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.