Wednesday, 8 July 2020

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Lexical Cohesion

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 642-3):
The types of cohesion we have discussed so far all involve grammatical resources – grammatical items (conjunctions, reference items, substitute items) and grammatical structure (absence or substitution of elements of structure). However, cohesion also operates within the lexical zone of lexicogrammar. Here a speaker or writer creates cohesion in discourse through the choice of lexical items. … lexical cohesion comes about through the selection of items that are related in some way to those that have gone before.

Just as ellipsis and substitution take advantage of the patterns inherent in grammatical structure (ellipting and substituting particular elements of structure such as the Head of a nominal group), so lexical cohesion takes advantage of the patterns inherent in the organisation of lexis. Lexis is organised into a network of lexical relations such as the ‘kind of’ relations obtaining between fish and salmon.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Ellipsis–&–Substitution vs Co-Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 642):
But the most important distinction, which again follows from the different nature of the two types of relationship, is that in ellipsis the typical meaning is not one of co-reference. There is always some significant difference between the second instance and the first (between presuming item and presumed). If we want to refer to the same thing, we use reference; if we want to refer to a different thing, we use ellipsis: Where’s your hat?—I can’t find it.—Take this (one). Each can take on the other meaning, but only by making it explicit: another hat (reference, but different), the same one (substitution, but not different). Thus reference signals ‘the same member’ (unless marked as different by the use of comparison); ellipsis signals ‘another member of the same class’ (unless marked as identical by same, etc.). The difference is most clear-cut in the nominal group, since nouns, especially count nouns, tend to have clearly defined referents; it is much less clear-cut in the verbal group or the clause.
Within the nominal group, ‘another member’ means a new modification of the Thing; Deictic (this one, another one, mine), Numerative (three, the first (one)), or Epithet (the biggest (one), a big one). In the verbal group, it means a new specification of polarity, tense or modality through the Finite element (did, might (do), hasn’t (done)); and there is a slight tendency for ellipsis to be associated with change of polarity and substitution with change of modality. This tendency is more clearly marked with the clause, where ellipsis adds certainty (yes or no, or a missing identity), whereas substitution adds uncertainty (if, maybe, or someone said so); this is why, in a clause where everything is ellipsed except the modality, it is quite usual to use a substitute (possibly so, perhaps so) unless the modality is one of certainty – here we say certainly (elliptical), rather than certainly so:
Have you got a nicorette on you? – Certainly.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Ellipsis–&–Substitution vs Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 641-2):
We remarked earlier that ellipsis is a relationship at the lexicogrammatical level: the meaning is ‘go back and retrieve the missing words’. Hence the missing words must be grammatically appropriate; and they can be inserted in place. This is not the case with reference, where, since the relationship is a semantic one, there is no grammatical constraint (the class of the reference item need not match that of what it presumes), and one cannot normally insert the presumed element. Reference, for the same reason, can reach back a long way in the text and extend over a long passage, whereas ellipsis is largely limited to the immediately preceding clause.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

The Fusion Of A Nominal Substitute With Modifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 641):
In some instances the nominal substitute fuses with a Modifier, as in yours, none in the following:
I haven’t finished the crocodile story completely. And then we’ll hear yours [your story], okay? 
But he won’t get any benefit for his early plea of guilty or contrition. – No absolutely none [no benefit].
These can be analysed as elliptical, the elements my, your, no, etc. having a special form when functioning as Head.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

The Parallel Developments Of The Verbal And Nominal Substitutes

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 641):
Like do in the verbal group, the nominal substitute one is derived by extension from an item in the structure of the full, non-elliptical group – in this case the indefinite numeral one, via its function as Head in a group which is elliptical as in
Anyone for teas or coffees? – Yeah, I’ll have one; I’ll have a coffee. …
The parallel development of the two substitutes, verbal do and nominal one, is as shown in Table 9-15:

Friday, 3 July 2020

Substitution vs Ellipsis In The Nominal Group: Count vs Mass Nouns

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 640-1):
There is a nominal substitute one, plural ones, which functions as Head; it can substitute for any count noun (that is, any noun that is selecting for number, singular or plural); for example,
A: But I’ve got a depression quilt at home. – B: You’ve got that one that Marcia gave you. – A: That Marcia gave me from the American. – B: The Amish one, isn’t it?
She’s got she’s got Big Pond which she said which is apparently not a terribly good provider. – No. – Mmm. No. I thought Yahoo was one of the better ones [providers].
I have always had hot water bottles. I think they’re, the last couple disintegrated. I had a nice bright yellow koala shaped one.
There’s reefs around bloody Australia, isn’t there? – Yeah; a Great Barrier one, I believe. – It’s a big one, I think.
With mass nouns, ellipsis is used instead of substitution:
Do you want some more wine? White or red [∅: wine]? – White [∅:wine].

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Ellipsis Within The Nominal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 640):
Ellipsis within the nominal group was referred to in Chapter 6, where it was shown that an element other than the Thing could function as Head; for example any in
I’ll ask Jenny about laptops and find out whether we have got any [∅: laptops].

