Saturday, 30 September 2017

Proposals & Subject Person

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 178):
Proposals that are clearly positive or negative, as we have seen, are goods-&-services exchanges between speaker and hearer, in which the speaker is either (i) offering to do something, e.g. shall I go home?, (ii) requesting the listener to do something, e.g. go home!, or (iii) suggesting that they both do something, e.g. let’s go home! They rarely have third person Subjects, except as prayers or oaths.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Realisations Of Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 178):
Again, both obligation and inclination can be expressed in either of two ways, though not, in this case, by both together:
(a) by a finite modal operator … ;
(b) by an expansion of the Predicator …
(i) typically by a passive verb …
(ii) typically by an adjective … .

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Polarity, Modality & Proposals: Modulation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 177-8):
In a proposal, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is prescribing and proscribing; positive ‘do it’, negative ‘don’t do it’. Here also there are two kinds of intermediate possibilities, in this case depending on the speech function, whether command or offer.
(i) In a command, the intermediate points represent degrees of obligation: ‘allowed to/supposed to/required to’;
(ii) in an offer, they represent degrees of inclination: ‘willing to/anxious to/determined to’.
We shall refer to the scales of obligation and inclination as modulation, to distinguish them from modality in the other sense, that which we are calling modalisation.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

High Value Modality Vs Polarity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 177):
Note also that even a high value modal (‘certainly’, ‘always’) is less determinate than a polar form: that’s certainly John is less certain than that’s John; it always rains in summer is less invariable than it rains in summer. In other words, you only say you are certain when you are not.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Modality Is Grounded In The Initiating Rôle Of An Exchange

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 177):
Note that in a statement the modality is an expression of the speaker’s opinion: that will be John ‘that’s John, I think’; whereas in a question it is a request for the listener’s opinion: will that be John? ‘is that John d’you think?’. Modality is thus grounded in the initiating role of an exchange.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Realisations Of Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 177):
 Both probability and usuality can be expressed in the same three ways:
(a) by a finite modal operator in the verbal group … ;
(b) by a modal Adjunct of (i) probability or (ii) usuality … ;
(c) by both together, forming a prosody of modalisation.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Modality & Propositions: Modalisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 177):

In a proposition, the meaning of the positive and negative pole is asserting and denying; positive ‘it is so’, negative ‘it isn’t so’. There are two kinds of intermediate possibilities: (i) degrees of probability: ‘possibly/probably/certainly’; (ii) degrees of usuality: ‘sometimes/usually/always’. 
The former are equivalent to ‘either yes or no’, i.e. maybe yes, maybe no, with different degrees of likelihood attached. The latter are equivalent to ‘both yes and no’, i.e. sometimes yes, sometimes no, with different degrees of oftenness attached. It is these scales of probability and usuality to which the term ‘modality’ strictly belongs. We shall refer to these, to keep them distinct, as modalisation.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Modality: Propositions Vs Proposals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 176-7):
What the modality system does is to construe the region of uncertainty that lies between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. But there is more than one route between the two, (1) one for propositions, and (2) one for proposals. (1) In between the certainties of ‘it is’ and ‘it isn’t’ lie the relative probabilities of ‘it must be’, ‘it will be’, ‘it may be’. (2) Likewise, in between the definitive ‘do!’ and ‘don’t!’ lie the discretionary options ‘you must do’, ‘you should do’, ‘you may do’. The space between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ thus has a different significance for propositions and for proposals.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Between Positive And Negative: Modality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 176):
Polarity is thus a choice between yes and no. But these are not the only possibilities; there are intermediate degrees, various kinds of indeterminacy that fall in between like ‘sometimes’ or ‘maybe’. These intermediate degrees, between the positive and negative poles, are known collectively as MODALITY. What the modality system does is to construe the region of uncertainty that lies between ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

'Not' In Non-Finite Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 176, 176n):
In non-finite clauses, … the not (or other negative modal Adjunct) may constitute a Mood element either on its own, or together with the Subject if there is one. … if the agnate finite clause is negative (as shown by the tag …) then the negative Adjunct functions as Mood element. If the agnate finite clause is positive … then the negative Adjunct forms part of the Residue.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Not: Finite Or Modal Adjunct?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 175):
… the negative word not occurs in two functions: either it is simply a formal or written variant of the Finite negative element n’t, in which case it is part of the Finite; or it is a distinct modal Adjunct in Mood or Residue. In the latter case it is phonologically salient and may also be tonic …

