Monday, 31 December 2018

Prepositional Phrases Without A Range

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 364):
Here we can note that certain ‘adverbs’ such as up, out, over can be analysed alternatively as prepositions in prepositional phrases without a Range.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Adverbial Group & Prepositional Phrase: Functional Overlap

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 364):
But prepositional phrases encroach on the functional ground of adverbial groups, partly by means of phrasal templates such as in a ... way (manner), as in yeah it’s not done in an antagonistic way (instead of .... not done antagonistically); and adverbial groups may serve as Location in time or space. These latter often have as Head an adverb that derives from preposition + noun (for example upstairs, outside, overseas; today, tomorrow).

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Adverbial Group & Prepositional Phrase: Viewed From Above

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 363-4):
While adverbial groups tend to realise circumstances of Manner: quality … and Manner: degree … — as well as modal and textual Adjuncts, other, experientially more complex circumstances that are more like indirect participants (for example Location, Cause, Accompaniment) tend to be realised by prepositional phrases.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Adverbial Group & Prepositional Phrase: Functional Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 363):
… there is functional overlap between adverbial group (and conjunction group) and prepositional phrase. They have the same general functional potential; but they differ in two related respects. 
(1) Since prepositional phrases include a nominal group, they have greater expressive potential than adverbial groups.
(2) Consequently they can construe more experientially complex circumstances.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Phrase (vs Group)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 362-3):
A phrase is different from a group in that, whereas a group is an expansion of a word, a phrase is a contraction of a clause. Starting at opposite ends, the two achieve roughly the same status on the rank scale, as units that lie somewhere between the rank of a clause and that of a word.  In terms of the modal structure of the clause, prepositional phrases serve as Adjuncts, and in terms of the experiential structure, they serve as circumstances.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Nominal, Verbal & Adverbial Groups: Viewed From Above

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 362):
In terms of the modal structure of the clause, nominal groups serve as Subject or Complement, verbal groups as Finite + Predicator, and adverbial groups as Adjunct; and in terms of experiential structure, nominal groups serve in participant rôles, verbal groups as Process, and adverbial groups in circumstance rôles.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Group As Word Complex

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 361-2):
At the same time, in interpreting group structure we have to split the ideational metafunction into two modes of construing experience: experiential and logical. So far what we have been describing under the ideational heading has been meaning as organisation of experience; but there is also a logical aspect to it – language as the construal of certain very general logical relations – and it is this we have to introduce now. The logical component defines complex units, e.g. the clause complex … and group and phrase complexes … . It comes in at this point because a group is in some respects equivalent to a word complex — that is, a combination of words built up on the basis of a particular logical relation. This is why it is called a group (= ‘group of words’).

Monday, 24 December 2018

Metafunctional Structures: Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 361):
Although we can still recognise the same three components, they are not represented in the form of separate whole structures, but rather as partial contributions to a single structural line. The difference between clause and group in this respect is only one of degree; but it is sufficient to enable us to analyse the structure of the group in one operation, rather than in three operations as we did with the clause.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Metafunctional Structures: Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 361):
… in the grammar of the clause each component contributes a more or less equal complete structure, so that the clause is made up of three distinct structures combined into one (three lines of meaning) …

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Metafunctional Clause Structures: Transitivity, Mood & Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 361):
(1) Transitivity structures express representational meaning: what the clause is about, which is typically some process, with associated participants and circumstances;

(2) Mood structures express interactional meaning: what the clause is doing, as a verbal exchange between speaker/writer and audience;

(3) Theme structures express the organisation of the message: how the clause relates to the surrounding discourse, and to the context of situation in which it is being produced.

These three sets of options together determine the structural shape of the clause.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Metafunctional Clause Structures: Realising Sets Of Semantic Choice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 361):
… the English clause is a composite affair, a combination of three different structures, deriving from distinct functional components. These components (called ‘metafunctions’ in systemic theory) are the ideational (clause as representation), the interpersonal (clause as exchange) and the textual (clause as message). What this means is that the three structures serve to express three largely independent sets of semantic choice.