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Substitution In The Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 640):
Substitution in the verbal group is by means of the verb do, which can substitute for any verb provided it is active not passive, except be or, in some contexts, have. The verb do will appear in the appropriate non-finite form (do, doing, done). Examples:
Does it hurt? –Not any more. It was doing last night. 
Yeah but I’m doing night shift too. If I have to teach people on night shift as I have done, I do night shift and then I do day shift and get a couple of hours off and then do night shift and day shift.
As we have seen, this do typically substitutes for the whole of the Residue (or, what amounts to the same thing, when the verb is substituted by do, the rest of the Residue is ellipsed). Since there are no demonstrative verbs – we cannot say he thatted, he whatted? – this need is met by combining the verb substitute do with demonstratives that, what (serving as Range in the transitivity structure). For example:
I did cross-eye in the middle of my art. – I can’t do that. – I can.
What did your father do? – He was an architect.
What are you going to do with Blubba? – Oh, I don’t know.
This is one thing I haven’t worked out with this phone whether, cause my old phone used to ring you to let you know you had a message. – Yeah. Does this one not do it?
The form do not functions as a single reference item.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Ellipsis In The Verbal Group (Complex)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 639):
Since the verbal group consists of Finite plus Predicator, it follows automatically that any clausal ellipsis in which the Mood element is present but the Residue omitted will involve ellipsis within the verbal group: the Predicator will be ellipsed together with the rest of the Residue, as in Have a shower! – I can’t [∅: have a shower]. There is no need to repeat the discussion of this phenomenon. The ellipsis may affect only part of the Predicator, as when the Predicator is realised by a verbal group complex and only the first part of the complex is retained together with the infinitive marker to:
Have you do you read very much Kafka? I am trying to [∅: read very much Kafka], yes, ... [Text 125] 
“Can you hop on your hind legs?” asked the furry rabbit. – “I don’t want to [∅: hop on my hind legs],” said the little Rabbit. [Text 28]
Here the rest of the verbal group serving as Predicator is ellipsed together with the remainder of the Residue.

Monday, 29 June 2020

The Cohesiveness Of Ellipsis And Substitution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 639):
The elliptical or substitute clause requires the listener to ‘supply the missing words’; and since they are to be supplied from what has gone before, the effect is cohesive. It is always possible to ‘reconstitute’ the ellipsed item so that it becomes fully explicit. Since ellipsis is a lexicogrammatical resource, what is taken over is the exact wording, subject only to the reversal of speaker-listener deixis (I for you and so on), and change of mood where appropriate.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Clausal Ellipsis Substitution And Unmarked Information Focus

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 639):
Thus clausal ellipsis/substitution occurs typically in a dialogue sequence where in a response turn everything is omitted except the information-bearing element. … A clause consisting of Mood only, such as I will, could equally occur in either the yes/no or the WH- environment; typically, in a yes/no environment, the focus would be on will, which bears the polarity (‘Will you ... ?’ – I will.), whereas in a WH- environment, the focus would be on I, which carries the information (‘Who will ... ?’ – I will.).

Saturday, 27 June 2020

WH- Ellipsis And Substitution: Part Of The Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 638-9):
Sometimes in a WH- clause, or its response, the Mood element is left in and only the Residue is ellipsed. For example, with WH- Subject:
Has the time come for these local divinities [[to give way to perhaps a [ bigger concept of deity, a bigger concept of religion]]? – Who knows [∅: whether the time has come ...]? 
And Hugo told you that, too. – Who did [∅: tell me that too]?
Similarly if the WH- element is part of the Residue:
||| I think || that’s why my generation is so tediously over-serious. ||| How could we not be [∅: so tediously over-serious]? ||| 
Yes, I think you’d better look at it. – I don’t see any particular reason why I should [∅: look at it].
The Mood element may be represented by negative polarity alone:
Yes, Dad, but we mustn’t even lean on this guitar today. – Why [∅: must we] not [∅: lean on this guitar today]?

Friday, 26 June 2020

WH- Ellipsis And Substitution: The Whole Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 638):
In a WH- sequence the entire clause is usually omitted except for the WH- element itself, or the item that is the response to the WH- element:
I desperately, desperately need them. – What? – The scissors.
What have you read? – [∅: I have read] Lord of the Flies. 
Well I prefer Lord of the Flies. – Why [∅: do you prefer Lord of the Flies]? – Because I don’t think I understood Pincher Martin.
The substitute not may appear in a WH- negative:
The kind of approach to reality and to ideas which the book offers us, is it a realistic book? – No, I don’t think so. – Why [∅: do you] not [∅: think so]?
Substitution is less likely in the positive, except in the expressions how so?, why so?.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Yes/No Substitution: The Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 637-8):
With a declarative response, if there is a change of Subject only, we may have substitute so, nor, neither in initial position ( = ‘and so’, ‘and not’) followed by the Mood element.
... but I heard some water in it. – I did too. – So did I. 
I love them. – So did I. – Me, too. 
||| This drags down the bibliophiles’ score; || and so does the disgraced Nixon, || ranked at 23 in Siena. ||| 
I didn’t want to see it all. – No, neither did I.
The order is Finite ^ Subject (to get the Subject under unmarked focus). If the Subject is unchanged, so that the focus is on the Finite, the order is Subject ^ Finite:
S04: At their age you were an orphan. You didn’t have to. – S05: Not quite. – S04: You were. – S05: Oh yes. So I was.
The negative has various forms:
They’ve never replied. – So they haven’t/Nor they have/Neither they have [∅: replied].
Not infrequently, the Residue is substituted by the verbal substitute do, as in:
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. – It should do [∅: keep the doctor away], if you aim it straight.
If the focus is on the Residue (and hence falls on do), the substitute form do so may be used (as an alternative to ellipsis):
||| Tempting as it may be, || we shouldn’t embrace every popular issue [[ that comes along]]. ||| When we do so || we use precious limited resources || where other players with superior resources are already doing an adequate job. |||

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Yes/No Ellipsis: Part Of The Clause: Residue

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 637):
As an alternative to the ellipsis of the whole clause, there may be ellipsis of just one part of it, the Residue. For example:
||| Mum, you’re not enjoying your dinner, are you? ||| – ||| I am [∅: enjoying my dinner]. ||| 
||| I’ve had a headache. ||| – ||| Have you [∅: had a headache]? ||| 
||| Could you put your issue of Rapale literacy in the numeracy study. ||| – ||| Oh I suppose || I could [∅: put my issue of Rapale literacy in the numeracy study]. |||

