from the point of view of their function in the larger figure, two points emerged: one, that participants and circumstances taken together formed a cline, rather than being separated by a clear boundary; the second, that some of the circumstantial elements could be ‘paired off’ with participants, being seen as a more oblique manifestation of a similar rôle.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Macro Circumstances: Subsidiary Processes And Indirect Participants

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 218):
Those circumstantial elements that are realised by prepositional phrases are rather more complex, since they include another element — a participant — in their makeup. In such cases the element realised by the nominal group is still functioning as a participant in the process — but indirectly, being implicated only through the mediation of a preposition. That this is possible is because the preposition itself constitutes a subsidiary kind of ‘process’; one that does not function as a process in the main figure but is nevertheless related systematically to the spectrum of process types — mainly, though not exclusively, to processes of being.