Saturday, 23 January 2016

Choosing Between Descriptions: Fawcett’s Relational Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 505):
Fawcett’s alternative model for relational processes, with its particular features such as treating ‘giving’ and ‘placing’ as agentive possessives and locatives (‘make…have’, ‘make…be at’) rather than as material dispositives, has to be understood in its total explanatory context: 
(i) in relation to its repercussions within the transitivity system, both the trinocular perspective on transitivity itself (from above, as generalisations about meaning; from roundabout, its consequences for agnateness, delicacy and the move towards lexis; from below, as regularities in the realisation) and the overall topology of content — transitivity in relation to the semantic construal of causality, agency, disposal, and so on; 
(ii) in relation to Fawcett’s architectural design, which differs from ours in having a single system–structure cycle for the two strata of semantics and lexicogrammar (his “syntax”) and then adding a further level of description that is expressed in cognitive terms.