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Negative Clause Substitution vs Positive Clause Ellipsis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 637):
In addition, the substitute not is used when the answer is qualified by a negative in some way:
||| Is that [[ what it really is about]] , a cock and a fox? ||| – ||| No, not really. |||
where a positive clause is simply presupposed by ellipsis:
||| Did you feel || that you were taking a risk || in being so open about [[ what you were doing]] ? ||| – ||| Oh, sure, in some ways. |||

Monday, 22 June 2020

Yes/No Substitution: The Whole Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 637):
Corresponding in meaning to yes and no are the clause substitutes so and not. (Etymologically the word yes contains the substitute so; it is a fusion of (earlier forms of) aye and so.) In certain contexts these substitute forms are used: (i) following if – if so, if not; (ii) as a reported clause – he said so, he said not; (iii) in the context of modality – perhaps so, perhaps not. Examples:
||| Better than The Rainbow? ||| – ||| I think || so [∅: that it is better than The Rainbow], yes, || because I think || it shows Lawrence as a man more Lawrence in his life. ||| 
||| Well, do I have to do more in the afternoon? ||| – ||| No, [∅: you] probably [∅: do] not [∅: have to do more in the afternoon]. ||| Just do half an hour now. |||
The general principle is that a substitute is required if the clause is projected, as a report; with modality (perhaps) and hypothesis (if) being interpreted as kinds of projection, along the lines of:
he said so–I thought so–I think so–it may be so–perhaps so–let us say so–if so

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Yes/No Ellipsis: The Whole Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 636-7):
In a yes/no question-answer sequence the answer may involve ellipsis of the whole clause, e.g.
||| You mean || you were interested in him as a man in private life. ||| – ||| Yes, yes. [∅: I was interested in him as a man in private life.] |||
||| Have you been interviewed by Bedford yet? ||| – ||| No. [∅: I haven’t been interviewed by Bedford yet.] |||
||| ... and the value deal is three large pizzas delivered from $22.95. ||| Would you like to try that? – ||| Ah no thanks. [∅: I would not like to try that.] |||
The first clause in such a pair is not necessarily a question; it may have any speech function, e.g.
||| I think || it is it must be very tough indeed. ||| – ||| Yes. [∅: It is very tough.] |||
||| You feel || it must be English. ||| – ||| Yes [∅: I feel it must be English]; || because I am English, || I feel || that I must study English literature || – that’s why. ||| 
||| I mean || that should mean [[ that an autobiography is your ideal]] . ||| – ||| Yes [∅: an autobiography is my ideal]; || but it also is a very good novel || I think. |||
Here yes and no serve as mood Adjuncts of polarity and the rest of the clause is elided.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Ellipsis And Substitution In The Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 636):
Ellipsis in the clause is related to mood. Specifically, it is related to the question-answer process in dialogue; and this determines that there are two kinds: (a) yes/no ellipsis, and (b) WH- ellipsis. Each of these also allows for substitution, though not in all contexts.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Grammatical Domains Of Ellipsis And Substitution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635-6):
There are three main contexts for ELLIPSIS and SUBSTITUTION in English. These are (1) the clause, (2) the verbal group and (3) the nominal group: see Table 9-14.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Ellipsis And Substitution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635):
Ellipsis and substitution are variants of the same type of cohesive relation. There are some grammatical environments in which only ellipsis is possible, some in which only substitution is possible, and some, such as I preferred the other [one], which allow for either.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635):
Sometimes an explicit indication may be given that something is omitted, by the use of a substitute form; for instance one in the following examples:
||| He ran out on his wife and children, || became a merchant seaman, || was washed off a deck of a cargo ship || and miraculously picked up, not his own ship but another one, way out in the middle of nowhere. |||
||| ... so my decision was [[ that I should do three separate books, one on each generation]] . ||| – ||| What happened to the middle one? |||
||| ... if I am totally incapable of doing anything || or go into a stroke again || (the last one I had was on my right) || if I got a really whopping one || and could neither see || nor speak || – I would ask to be taken away. |||
The substitute is phonologically non-salient and serves as a place-holding device, showing where something has been omitted and what its grammatical function would be; thus one functions as Head in the nominal group and replaces the Thing (with which the Head is typically conflated).

Tuesday, 16 June 2020


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635):
Ellipsis marks the textual status of continuous information within a certain grammatical structure. At the same time, the non-ellipsed elements of that structure are given the status of being contrastive in the environment of continuous information. Ellipsis thus assigns differential prominence to the elements of a structure: if they are non-prominent (continuous), they are ellipsed; if they are prominent (contrastive), they are present. The absence of elements through ellipsis is an iconic realisation of lack of prominence.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Reference vs Ellipsis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635):
Reference is a relationship in meaning. When a reference item is used anaphorically, it sets up a semantic relationship with something mentioned in the preceding text; and this enables the reference item to be interpreted, as either identical with the referent or in some way contrasting with it.
Another form of anaphoric cohesion in the text is achieved by ELLIPSIS, where we presuppose something by means of what is left out. Like all cohesive agencies, ellipsis contributes to the semantic structure of the discourse. But unlike reference, which is itself a semantic relation, ellipsis sets up a relationship that is not semantic but lexicogrammatical – a relationship in the wording rather than directly in the meaning.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Cataphoric Comparative Reference Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 634):
Like personals and demonstratives, comparative reference items can also be used cataphorically, within the nominal group; for example much more smoothly than a live horse, where the reference point for the more lies in what follows.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Comparative Reference Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 633):
Any expression such as the same, another, similar, different, as big, bigger, less big, and related adverbs such as likewise, differently, equally, presumes some standard of reference in the preceding text. For example, such, other, more in (a), (b) and (c):
(a) ||| Two men were killed by lethal injection in Texas this year, || even though they were 17 || when they committed their offences, || and another 65 juveniles are on death row across the country. ||| “Such executions are rare world-wide,” || the report says. ||| 
(b) ||| Zoo visitors were shaken by the episode. ||| “I am not bringing them back. || These are my grandkids. || It is not safe,” || said Sandra Edwards, || who was visiting the zoo with her grandchildren || when she heard the shots || and saw youths fighting. ||| Nakisha Johnson, 17, said || she saw one young man open fire || after a feud between youths became violent. ||| She said || the children who were wounded were caught in the middle of the two groups of youths. ||| “He was just shooting at the people he was fighting” || but struck the children bystanders, || Johnson said. ||| Other witnesses said || the shooting occurred || when a bottle was thrown from one group of youths to another. ||| 
(c) ||| Survey results, combined with feedback [[ gathered by leaders from all the Services during field and fleet visits]] , have convinced us || that long-term retention is not well served by the Redux retirement plan. ||| Our men and women deserve a retirement system [[ that more appropriately rewards their service]] . |||