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Yes As A Minor Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 175):
yes (but not no) may function as a minor clause, as response to a call; it carries tonic prominence, typically on a rising tone, for example Paddy! – Yes? It does not seem necessary to label this function grammatically.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Yes and No As Textual Theme: Continuatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 175):
yes and no may function as part of a textual Theme (like oh, well). Here they are continuatives and serve to signal that a new move is beginning, often but not necessarily a new speaker’s turn; they have no speech function of their own, and therefore merely reflect the current polarity – they are not selecting for positive/negative (and so cannot bring about a switch). In this case they are almost always phonologically weak.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Yes And No As Statements: Mood Adjuncts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 175):
yes and no may function as statements; either in answer to a question, in acknowledgement to a statement, in undertaking of a command or in acceptance of an offer. They are then mood Adjuncts. In this function they are phonologically salient and often carry tonic prominence. They may occur elliptically, as a clause on their own; or thematically within the responding clause. So, in answer to It’s Tuesday, isn’t it? we might have various forms of denial, as in Figure 4-19. Note that in (b) the response consists of two clauses; the no is tonic, as shown by the comma in writing, and could have stood alone as an answer. In (c) the no is salient but not tonic, and the response is a single clause.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Polarity: Yes & No

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 175):
… these are direct expressions of polarity, but they have more than one functional status. If they are expressing a speech function [statements], they are mood Adjuncts; if not, they are continuatives [textual Themes] and have no place in the mood structure.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Negative Polarity In WH- Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 174-5):
In the WH- interrogative, the negative is more variable. It is common enough with why, especially in contexts of disapproval; e.g. Why didn’t you tell me before? With the other WH- items the negative is more restricted. It does occur straightforwardly as a question, e.g. Which ones don’t contain yeast?; and especially perhaps in questions of the echo type: They didn’t have any bananas. – What didn’t they have? Otherwise it tends to function as the equivalent of a generalised positive:
I’d love to live in a house like that! – Who wouldn’t? (= ‘Everybody would.’)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Meaning Of Polarity In A Yes/No Interrogative Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 174):
What is the meaning of polarity in interrogative? In a yes/no interrogative clause, which is precisely a request for polarity and hence presumably cannot itself pre-empt the choice, both positive and negative can occur; and here the negative does appear as a marked option, in that while the positive contains no suggestion regarding the likely answer, the negative is, in the traditional formulation, a ‘question expecting the answer “yes” ’ … 
In fact the typical meaning is slightly more complex than this formulation suggests; what the speaker is saying is something like ‘I would have expected the answer yes, but now I have reason to doubt’. How then is the negative question answered? The responses yes, no state the polarity of the answer, not the agreement or disagreement with that of the question:
Haven’t you seen the news? – No (I haven’t). Yes (I have).
– whereas some languages reverse the pattern, or (like French, German and Swedish) have a third form for the contradictory positive term.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Polarity & Mood Tags

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 173-4):
not does not get reduced if the verb is non-finite; and this reflects the systemic association of polarity and mood. What carries the polarity feature, positive or negative, is the speech functional component of the proposition or proposal; hence when the speaker adds a mood tag, meaning ‘please check!’, the unmarked form of the tag is the one which reverses the polarity … If the polarity in the tag remains constant, the meaning is assertive rather than seeking corroboration. It is this reversal of polarity in the tag which enables us to identify the polarity of clauses containing other negative expressions, such as no, never, no one, nowhere, seldomif the negative word is part of some element in the Residue, the clause itself may be positive

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Modal Assessment Beyond Modality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 172-3):
But interpersonal judgements, or assessments, extend beyond the ‘core’ grammatical system of modality to include assessments of temporality and intensity realised like modality through mood Adjuncts (e.g. It is/It already is/It almost is), and also other types of assessments beyond the mood itself that relate either to the proposition being exchanged (e.g. Fortunately it is: ‘it is, which is fortunate’) or to the act of exchanging it (e.g. Frankly it is: ‘I’m telling you frankly it is’).

