Friday, 31 July 2015

Choices In Marking Time: English vs Chinese

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 304):
So whereas in English, each process in a figure (provided the figure is arguable — grammatically, one where the clause is finite) must be located somewhere in the construction of tense, in Chinese the process may be simply left as neutral, without being assigned to either category of aspect.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Two Ways Of Construing Time Grammatically: English & Chinese

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 304):
As in English, the process is the category of experience that is located in time. In English, time is construed grammatically as tense: as a flow, with a more or less extended ‘present’ forming a moving but impermeable barrier between ‘past’ and ‘future’; and each instance of a process is located somewhere in the flow. In Chinese, time is construed grammatically as aspect: and specifically as an opposition of unfolding versus culminating; and each instance of a process may be given a value in this opposition, either ‘significant as unfolding — in its own right’ or as ‘significant as culminating — perhaps by virtue of its consequences’.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Universal Property Of Language: The Stratification Of Content

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 299): 
… one property of language which is universal is the stratal organisation of the content plane into semantics and lexicogrammar, with the lexicogrammatical stratum forming a continuum: at one pole are the most “grammatical” features, closed systems of just two or three terms, mutually defining along a single dimension and with very general meanings and contexts of use; at the other pole are the most lexical features, open sets of an indefinite number of items, taxonomically arranged along various dimensions and with highly specific meanings and contexts of use.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Metaphorical Elaboration Of The Semantic System Is Made Possible By The Fractal Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 294-5):
The whole metaphorical elaboration [of the semantic system] is made possible by a fractal pattern that runs through the whole system. We have suggested that the metaphorical elaboration is a token–value relation; but in order for it to be a token–value relation within the semantic system, it has to be natural in the sense that the token and the value domains have to be similar enough to allow for the token to stand for the value. The principle behind this similarity is the fractal pattern of projection/expansion … 
That is, while grammatical metaphor constitutes a move from one “phenomenal domain” to another … this move is made possible because fractal types engender continuity across these domains: the metaphorical move from one phenomenal domain to another takes place within the one and the same transphenomenal domain.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Metaphor: Realisational Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 294):
Thus if the domain of sequences is construed metaphorically within the domain of figures, the realisational domain in the grammar will automatically be that of metaphor: it will be the domain of clauses rather than that of clause complexes.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Metaphor & Communicative Rôles

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 293):
The proliferation of ideational meaning through metaphor thus also means that a person gains access to a wider repertoire of communicative rôles.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Directionality Of Metaphor Within Experiential Meaning

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 293): 
… the general tendency in the metaphorical move away from the congruent is away from the logical towards the experiential; and within the experiential towards the domain of participants in figures of being & having.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Metaphorical Elaboration Of The Semantic System: Multiplanar Mappings Of Semantic Domains

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 293):
… metaphor involves a mapping from one ideational domain to another, construing a token–value relation between the two. For instance, the whole semantic domain of sequences may be mapped onto the domain of figures. The token domain may in turn be the value in a further metaphorical move, such as the move from figures to participants. The metaphorical expansion thus can involve multiple planes.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Metaphorical Elaboration Of The Semantic System

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 293): 
… metaphor is best construed as an opening up of a new dimension of the semantic system that allows the whole system to be elaborated by itself along a token–value chain. In other words, what we identified as a simplified way of dealing with grammatical metaphor in the relation between semantics and lexicogrammar … we can now recognise as a dimension internal to the semantic system.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Representing Semantic Types As Metaphorically Related To Congruent Types Within The Overall Semantic System

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 293):
Such a representation has to meet the kinds of ideational and textual demands that we have already considered in our representation of examples:
(i) ideational: the representation has to show that metaphor constitutes an expansion of the semantic system. The expansion is an elaborating one, creating chains of token–value relations; and it increases the semantic potential for construing experience. 
(ii) textual: the representation has to make it possible to show how metaphorical and congruent variants are given different values in the text base — in the textual semantics.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Metaphorical Dimension In Grammar As Cline

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 291):
… the metaphorical dimension in grammar is in reality a cline. There are often numerous intermediate steps between the “most congruent” and the “most metaphorical” wordings; indeed it is the scale of metaphoricity that is reasonably clearly defined, not its end points. Given two agnate wordings that are positioned along this scale, we seldom have any difficulty in locating them relative to each other: we know which of the two is the more metaphorical one. But we [would be] hard put to it to specify a point at either end where we feel we could go no further.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Grammatical Metaphor: A Junction Of Perspectives