Friday, 12 June 2020

Comparative Reference Items

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 632-3):
Comparative reference items function in nominal and adverbial groups; and the comparison is made with reference either to general features of identity, similarity and difference or to particular features of quality and quantity: see Table 9-12.
⁷ Also as SubModifier in adverbial group or nominal group.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Comparative Reference (vs Co-Reference)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 632):
Whereas personals and demonstratives, when used anaphorically, set up a relation of co-reference, whereby the same entity is referred to over again, comparatives set up a relation of contrast. In comparative reference, the reference item still signals ‘you know which’; not because the same entity is being referred to over again but rather because there is a frame of reference – something by reference to which what I am now talking about is the same or different, like or unlike, equal or unequal, more or less.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Locative And Temporal Demonstratives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 631):
The locative demonstratives here and there are also used as reference items; here may be cataphoric, as in (g), or anaphoric and ‘near’ as in (h); there is anaphoric but not ‘near’, as in (j), where it means ‘in what you said’:
(g) ||| “So here’s a question for you. ||| How old did you say you were?” ||| … 
(h) ||| “I think you ought to tell me || who you are, first.” |||
“Why?” || said the Caterpillar. |||
Here was another puzzling question; ... ||| 
(j) “Suppose he never commits the crime?” || said Alice. |||
“That would be all the better, wouldn’t it?” || the Queen said, ... |||
Alice felt there was no denying that. ||| “Of course it would be all the better,” || she said: || “but it wouldn’t be all the better [[ his being punished]] .” |||
“You’re wrong there, at any rate,” || said the Queen. |||
The temporal demonstratives now and then also function as cohesive items, but conjunctively rather than referentially.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Marked Demonstratives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 631):
Thus the is an unmarked demonstrative, while this and that are both ‘marked’ terms – neither includes the other. Their basic deictic senses are ‘near’ and ‘remote’ from the point of view of the speaker. But they are also used to refer within the text. The ‘near’ term this typically refers either anaphorically, to something that has been mentioned immediately before … or is in some way or other being treated as ‘near’  … or else cataphorically …
The ‘remote’ term that refers anaphorically to something that has been mentioned by the previous speaker … or is being treated as more remote or from the listener’s point of view…

Monday, 8 June 2020

Demonstrative 'The'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 630-1):
Consider the following examples:
(a) The sun was shining on the sea.
(b) This is the house that Jack built.
(c) Algy met a bear. The bear was bulgy. The bulge was Algy.
In (a) we know which ‘sun’ and which ‘sea’ are being referred to even if we are not standing on the beach with the sun above our heads; there is only one sun, and for practical purposes only one sea. There may be other seas in different parts of the globe, and even other suns in the heavens; but they are irrelevant. In (b) we know which ‘house’ is being referred to, because we are told – it is the one built by Jack; and notice that the information comes after the occurrence of the the. In (c) we know which bear – the one that Algy met; and we know which bulge – the one displayed by the bear; but in this case the information had already been given before the the occurred. Only in (c), therefore, is the anaphoric.
Like the personals, and the other demonstratives, the has a specifying function; it signals ‘you know which one(s) I mean’. But there is an important difference. The other items not only signal that the identity is known, or knowable; they state explicitly how the identity is to be established. …
In other words, the merely announces that the identity is specific; it does not specify it. The information is available elsewhere. It may be in the preceding text (anaphoric), like (c) above; in the following text (cataphoric), like (b); or in the air, so to speak, like (a). Type (a) are self-specifying; there is only one – or at least only one that makes sense in the context, as in Have you fed the cat? (homophoric).

Sunday, 7 June 2020


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 630):
In some languages, as pointed out earlier, there is a close correspondence of demonstratives and personals, such that there are three demonstratives rather than two, and the direction of reference is near me (this), near you (that) and not near either of us (yon). This pattern was once widespread in English and can still be found in some rural varieties of Northern English and Scots. In modern standard English yon no longer exists, although we still sometimes find the word yonder from the related series here, there and yonder; but another development has taken place in the meantime.
Given just two demonstratives, this and that, it is usual for that to be more inclusive; it tends to become the unmarked member of the pair. This happened in English; and in the process a new demonstrative evolved which took over and extended the ‘unmarked’ feature of that – leaving this and that once more fairly evenly matched. This is the so-called ‘definite article’ the. The word the is still really a demonstrative, although a demonstrative of a rather particular kind.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Cataphoric Demonstrative Reference Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 629):
endophoric: cataphoric
||| Rather, I think || we will be stronger and more effective || if we stick to those issues of governmental structure and process, broadly defined, that have formed the core of our agenda for years. |||

