Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Material Process: Simple Present Tense (Marked)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 254-5, 255n):
The simple present with a material process is general or habitual – that is, the occurrence of the process is construed as generalised or as habitual, e.g. they build a house for every employee. … 
In addition, there is a registerially restricted use of the simple present tense. In commentary accompanying demonstrations and the like, the simple present is used.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

'Marked' Option [Defined]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 254):
… this means that it is less frequent and that it carries a special interpretation.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Mental Clauses Vs Material Clauses [Diagnostic: Tense]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 254):
‘Material’ and ‘mental’ processes also differ with respect to the way that they unfold in time and this is reflected in the grammatical system of TENSE. … In a ‘mental’ clause, the unmarked present tense is the simple present … But in a ‘material’ clause the unmarked present tense is the present in present

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Idea Clauses Vs Fact Clauses [Diagnostic For Clause Constituents]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 254):
Thus while ‘fact’ clauses serve as the Phenomenon of a ‘mental’ clause and can therefore be made Subject and be theme–predicated, ‘idea’ clauses are not part of the ‘mental’ clause but are rather combined with the ‘mental’ clause in a clause nexus of projection.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Projecting Representations Of The Content Of Consciousness: Ideas

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 253, 254):
But there is one further option open to such clauses – an option that sets them apart not only from ‘material’ clauses but also from ‘relational’ ones. This option is the ability to set up another clause ‘outside’ the ‘mental’ clause as the representation of the ‘content’ of consciousness. … Here the ‘mental’ clause projects another clause (or combination of clauses) as a representation of the content of thinking, believing, presuming and so on; the projected clause is called an idea clause.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Facts & Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 253):
Given the semiotic nature of facts, it stands to reason that they cannot serve as participants in ‘material’ clauses. When they do occur in what might appear to be a ‘material’ clauses, these clauses are abstract; and they have to be interpreted either mentally or relationally

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Facts: Status Signals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 253):
The status of the ‘fact’ clause is often signalled by the noun fact itself … or by another ‘fact’ noun such as notion, idea, possibility.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Metaphenomenon: Environment

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 253):
The most common environment for a metaphenomenal Phenomenon is that of a clause of emotion where the Phenomenon is construed as impinging on the Senser’s consciousness.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Facts vs Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252-3, 253n):
A fact is on a higher level of abstraction than an ordinary thing or an act. Ordinary things and acts are both material phenomena; they can be seen, heard and perceived in other ways. Thus while an act is more complex than an ordinary thing, it still exists in the same material realm. In contrast, a fact is not a material phenomenon but rather a semiotic one: it is a proposition (or sometimes a proposal) construed as existing in its own right in the semiotic realm, without being brought into existence by somebody saying it
We could say that a fact is an act that has been propositionalised — that has been given existence as a semiotic phenomenon.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Metaphenomenal Mental Clauses: Facts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252):
In a ‘metaphenomenal mental’ clause, the Phenomenon is realised by a (typically finite) clause denoting a fact.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Macrophenomenal Clauses: Receptive Variant Or…?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252):
One of the interesting features of ‘macrophenomenal’ clauses is the form of what would seem to be the ‘receptive’ variant: instead of the expected the sand dredger heading for the cruiser was seen by him, where the whole Phenomenon is the Subject, we are much more likely to get the sand dredger was seen (by him) heading for the cruiser, where only the Subject of the non-finite clause serving as Phenomenon is ‘picked out’ to serve as the Subject of the ‘mental’ clause. For example:
Smoke was seen billowing from the police headquarters after an explosion.
This might suggest a different analysis of macrophenomenal clauses: what appears to be the ‘receptive’ variant could be interpreted not as a ‘receptive’ variant of a ‘macrophenomenal’ clause but rather as a clause with a verbal group complex serving as Process, was seen billowing, on the model of the sand dredger was rumoured (said) to be heading for the cruiser. Such constructions could be interpreted as markers of evidentiality – of the nature of the evidence for the information being negotiated.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252n):
A receptive variant such as the sand dredger heading for the cruiser wasn’t spotted by the navy would in fact be ambiguous: it could be a macrophenomenon, but alternatively heading for the cruiser might be an embedded relative clause. These two are significantly different in meaning. The interpretation as embedded relative clause would not be plausible where the non-finite clause occurs after the process of perception. 

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Realisation Of Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 252):
The non-finite clause realising an act is either a present participial one … or an infinitival one without the ‘infinitive marker’ to … The difference between them is a temporal one: the participial clause represents the process as unbounded in time, while the infinitival one represents it as bounded in time.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Macrophenomenal Mental Clauses: Acts

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251-2):
In a ‘macrophenomenal mental’ clause, the Phenomenon is realised by a non-finite clause denoting an act; … An act is a configuration of a process, participants involved in that process and possibly attendant circumstances … Macrophenomenal Phenomena are typically restricted to one subtype of ‘mental’ clause — clauses of perception: the act is seen, heard, tasted or perceived in some other way; but it is not normally thought, felt emotionally, or desired.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Macrophenomenal & Metaphenomenal Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… the concept of ‘thing’ is extended in ‘mental’ clauses to include macrophenomenal clauses where the Phenomenon is an act and metaphenomenal clauses where the Phenomenon is a fact.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Material Participants Are 'Things' Only

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
In a ‘material’ clause, every participant is a thing; that is, it is a phenomenon of our experience, including of course our inner experience or imagination — some entity (person, creature, institution, object, substance or abstraction).  Any of these ‘things’ may also, of course, be the object of consciousness in a ‘mental’ clause;