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 290):
For most types of metaphor, it is important to take account of the fact that the metaphor represents more than one construction of goings-on; the metaphor adds a further perspective on the phenomenon being represented, without displacing the perspective that is congruent. […] The grammatical metaphor will typically show features of the congruent perspective as well as features of the metaphorical one.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Metaphorical Chains

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 288-9):
It is the fact that metaphor multiplies meanings within the semantic system that opens up the possibility of metaphorical chains, with one congruent starting–point and another highly metaphorical end-point (A’’’ stands for A’’ stands for A’ stands for A … The semantic system is being expanded along the dimension of the metaphorical token–value relation; but the expansion is still within the semantic system itself.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Metaphor As A Correspondence Between Two Semantic Configurations

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 288):
The correspondence that is construed through grammatical metaphor is an elaborating relationship: an identity is set up between two patterns … In this identity, the metaphorical term is the ‘Token’ and the congruent term is the ‘Value’ … The identity holds between the two configurations as a whole; but … the components of the configurations are also mapped one onto another …
The metaphorical relation is thus similar to inter-stratal realisation in that it construes a token–value type of relation. Here, however, the relation is intra-stratal: the identity holds between different meanings, not between meanings and wordings. The metaphor consists in relating different semantic domains of experience

Friday, 17 July 2015

What Distinguishes A Grammatical Metaphor From A Technical Term

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 286):
Almost all technical terms start out as grammatical metaphors; but they are grammatical metaphors which can no longer be unpacked. When a wording becomes technicalised, a new meaning has been construed — almost always, in our present-day construction of knowledge, a new thing (participating entity); and the junction with any more congruent agnates is (more or less quickly) dissolved.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Why Experiential Metaphors Originally Evolved

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 285):
… this provides an important insight into why experiential metaphors evolve in the first place, namely in order to get the texture right

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

From Congruent To Metaphorical Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 280):
The system then comes to be expanded through shift in rank and class. Sequences come to be realised not only by clause complexes but also by clauses, and figures come to be realised not only by clauses but also by groups/phrases. They are pushed downward in complexity and rank relative to their congruent realisations in the grammar.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Congruent Realisations

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 278):
Categories in the ideation base are realised by those categories in the ideational grammar with which they have co-evolved. These are the congruent realisations that developed first in the language, are learnt first by children and tend to occur first in a text.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Spatial Metaphor Provides An Interface To Other Semiotic Modes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 278): 
We noted above that the deployment of spatial metaphor in the construction of economic ‘knowledge’ serves, among other things, as an interface to another form of semiotic — that of using space symbolically in a diagrammatic representation of quantities. The same kind of principle of cross-over between semiotic modes applies to the construal of meaning in linguistics. We have relied in our own discussion on metaphors of abstract space for construing meaning — most centrally, metaphors of semantic networks and semantic space. These metaphors allow us to cross over to diagrams of symbolic space, viz. system networks (as a kind of acyclic directed graph) and topological representations. The system networks can, in turn, be restated algebraically, as in the various computational implementations of systemic accounts.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Semogenic Power Of Metaphor: The Proliferation Of Perspectives

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 277):
In the construction of meaning in economics, economic things such as prices, salaries, yields, financing are quantities. At the same time, they are also elastic bodies that grow and shrink; and also ‘mountaineers’, climbing up and down slopes. This at one level an impossible conjunction: things cannot be both quantities and mobile elastic bodies — but the semantic system of English makes this possible through lexicogrammatical metaphor. This proliferation of perspectives is part of the semogenic power of metaphor.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Grammatical Metaphor: A System Property Of Construing Meaning In Lexicogrammatical Terms

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 274):
But the general phenomenon of metaphor, as an inherent property of language as a stratified semiotic, is a feature of the system as a whole — of the construal of meaning in lexicogrammatical terms.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Tensions Created In The Metaphoric Construal Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 274):
And we should stress once again that to describe the “reality” that is construed in this way as being generalised does not imply that it is “coherent”, in the sense that it is internally consistent and unselfcontradictory. On the contrary: much of the power of metaphor derives from the tensions and contradictions set up (a) within the metaphor itself, (b) between one metaphor and another, and (c) between the metaphor and other regions of the ideation base.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Two Advantages Of Seeing The Metaphoric Process As Lexicogrammatical