Friday, 5 June 2020

Anaphoric Demonstrative Reference Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 629):
endophoric: anaphoric
||| Though Amnesty has long criticised the widespread US use of the death penalty, || it found || there has now been another worrying development in this process.||| 
||| The way that Icelandic expresses the phrase “I dreamed something last night” is “It dreamed me”. ||| Though that’s also modern Icelandic, || this is a mediæval idea. ||| 
||| During the European scramble for Africa, Nigeria fell to the British. ||| It wasn’t one nation at that point; || it was a large number of independent political entities. ||| The British brought this rather complex association into being as one nation || and ruled it until 1960 || when Nigeria achieved independence. ||| 
||| They have to be given instruction of course || and learn to read the signals; || then they’ll take a driving test || and there are track circuits as on all electrified lines || so that once a train gets into a section || no other train can move on to that section || and run into it || but that’s just standard equipment. |||

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Exophoric Demonstrative Reference Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 629):
||| Here, I’ll help with this one. ||| 
||| Yes, Dad, but we mustn’t even lean on this guitar today. ||| 
||| We could move that table. ||| 
||| It wouldn’t matter to him really; || he’s half deaf after all these years working at this place. ||| 
||| I’ve been eating like this for the last ten years || and nothing happens. ||| 
||| What is that? ||| Hmm, Hungarian pastry. |||

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Demonstrative Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 628-9):
Personal reference items create co-reference in terms of the category of person. As we noted above, there is another related, but distinct, co-referential strategy – that of demonstrative reference. Here the reference item is a demonstrative, this/that, these/those. Demonstratives (see Table 9-11) may also be either exophoric or anaphoric; in origin they were probably the same as third-person forms, but they retain a stronger deictic flavour than the personals, and have evolved certain distinct anaphoric functions of their own.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Tracking A Referent

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 627):
That is, there are two primary anaphoric strategies for tracking a referent as a text unfolds. The speaker or writer can use either (i) a personal reference item (personal pronoun or possessive determiner) or (ii) a specified noun. A ‘specified noun’ is either an inherently specific one – a proper noun – or else a common noun (serving as Thing) modified by a demonstrative determiner as Deictic. For example: he vs. the Rabbit or his vs. the Rabbit’s (or of the Rabbit). The term ‘pronoun’ suggests that a pronoun stands for a noun; and the term ‘pronominalisation’ suggests that something is turned into a pronoun. But both terms are misleading: the unmarked anaphoric strategy is to use the pronoun, and the lexical variant or a proper name is used only if there is a good reason to vary from the unmarked strategy. 
Good reasons include (i) the need to indicate the beginning of a new rhetorical stage in the unfolding text and (ii) the need to further elaborate the reference when there are alternative antecedents around in the discourse.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, cohesive reference is not concerned with "tracking referents". This error ultimately derives from Martin's (1992) misunderstanding of reference as 'participant identification', and especially its further elaboration in Martin & Rose (2007). For evidence that these are misunderstandings, see the clarifying critiques here (English Text) and here (Working With Discourse).

The textual function of reference is to create cohesion in the text by presuming information that is recoverable from elsewhere in the text itself. Speakers do not need to "keep track" of referents, since they already know who they are talking about, and if speakers wanted to "track" referents for listeners, there are far more efficient ways of doing so than deploying potentially ambiguous reference items.

[2] To be clear, it is only the determiner of a nominal group that serves as a reference item, forming a cohesive tie with its referent, and proper nouns do not serve as reference items. Proper nouns only 'reference' in the sense of ideational denotation (wording realising meaning). Martin's relabelling of reference (IDENTIFICATION) routinely confuses textual reference with ideational denotation (and DEIXIS); evidence here.

As previously suggested, serious scholars seeking a theoretically (and internally) consistent understanding of cohesive reference are strongly urged to consult the original model in Cohesion In English (Halliday & Hasan 1976), and/or either of the first two editions of An Introduction To Functional Grammar (Halliday 1985; 1994).

Monday, 1 June 2020

Reference Chains

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 627):
For a somewhat more extended example, we can refer to a narrative for children about a Velveteen Rabbit. After this Velveteen Rabbit has been introduced, there are anaphoric references to this rabbit, forming a reference chain that runs throughout the narrative. The chain running through the extract consists of the following items:
[a velveteen rabbit] – he – his (coat)his (ears) – he – his (paws) – him – the Velveteen Rabbit – he – he – him – ... – the Rabbithe – him
Several of these reference items occur within the Theme (thematic references underlined): while reference items can occur anywhere, there is an unmarked relationship between referential identifiability and status as Given information, and between Given and Theme. There is therefore a strong tendency for reference items to be thematic. Most of the anaphoric references involve simply a personal pronoun or a possessive determiner; there are only two references with demonstrative the as Deictic and the lexical noun rabbit as Thing. This is the typical pattern in extended reference chains.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, the unacknowledged source of the term 'reference chain' is Martin (1992: 140), which is, itself, his relabelling of Hasan's original notion of an identity chain (Halliday & Hasan 1989 [1985]: 84ff). However, this is subtly inconsistent with the notion of cohesive reference, and can lead to confusing reference with lexical cohesion. To explain:

As Halliday & Hasan (1976: 329, 330) point out:
The basic concept that is employed in analysing the cohesion of a text is that of a tie… [which]… includes not only the cohesive element itself but also that which is presupposed by it. A tie is best interpreted as a relation between these two elements. …
The presupposed item may itself be cohesive, presupposing another item that is still further back; in this way there may be a whole chain of presuppositions before the original target item is reached…:
The last word ended in a long bleat, so like a sheep that Alice quite started (1). She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly wrapped herself up in wool (2). Alice rubbed her eyes, and looked again (3). She couldn't make out what had happened at all (4). Was she in a shop (5)? And was that really — was it really a sheep that was sitting on the other side of the counter (6)? Rub as she would, she could make nothing more of it (7).
…the she in (5) has as the target of its presupposition another instance of she, that in (4); and in order to resolve it we have to follow this through to the occurrence of Alice in (3). We shall call this type a mediated tie.
In short, cohesive reference is a relation between reference item and referent, and this relation may be mediated by intervening reference items. It is not a chain of nominal groups, as misinterpreted in Martin's (1992) relabelling of reference as IDENTIFICATION.