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Phenomenon: Thing, Act, Fact

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… the set of things that can take on this rôle in the clause is not only not restricted to any particular semantic or grammatical category, it is actually wider that the set of possible participants in a ‘material’ clause. It may be not only a thing but also an act or a fact.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Phenomenon [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 251):
… that which is felt, thought, wanted or perceived …

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Senser Vs Actor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250):
While the Senser is construed as being endowed with consciousness in ‘mental’ clauses, there is no trace of this pattern in ‘material’ clauses. In ‘material’ clauses, no participant is required to be human, and the distinction between conscious and non-conscious beings simply plays no part. The Actor of a ‘material’ clause is thus much less constrained than the Senser of a ‘mental’ clause.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

'Conscious Being'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250):
‘Conscious being’ typically means a person or persons; but as the following examples illustrate, a human collective (the British public, the whole house, the world) can also be construed as conscious:
I think the British public doesn’t dislike force provided that it’s short, sharp and rewarding.
Surely you don’t want the whole house to know of this occurrence?
The judging must come from one’s own experience, one’s own conscience, and understanding. What the world thought didn’t matter.
It can even be a product of human consciousness:
The film imagines that the FBI imported a free-lance black operative to terrorise the town’s mayor into revealing the murderers’ names.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Time As Senser

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 250n):
There is one type of ‘mental’ clause of perception where the Senser is a period of time and the Process is either see or find, as in Summer finds campers and hikers descending on the mountains in throngs; Ten minutes later saw us speeding through London. These are metaphorical constructions where a circumstance of Time has been construed as if it were a Senser.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Other Possible Realisations Of Senser

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249n):
In languages with case marking, the Senser — or certain types of Senser — may be in the dative case, as in Hindi and Telugu, setting it formally apart from the Actor.  In some languages, the Senser is realised by a nominal group denoting a certain body part, as in Akan (cf English it breaks my heart, it blows my mind).

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Endowing With Consciousness

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249):
Which particular creatures we choose to endow with consciousness when we talk about them may vary according to who we are, what we are doing or how we are feeling at the time; different registers show different preferences. Pets, domestic animals and other higher animals are often treated as conscious; the owner says of the cat she doesn’t like milk, whereas someone who is not a cat lover, or who has been annoyed by that particular specimen, is more likely to refer to the animal as it. But any entity, animate or not, can be treated as conscious; and since mental process clauses have this property, that only something that is being credited with consciousness can function in them as the one who feels, thinks, wants or perceives, one only has to put something into that role in order to turn it into a conscious being.

Blogger Comment:

 e.g. Heliotropic plants must know where the sun is.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Senser: Significant Feature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 249):
In a clause of ‘mental’ process, there is always one participant who is human; this is the Senser, introduced above: the one that ‘senses’ – feels, thinks, wants or perceives, for example, Mary in Mary liked the gift. More accurately, we should say human-like; the significant feature of the Senser is that of being ‘endowed with consciousness’. Expressed in grammatical terms, the participant that is engaged in the mental process is one that is referred to pronominally as he or she, not as it.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Properties Differentiating Material And Mental Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 248):
The category of ‘mental process clauses’ turns out to be grammatically distinct from that of material process clauses on the basis of a number of properties; these are set out in Table 5-7 …

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Distinguishing *Grammatical* Categories

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 248):
Obviously clauses construing doing and clauses construing sensing are different in meaning, but that is not enough to make them constitute distinct grammatical categories. There are indefinitely many ways of drawing lines on purely semantic grounds, for example, by invoking contextual considerations ‘from above’, as we do when we describe the semantic strategies specific to a particular situation type; but the question we are concerned with here is which of these have systematic repercussions in the grammar.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Grammatical Labels

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 247):
It might be argued … that since grammatical and semantic categories are not in one-to-one correspondence, then if we use grammatical terms that are semantic in import (as nearly all grammatical terms are) we cannot expect them to be appropriate for all instances. The reasoning is quite valid; grammatical labels are very rarely appropriate for all instances of a category — they are chosen to reflect its central or ‘core’ signification ( … ‘prototype’ …). These core areas are the central region for each process type … and the non-core areas lie on the borders between the different process types, shading into one another as the colours of a colour spectrum.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Mental Clauses Of Perception

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246-7):
There is one further type of ‘mental’ clause: I can feel something on my foot. This is a clause of perception, the can feel as the Process, I as the Senser and something on my foot as the Phenomenon being perceived. Such clauses are similar to emotive and cognitive ‘mental’ clauses in that the Senser is construed as a conscious being. But they also have properties that set them apart from the other subtypes of ‘mental’ clause. For example, while Pat could have said I feel something on my foot with the Process in the simple present, she has used a modulation of readiness instead – can feel. This is quite common with ‘mental’ clauses of perception, as with Can you see those pelicans flying across the lagoon alongside Do you see .... This example also illustrates another feature specific to clauses of perception: what is construed as the phenomenon being perceived can be a thing (such as cockroach); but it can also be an act, realised by a non-finite clause, as in I can feel [[something crawling up my foot]].

Thursday, 1 February 2018


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 246):
… the relationship between the ‘mental’ clause and the ‘idea’ clause is one of projection: the ‘mental’ clause projects another clause or set of clauses, giving them the status of ideas or the content of consciousness.