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 274):
This enables us to do two things. On the one hand, we can bring out a further aspect of the semantic picture by pointing to the conjunction of category meanings — an aspect of grammatical semantics — that is involved; and on the other hand, we can relate this particular metaphoric phenomenon to the overall semantic potential of the system — the construal of experience as a generalised ideation base.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Social Function Of Grammatical Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 272): 
So the more the extent of grammatical metaphor in a text, the more that text is loaded against the learner, and against anyone who is an outsider to the register in question. It becomes elitist discourse, in which the function of constructing knowledge goes together with the function of restricting access to that knowledge, making it impenetrable to all except those who have the means of admission to the inside, or the select group who are already there.
It is this other potential that grammatical metaphor has, for making meaning that is obscure, arcane and exclusive, that makes it ideal as a mode of discourse for establishing and maintaining status, prestige and hierarchy, and to establish the paternalistic authority of a technocratic elite

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Metaphor As Junctional Construct

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 271): 
Thus grammatical metaphor is a means of having things both ways. An element that is transcategorised loses its original status because of the nature of the semantic feature(s) with which it comes to be combined … A[n] element that is metaphorised does not lose its original status. Its construction is not triggered by its being associated with any new semantic feature. If it has a new semantic feature this is a result of the metaphorising process. … It has become a ‘junctional’ construct, combining two of the basic properties that the grammar evolved as it grew into a theory of experience.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 283): 
… we have shown that the metaphorical version is not simply a meaningless (ie synonymous) variant of some congruent form; it is ‘junctional’ — that is, it embodies semantic features deriving from its own lexicogrammatical properties.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Experiential Significance Of Ideational Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 270-1):
There is a loss of experiential meaning, since the configurational relations are inexplicit and so are many of the semantic features of the elements … There is a further loss of experiential meaning, since the categories of experience become blurred … the construction of reality becomes a construction of unreality, detached from ordinary experience and hence inaccessible and remote. …
There is however a gain in the potential for experiential information, because the participant, more than any other element, can be expanded in respect of [sic] a wide range of semantic features; this enables anything construed as a thing to become part of an experiential taxonomy which embodies far greater generalisation about the overall nature of experience.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Textual Significance Of Ideational Metaphor

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 270): 
There is an increase in textual meaning, since participants have the most clearly defined status as information: in particular, they can be construed (by the thematic and information systems) into a ‘backgrounded + foregrounded’ pattern which maximises the information potential of the figure.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Grammatical Metaphor In The Semantics Of English

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 269):
In English, then, the metaphoric movement is from the logical towards the experiential and, within the experiential, from processes to things […] towards a more highly taxonomised way of meaning.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Grammatical Metaphor Viewed Semantically

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 269):
We can say therefore that grammatical metaphor is predominantly a ‘nominalising’ tendency. But if we look at it semantically we can see that it is a shift from the logical to the experiential: that is, making maximum use of the potential that the system has evolved for classifying experience, by turning all phenomena into the most classifiable form — or at least into a form that is more classifiable than that in which they have been congruently construed.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Metaphorical Construal Of Things As Qualities

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 268):
This represents a shift one step ‘backwards’ along the logical-experiential scale. It is thus contrary to the prevailing general tendency, since something that is congruently a participant on its own terms is now treated as existing only by virtue of some other participant. … This perturbation of the dominant pattern has the effect of making a participant more abstract.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Significance Of The Metaphoric Instability Of Relators

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 268):
It is these characteristics of relators [the transphenomenality and fractality of the expansion relations they construe] that make them particularly liable to migrate: to be displaced metaphorically from their congruent status (as paratactic and hypotactic conjunctions) and to appear in other guises in other locations — as minor processes (in circumstantial elements), as processes, as qualities and as things. Thanks to this metaphoric instability, relators are able to play a central part in the re-construal of experience that is a feature of the discourse of the sciences — that makes these discourses possible, in fact, and hence provides the semiotic foundation for the construction of scientific knowledge.