Because Matthiessen tries to accommodate Martin's misunderstandings ('reference chain', 'tracking') in his rewriting of Halliday's exposition of reference, it is strongly recommended that serious scholars who want a theoretically consistent understanding of it should consult Halliday & Hasan (1976), and Halliday (1985, 1994).

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Personal Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 626-7, 628):
In personal reference, the category of person is used to refer: we described the basic principle in the previous subsection, suggesting that non-interactant personal pronouns and possessive determiners have come to be used primarily in anaphoric reference. The personal reference items of English are set out in Table 9-10. They are either ‘determinative’ or ‘possessive’. If ‘determinative’, they are personal pronouns serving as Thing/Head in the nominal group (as in a velveteen rabbit ... he). If ‘possessive’, they are determiners serving as Deictic in the nominal group and are conflated with either Head or Premodifier (as in a velveteen rabbit ... his coat).

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Co-Reference vs Comparative Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 625-6):
Exophora and endophora are different directions of pointing – either to referents in the environment outside the text, or to referents introduced in the text itself before or after the reference expression. But how does this reference expression achieve the effect of ‘pointing’? All such expressions have in common the fact that they presuppose referents; but they differ with respect to whether what is presupposed is the same referent (co-reference) or another referent of the same class (comparative reference): see Table 9-9.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Structural Cataphoric Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 625):
Cataphora is quite rare compared with anaphora. The only exception is structural cataphora (cf. Halliday & Hasan, 1976: 72), which is common. Here the reference is resolved within the same nominal group where the reference item appears; a Deictic the or that/those is used to indicate that the Qualifier of a nominal group is to be taken as defining. For example:
The age was one of transition as much as of transformation, the ongoing process or movement that has led all of us today to use the expression “What’s new?” as a common and casual greeting. Those who were opposed and fearful, as well as those who were excited and hopeful, recognised that the key to an understanding of the age was change.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Cataphoric Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 625):
Alternatively, endophoric reference may point ‘forwards’ to the future of the unfolding text, that is, to a referent that is yet to be introduced. Thus in the following example, this guy indicates that more about this referent is to come:
||| One day I was sitting in the Dôme, a street café in Montparnasse quite close to [[ where we were living]] , || and this guy walked up || and said, || “I met you in 1948 or 1949. ||| My name is Harold Humes.” ||| He said || he was starting a new magazine, The Paris News-Post, || and would I become its fiction editor. |||
This type of endophoric reference is called cataphora, or cataphoric reference.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, the cataphoric reference here is made by the demonstrative reference item this, not by the nominal group this guy.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Anaphoric Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 625):
Endophoric reference may point ‘backwards’ to the history of the unfolding text, that is, to a referent that has already been introduced and is thus part of the text’s system of meanings. … This type of endophoric reference is called anaphora, or anaphoric reference, and the element that is pointed to anaphorically is called the antecedent.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Endophoric Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 625):
Endophoric reference means that the identity presumed by the reference item is recoverable from within the text itself – or, to be more precise, from the instantial system of meanings created as the text unfolds. As the text unfolds, speakers and listeners build up a system of meanings – this is part of the process of logogenesis… . Once a new meaning has been introduced, it becomes part of that system, and if it is the right category of thing, it can be presumed by endophoric reference.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Exophoric Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 624-5):
Exophoric reference means that the identity presumed by the reference item is recoverable from the environment of the text… . Here the reference links the text to its environment; but it does not contribute to the cohesion of the text, except indirectly when references to one and the same referent are repeated, forming a chain. Such chains are common in dialogue with repetition of references to the interactants by means of forms of I, you, we…

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, the cohesive reference relation obtains between a reference item and its (endophoric) referent, not between reference items or between referents. A chain of reference items does not represent the cohesive relations of a text.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Different Kinds Of Pointing, Or Phora

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 624):
It will be helpful to introduce the technical terms for the different kinds of pointing or phora: see Table 9-8. The basic distinction is between pointing ‘outwards’ and pointing ‘inwards’ – between (i) exophora and (ii) endophora.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

From Deixis To Reference

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 624):
… it seems quite likely that reference first evolved as a means of linking ‘outwards’ to some entity in the environment. So, for example, the concept of ‘he’ probably originated as ‘that man over there’ – a reference to a person in the field of perception shared by speaker and listener. In other words we may postulate an imaginary stage in the evolution of language when the basic referential category of PERSON was deictic in the strict sense, ‘to be interpreted by reference to the situation here and now’. Thus I was ‘the one speaking’: you, ‘the one(s) spoken to’; he, she, it, they were the third party, ‘the other(s) in the situation’. The first and second persons I and you naturally retain this deictic sense; their meaning is defined in the act of speaking. The third person forms he, she, it, they can also be used in this way; … But more often than not, in all languages as we know them, such items point not ‘outwards’ to the environment but ‘backwards’ to the preceding text … – or, in effect, [to] the instantial system of meanings that is built up by speaker and listener as the text unfolds.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Cohesive Reference: Identifiability

