Saturday, 15 June 2019

Multivariate Sentence Structure?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 437-8):
There are syntagms that may look as if they need to be interpreted in terms of a multivariate sentence structure, involving textual or modal Adjuncts or Vocative elements as Theme:
||| However << after the results of many studies were published, >> there was a shift towards the theory being quite unacceptable. |||
||| Interestingly, <<< as I left my small town || and explored the world via the military >>> I realised || I really like to learn, || and I was good at it. |||
||| Larry, Larry, Larry, << when you’re in the public eye >> you don’t do anything. |||
However, these can all be analysed as hypotactic clause combinations, where the dependent clause is included within the main clause after the textual and/or interpersonal Theme and before the topical Theme: main clause << dependent clause >> – more specifically, main clause [textual + interpersonal Theme] << dependent clause >> main clause [topical Theme ^ Rheme]. The motivation behind such sequences with included dependent clauses is thus textual: the main clause is powerfully contextualised first by its own textual and/or interpersonal Theme, and then, within the domain of the clause complex, by the dependent clause that qualifies it, and finally by its own topical Theme.

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Nevertheless, it will be seen later that there is one type of clause complex that is interpreted as a multivariate (Theme^Rheme) structure — though not acknowledged as such.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 552):