Thursday, 20 December 2018


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 354-5)
Figure 5-46 shows the systems of PROCESS TYPE and AGENCY interact in the system network of TRANSITIVITY. This system network adds a subnetwork for ‘verbal’ clauses to the sub-networks given in Figure 5-10 (material clauses), Figure 5-16 (mental clauses), and Figure 5-17 (relational clauses). Note that the mental distinction between ‘emanating’ and ‘impinging’ is now interpreted as the distinction between ‘middle’ and ‘effective’ (but mental clauses with an Inducer are not covered by the system network).

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Principal Criteria For Distinguishing Process Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 354):
Table 5-45 sets out the principal criteria for distinguishing the types of process discussed in the present chapter, taking account of 
  1. the number and kind of participants, 
  2. the directionality and voice, 
  3. the pro-verb, 
  4. the form of the unmarked present tense, and 
  5. the phonological properties of the verb.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Ergative Vs Transitive Structure Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 352):
The ergative structure is open–ended, and a further round of agency can always be added on:
the ball rolled : Fred rolled the ball : Mary made Fred roll the ball : John got Mary to make Fred roll the ball : …
The transitive structure, on the other hand, is configurational; it cannot be extended in this way. Thus, from a transitive point of view, Mary made Fred roll the ball is not a single process; it is two processes forming one complex.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Initiating Materials, Inducing Mentals And Attributed/Assigned Relationals

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 352):
From a transitive point of view, in these initiating structures there is a feature of cause added.  This is also possible with (i) mental clauses and with (ii) relational ones. 
(i) Corresponding to the initiating structure in material clauses, we find an inducing structure in mental clauses; for example, remind can be interpreted as ‘induce to remember’ 
(ii) Corresponding to the initiating structure in material clauses, we find attributed and assigned structures in relational clause. As we have seen, for the transitive analysis we have to recognize the additional functions of Attributor and Assigner; but from the ergative point of view, these clauses simply add a feature of agency.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Analytic Causatives With ‘Make’: Material ~ Attributive

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 352):
There is a large class of material processes of this kind where the agnate causatives are, or may be, attributive: the sun ripened the fruit/made the fruit ripen, her voice calmed the audience/made the audience calm; these will belong to the ‘initiating’ type — if we say the sun ripened, her voice calmed, the meaning changes from ‘make (ripe/calm)’ to ‘become (ripe/calm)’.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Initiator + Actor vs Actor + Goal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 351-2):
Putting the two analyses together, we would expect to find that these two types of clause are not identical, but that there is no clear line between them; and that is precisely the case. One difference is whether or not there can be an analytic causative with make: we can say the police made the bomb explode, but not the lion made the tourist chase. But this leaves many uncertain: what about Mary made the boat sail, the nail made the cloth tear? — and, with a different verb, the lion made the tourist run? The distinction becomes somewhat clearer if we ask whether, if the second participant is removed, the rôle of the first participant changes. In the sergeant marched the prisoners/the sergeant marched, it clearly does; it is now the sergeant who is doing the marching (cf. the police exploded, which we now have to interpret in a transferred sense) – whereas in the lion chased no such interpretation is possible. Those where the rôle changes will have Initiator + Actor rather than Actor + Goal.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Transitive Variants Viewed Ergatively

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 351):
By interpreting processes ergatively as well as transitively we are able to understand many features of English grammar that otherwise remain arbitrary or obscure. We will take up just one such example, that of clauses such as the police exploded the bomb, the sergeant marched the prisoners, where — as suggested by the agnate clauses the bomb exploded, the prisoners marched – the meaning is not so much ‘do to’ as ‘make to do’ (what the sergeant made the prisoners do was march). Ergatively, there is no difference between these and clauses like the lion chases the tourist. Transitively, these appear as different configurations; we have to introduce the function of Initiator to take account of the executive rôle. But in modern English they are very much alike; and the ergative analysis expresses their likeness — both consist of a Medium and an Agent.  In ergative terms, ‘a does something to x’ and ‘a makes x do something’ are both cases of ‘x is involved in something, brought about by a’.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Receptive Voice: Complements To Prepositions As Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 350-1):
… then there are the ‘indirect participants’ functioning as Complements to prepositions, some of which … are potential Subjects; these give various other kinds of receptive such as ‘Location–receptive’, for example the bed hadn’t been slept in, ‘Manner–receptive’, for example this pen’s never been written with, and so on.  Normally these are also medio–receptives, that is, they are middle not effective clauses.  But receptives with idiomatic phrasal verbs, such as it’s been done away with, she’s very much looked up to, that prize has never been put in for, are often ‘true’ receptives in the sense that the prepositional phrase really represents a participant