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 623):
The textual status at issue in the system of reference is that of identifiability: does the speaker judge that a given element can be recovered or identified by the listener at the relevant point in the discourse or not? If it is presented as identifiable, then the listener will have to recover the identity from somewhere else (for a systemic description of this as a semantic system, see Martin, 1992). If it is presented as non-identifiable, then the listener will have to establish it as a new element of meaning in the interpretation of the text.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, Martin (1992) misunderstands the notion of cohesive reference, confusing it with nominal group deixis and reference in the sense of ideational denotation. Moreover, it is not a semantic description, but merely a relabelling of (misunderstandings of) Halliday & Hasan's (1976) grammatical system. Evidence:
  1. here: English Text (Martin 1992)
  2. here: Bateman's 1998 review of English Text, and
  3. hereWorking With Discourse (Martin & Rose 2007)

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Term 'Reference'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 623n):
Note that the term ‘reference’ has been used in different ways. For example, in philosophical and formal semantic works on meaning it indicates ideational denotation, as when expressions are said to refer to phenomena. (In such contexts, reference (or extension) and sense (or intension) are often taken as complementary aspects of meaning, going back to Frege’s distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung.) Here we are using the term in the way it has been used in functional work (e.g. Halliday & Hasan, 1976) to indicate the textual cohesive strategy discussed in this section.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Resources For Marking Textual Status: Structural vs Cohesive

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 623):
By textual statuses, we mean values assigned to elements of discourse that guide speakers and listeners in processing these elements. We have, in fact, already met two kinds of textual status – thematicity and newsworthiness. Theme and New are processed quite differently when interactants manage the flow of text; while Theme is the point of departure for integrating the information being presented in the clause, New is the main point to retain from the information presented. But whereas Theme and New are parts of textual structures – Theme ^ Rheme in the clause and Given + New in the information unit, respectively, the textual statuses that come under the heading of cohesion, REFERENCE and ELLIPSIS, are not. That is, while an element is marked cohesively as identifiable by means of a grammatical item such as the personal pronoun they, or as continuous by means of a grammatical item such as the nominal substitute one, the textual statuses of identifiability and continuity are not structural functions of the clause or of any other grammatical unit. They can occur freely within Theme or Rheme, and within Given or New (although there are certain unmarked associations).

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Absence Of Explicit Conjunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 621, 622):
One question that arises in the interpretation of a text is what to do about a conjunction that is implicit. It often happens, especially with temporal and causal sequences, that the semantic relationship is clearly felt to be present but is unexpressed; … 
It is perhaps as well, therefore, to be cautious in assigning implicit conjunction in the interpretation of a text. It is likely that there will always be other forms of cohesion present, and that these are the main source of our intuition that there is a pattern of conjunctive relationships as well. (For example, when a lexical relation of hyponymy obtains between lexical items in two successive Themes, a relation of elaboration such as exemplification can often be inferred, as would typically be the case in taxonomic reports.) 
Moreover the absence of explicit conjunction is one of the principal variables in English discourse, both as between registers and as between texts in the same register; this variation is obscured if we assume conjunction where it is not expressed. It is important therefore to note those instances where conjunction is being recognised that is implicit; and to characterise the text also without it, to see how much we still feel is being left unaccounted for.

Monday, 18 May 2020

*Enhancing* Conjunction: Types Of Matter Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 620):
Here cohesion is established by reference to the ‘matter’ that has gone before. As noted earlier, many expressions of matter are spatial metaphors, involving words like point, ground, field; and these become conjunctive when coupled with reference items. The relation is either (i) positive or (ii) negative. Examples:
(i) positive:
||| Without chlorine in the antarctic stratosphere, || there would be no ozone hole. ||| (Here “hole” refers to a substantial reduction below the naturally occurring concentration of ozone over Antarctica.) |||
(ii) negative: in other respects, elsewhere
||| The serial dilutions of the serum are made in AB serum || and the standard cells are suspended in 30 per cent bovine albumin. ||| In all other respects the method is identical with technique No. 17. |||

Blogger Comment:

* Strictly speaking, 'matter' is a category of projection, not expansion: enhancement.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Enhancing Conjunction: The Three Types Of Condition Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 620):
Conditionals subdivide into (i) positive, (ii) negative and (iii) concessive. Examples:
(i) positive:
[S02:] ||| That’s the DEET account. ||| Well there must be more money coming from that. ||| Do they tend to pay – || how do they – ||| – [S04:] ||| Per issue. ||| – [S02:] ||| Per issue. ||| Well in that case do they pay after the issues come out? |||
(ii) negative:
||| “I mustn’t say anything about it. ||| Otherwise, I’ll get shot by the lady [[ who just shut the door]] ,” || Holm said, || referring to a publicist [[ who had just left the room]] . |||
(iii) concessive:
||| The outstanding performance of U.S. and other NATO military units has enabled SFOR to fulfil the military tasks [[spelled out in the Dayton Accords]] . ||| Nevertheless, success [[ in achieving the civil, political, and economic tasks [[ identified at Dayton]] ]] has been slower in coming. |||

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Enhancing Conjunction: Types Of Cause Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 619):
In many types of discourse the relation of cause figures very prominently as a cohesive agent. Some cause expressions are general, others relate more specifically to result, reason or purpose. Examples:
(i) general:
||| We understand it still || that there is no easy road to freedom. ||| We know it well || that none of us [[ acting alone]] can achieve success. ||| We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. |||
(ii) specific
[a] result:
||| Now prices have sunk for secondary schools || and experienced secondary inspectors are shifting into primary and special schools with minimal training. ||| As a result, primary schools and teachers are being judged ‘failing’ by inspectors [[[ who have never taught younger children, || but only watched a couple of lessons on video during their training]]] ! |||
[b] reason:
||| But you wouldn’t marry me? || – No. ||| I’m not your type. ||| I’d make you miserable. ||| I mean that. ||| I’d very probably be unfaithful || and that’d kill you. ||| Then I’d be unfaithful too, || to teach you a lesson. ||| It wouldn’t work. ||| You’d do it || to spite me. ||| I would never do it for that reason. |||
[c] purpose:
Laertes: ||| I will do’t! ||| And for that purpose I’ll anoint my sword. ||| 
||| In 2011 the SUN Road Map will be translated into action || with a view to helping countries [[ affected by under-nutrition]] to achieve long-term reduction in under-nutrition || and realise the first Millennium Development Goal, || and to start demonstrating this impact within three years. ||| For that purpose the SUN Road Map envisages an open system of support to the implementation of SUN efforts by countries. |||