Monday, 11 September 2017

Polarity And Modality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 172):
POLARITY [is] the opposition between positive (It is. Do that!) and negative (It isn’t. Don’t do that!); MODALITY [is] the speaker’s judgement, or request of the judgement of the listener, on the status of what is being said (It could be. Couldn’t it be? You mustn’t do that. Must you do that?). Both POLARITY and MODALITY are realised through the Mood element, either through the Finite element (It is/It isn’t; It is/It must be) or through a separate mood Adjunct (It is/It is not; It is/It certainly is).

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Interactive Features Missing From Bound Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 172):
‘Bound’ clauses are, as we have suggested, presented as presumed rather than as negotiable. They lack a number of the interactive features of ‘free’ clauses. They are very unlikely to be tagged even if they are ‘finite’ and thus look structurally like ‘declarative’ clauses. … And ‘non-finite’ clauses cannot be tagged. Similarly, Vocatives and speech-functional comment Adjuncts – both highly interactive features – are unlike to occur with ‘bound’ clauses.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Two Variables In The Negotiability Of Bound Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 172):
When we consider the negotiability or challengeability of ‘bound’ clauses, we thus find two variables:
(i) is the clause dependent on another clause (or combination of clauses) in a clause nexus or is it down-ranked, embedded in the structure of a group; 
(ii) is the clause finite or non-finite?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Non-Finite Bound Clauses And Negotiability

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 171-2): 
‘Non-finite’ clauses may be introduced by a binder, a structural preposition or conjunctive preposition; but they may also appear without one. …
Non-finite clauses are even further removed from the status of negotiability than finite ones.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bound Clauses And Finiteness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 171):
Whether they are dependent or downranked, ‘bound’ clauses may be either ‘finite’ or ‘non-finite’. ‘Finite’ clauses are typically introduced by a binder (or relative/interrogative item), and have the same modal structure as ‘declarative’ clauses, i.e. Mood: Subject ^ Finite – even when they are reports of questions …

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Bound Clauses And Negotiation: Embedding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 171):
By another step, ‘bound’ clauses may be further removed from the line of negotiation. They may be down-ranked, and embedded as elements in the structure of a group, either a nominal group or an adverbial one …

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bound Clauses And Hypotaxis: Common Pattern

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 171):
… bound clauses are hypotactically dependent on a dominant (main) clause in a hypotactic clause nexus: the dominant part of the nexus is realised by a ‘free’ clause and the dependent part by a ‘bound’ one. This is a very common pattern, although a dependent clause may of course be dependent on another dependent clause …

Monday, 4 September 2017

Free vs Bound Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 170):
So far we have been concerned with ‘free’ clauses; the term ‘free’ is the entry condition to the system of MOOD TYPE. Semantically, this means that ‘free’ clauses realise either propositions or proposals, serving to develop exchanges in dialogue either by initiating new exchanges or by responding to ones that have already been initiated. In contrast, ‘bound’ clauses are not presented by the speaker as being open for negotiation.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Tone And Modal Assessment

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 170):
In English, tones also play a role in some interpersonal systems other than MOOD, viz. in certain parts of the system of MODAL ASSESSMENT. For example, speech-functional comment Adjuncts of the type ‘assurance’ are associated with tone 1, whereas those of ‘concession’ are associated with tone 4. Similarly, certain modalities are associated either with tone 1 or tone 4.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Realisation Of Mood In English: General Principle

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 170):
In the grammar of MOOD in English, the general principle is that less delicate distinctions in mood are realised through the Mood element — its presence and the nature and relative sequence of its element, Subject and Finite, plus the presence of the WH- element, whereas more delicate distinctions are realised by distinctions in tone. But such patterns vary across languages.

Friday, 1 September 2017

An Advantage Of Taking Paradigmatic Organisation As Fundamental

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 170):
Because a systemic account of grammar takes paradigmatic organisation as fundamental, there is no problem with incorporating considerations of tone (or intonation, in general) into the account since terms in systems may realised by different syntagmatic patterns such as fragments of constituency-like structure, e.g. ‘declarative’ ↘ Subject ^ Finite or prosodic patterns, e.g. ‘reserved statement’ ↘ tone 4.