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Receptive Voice: Beneficiary & Range As Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 350):
… there are other potential Subjects besides Agent and Medium. There are the other participants, the Beneficiary and Range, either of which may be selected as Subject of the clause; the verb will then similarly be in passive.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Receptive Voice & Agency In Spoken Language

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349-50):
In spoken English the great majority of receptive clauses are, in fact, Agent–less … The speaker leaves the listener to locate the source.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Receptive Voice [Function]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
If the clause is effective, since either participant can then become Subject there is a choice between operative and receptive. The reasons for choosing receptive are as follows:
(1) to get the Medium as Subject, and therefore as unmarked Theme … and
(2) to make the Agent either
(i) late news, by putting it last … or
(ii) implicit, by leaving it out.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Effective Clauses: The Feature ‘Agency’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
Strictly speaking an effective clause has the feature ‘agency’ rather than the structural function Agent, because this may be left implicit … The presence of an ‘agency’ feature is in fact the difference between a pair of clauses such as the glass broke and the glass was (or got) broken: the latter embodies the feature of agency, so that one can ask the question ‘who by?’, while the former allows for one participant only.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Middle & Effective Agency; Operative & Receptive Voice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
The way the voice system works is as follows.  A clause with no feature of ‘agency’ is neither active nor passive but middle. One with agency is non-middle, or effective, in agency. An effective clause is then either operative or receptive in voice. In an operative clause, the Subject is the Agent and the Process is realised by an active verbal group; in a receptive [clause] the Subject is Medium and the Process is realised by a passive verbal group.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Voice: Transitive Pattern

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
In a transitive pattern the participants are obligatory Actor and optional Goal; if there is Actor only, the verb is intransitive and active in voice, while if both are present the verb is transitive and may be either active or passive. This is still the basis of the English system; but there is little trace of transitivity left in the verb, and voice is now more a feature of the clause.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Complements In Prepositional Phrases

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
the Complement of a preposition can often emerge to function as Subject … This pattern suggests that Complements of prepositions, despite being embedded in an element that has a circumstantial function, are still felt to be participating, even if at a distance, in the process expressed by the clause.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Circumstances Without Prepositions: Extent And Location

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 349):
… just as those elements which are treated essentially as participants can sometimes occur with a preposition, so at least some elements which are treated essentially as circumstances can sometimes occur without one. With expressions of Extent and Location there is often no preposition as in they stayed two days, they left last Wednesday.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Agent, Beneficiary And Range: The Textual Function Of ± Preposition

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 348):
… the choice of ‘plus or minus preposition’ with Agent, Beneficiary and Range … serves a textual function. … The principle is as follows. If a participant other than the Medium is in a place of prominence in the message, it tends to take a preposition (ie to be construed as ‘indirect’ participant); otherwise it does not. Prominence in the message means functioning either
(i) as marked Theme (ie Theme but not Subject) or
(ii) as ‘late news’ — that is, occurring after some other participant, or circumstance, that already follows the Process.
In other words, prominence comes from occurring either earlier or later than expected in the clause; and it is this that is being reinforced by the presence of the preposition. The preposition has become a signal of special status in the message.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Agent, Beneficiary And Range As Mixed Categories

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 348):
Semantically, therefore, Agent, Beneficiary and Range have some features of participants and some of circumstances: they are mixed. And this is reflected in the fact that grammatically also they are mixed: they may enter in to a clause either directly as nominal groups (participant–like) or indirectly in prepositional phrases (circumstance–like).

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Agent, Beneficiary And Range From Transitive And Ergative Perspectives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 348):
These, seen from a transitive perspective, are circumstantial: Agent is a kind of Manner, Beneficiary is a kind of Cause and Range is a kind of Extent; and they can all be expressed as minor processes. But seen from an ergative point of view they are additional participants in the major process: the nucleus of ‘Process + Medium’ has an inner ring of additional participants as well as an outer ring of circumstances surrounding it …

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Ergative Model As Nuclear

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 347-8):
… the ergative is a nuclear rather than a linear interpretation; and if this component is to the fore, there may be a whole cluster of participant–like functions in the clause: not only Agent but also Beneficiary and Range.