Friday, 15 May 2020

Enhancing Conjunction: The Two Types Of Manner Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 618-9):
Manner conjunctives create cohesion (i) by comparison, (ii) by reference to means. Comparison may be (a) positive (‘is like’), or (b) negative (‘is unlike’).
(i) comparison:
||| One area [[ that holds considerable promise for RC involvement]] is Information Operations. ||| By exploiting the technical skills [[ that many reservists use on a daily basis in their civilian jobs]] , || the military can take advantage of industry’s latest techniques [[ for protecting information systems]]. ||| Similarly, [[ defending our homeland from terrorism || and responding to chemical attack]] are natural roles for our Guard and Reserve forces. ||| [positive]
(ii) means:
||| Chert originates in several ways. ||| Some may precipitate directly from sea water in areas [[ where volcanism releases abundant silica]] . ||| Most comes from the accumulation of silica shells of organisms. ||| These silica remains come from diatoms, radiolaria, and sponge spicules, || and are composed of opal. ||| Opal is easily recrystallised to form chert. ||| Thus much chert is recrystallised, || making the origin difficult to discern. |||
Expressions of means are however not often conjunctive; those that are are usually also comparative, e.g. in the same manner, otherwise.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Simple Internal Temporal Conjunction Exemplified

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 618):
simple internal
||| Organisationally, there are equally strong imperatives and challenges. ||| Again, a first requirement is [[to do no harm to organisational frameworks [[that, through years of evolution, are finally at the stage [[where they are supporting programs [[that are actually helping us to get on with the business of increasing understanding]] ]] ]] ]] . ||| Second, having ensured [[that we do as little harm as possible]], || we must make sure [[that the interdisciplinary linkages [[mentioned earlier]] do not fall between organisational stools]] . ||| Third, we must take steps to ensure [[that the organisations [[we do have in place]] do not impede research [[that is crossing over their historical boundaries of self-definition]] ]] . ||| Finally, the ultimate challenge is [[to identify which, if any, new organisational frameworks would make a positive contribution to our ability [[to get on with the substantive work of [[understanding global change]] ]] ]]. ||| [following; conclusive]

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Temporal Conjunction: Internal vs External

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 618):
Many temporal conjunctives have an ‘internal’ as well as an ‘external’ interpretation (cf. Halliday & Hasan, 1976: Ch. 5; Martin, 1992: Ch. 4; cf. also Mann & Matthiessen, 1991); that is, the time they refer to is the temporal unfolding of the discourse itself, not the temporal sequence of the processes referred to. In terms of the functional components of semantics, it is interpersonal not experiential time. Parallel to the ‘simple’ categories above we can recognise the simple internal ones. These play an important role in argumentative passages in discourse. …
These shade into temporal metaphors of an expanding kind such as meanwhile, at the same time (meanwhile let us not forget that ... , at the same time it must be admitted that ... )

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, Martin (1992) misunderstands Halliday & Hasan's internal vs external distinction; evidence here.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Temporal Conjunction Exemplified: Simple vs Complex

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 617-8):
(i) simple
||| “I am Real!” || said the little Rabbit. ||| “The Boy said || so!” ||| Just then there was the sound of footsteps, || and the two strange rabbits disappeared. ||| [simultaneous] 
||| The Atlantic took a second story, || and I got an agent. ||| Then I started my first novel || and sent off about four chapters || and waited by the post office || for praise to roll in, calls from Hollywood, everything. ||| Finally my agent sent me a letter [[ that said || “Dear Peter, James Fenimore Cooper wrote this a hundred and fifty years ago, || only he wrote it better. ||| Yours, Bernice.”]] ||| [following; conclusive] 
Interviewer: ||| When did you first feel a sense of vocation about being a writer? ||| – Smiley: ||| Probably when I was a senior in college. ||| I had done well in creative writing classes before that, so I signed up for the senior creative writing class and I started writing a novel. ||| [preceding]
(ii) complex
||| Kukul fought bravely, || at times at the very front. ||| But wherever he was, || not a single weapon fell on him. ||| Chirumá observed this. ||| “The gods must watch out for Kukul,” he thought to himself. ||| All at once, Kukul saw an arrow flying straight toward Chirumá, || and Kukul positioned himself like a shield in front of his uncle. ||| [immediate] 
||| In another story [[that we recently published]], Robert Olen Butler’s “Titanic Victim Speaks through Waterbed,” a midlevel colonial official [[who is on the Titanic]] falls in love with a woman || as the ship is about to sink. ||| He has led a dry life until then, || and the whole story is told through the eerie perspective of this guy after death, || as he continues to float around in water, at various times in the ocean, in a cup of tea, a pisspot, and finally a waterbed. ||| [terminal] 
||| Place the aubergine slices in a colander, || sprinkle with salt || and leave || to drain for 10 minutes. ||| Rinse and dry thoroughly. ||| Meanwhile, mix the flour with the cayenne pepper in a bowl. ||| [durative]

Monday, 11 May 2020

Enhancing Conjunction: Temporal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 617, 618):
Temporal conjunction covers a very great variety of different relations; we can distinguish between (i) simple and (ii) complex ones. They are important in registers where sequence in time is a major organising principle – narratives, biographies, procedures. … Those that are called ‘complex’ are the simple ones with some other semantic feature or features present at the same time.