Thursday, 30 April 2020

The System Of Conjunction As Two Simultaneous Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 612, 615):
For the grammatical system of CONJUNCTION, we can explore the possibility of adding a system of ORIENTATION in parallel with the system of expansion TYPE shown in the system network in Figure 9-2: see Figure 9-3.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The Distinction Between External And Internal Conjunctive Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 611, 612):
As we have seen, elaborating, extending and enhancing conjunctions mark relations between semantic domains, i.e. between text segments. These text segments are simultaneously ideational and interpersonal; they construe experience as meaning, e.g. an episode in a narrative or a recount, and they enact roles and relations, e.g. an exchange in a conversation or consultation, or an argument in an exposition. Relations link text segments either in their ideational guise or in their interpersonal guise: they relate either chunks of experience or chunks of interaction. …
Relations between representations of segments of experience are called external relations, and conjunctions marking such relations are called external conjunctions. … Relations linking text segments in their interpersonal guise are called internal relations – internal to the text as a speech event, and conjunctions marking such relations are called internal conjunctions. …
The distinction between external and internal relations was introduced by Halliday & Hasan (1976: Chapter 5) and developed by Martin (e.g. 1992: Chapter 4) in his account of conjunction as a semantic system.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, Martin (1992) misunderstands Halliday & Hasan's conjunction (evidence here), and the distinction between internal and external relations (evidence here), and rebrands their grammatical system as his discourse semantic system. Relabelling misunderstandings of original work is not developing a theory.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

The Conjunctions That Mark Cohesive Conjunctive Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 611, 613-4):
… we list conjunctions used for each of the most delicate features in Table 9-6, but we will not differentiate the members of these sets further in delicacy.

Monday, 27 April 2020

The System Of Conjunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 611, 612):
… the logico-semantic relations that are manifested in the system of conjunction fall into the same three types of expansion we met in our exploration of clause complexing – that is, conjunctions mark relations where one span of text elaborates, extends or enhances another, earlier span of text. The system is set out in Figure 9-2.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Markers Of Logico-Semantic Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 611):
The logico-semantic relation is marked by a conjunction — either by a non-structural one that is used only in this way, i.e. only cohesively, such as for example, furthermore, consequently; or by a structural one whose prototypical function is to mark the continuing clause in a paratactic clause nexus. The former serve as conjunctive Adjuncts and are very commonly thematic; the latter are simply analysed as structure markers and are obligatorily thematic as structural Theme.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Cohesive Conjunctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 610):
Cohesive conjunctions may be used within clause complexes, as in
||| Someone comes along with a great idea for an expedition || – for example, I did a book called Sand Rivers, just before the Indian books, || and it was a safari into a very remote part of Africa. |||
But their real cohesive contribution is made when they are used to indicate logico-semantic relations that extend beyond the (grammatical) domain of a single clause complex. They may mark relations that obtain between two clause complexes, as in:
||| Taiwan’s newly elected leader expressed interest Friday in considering a confederation with rival China – a relationship a visiting Chinese policy expert said Beijing would surely reject. ||| Meanwhile, a list of top Cabinet members in Taiwan’s new government was announced, featuring prominent numbers of women, technocrats and academics who will be key in the push to improve relations with China and clean up corruption. |||
The relation may, in fact, even link to part of an earlier clause complex, as in:
||| Given the demanding pace of military operations, || service members should be allowed to focus on their mission free from worry about the welfare of their families. ||| Accordingly, funding for quality DOD schools, child development activities, and other family assistance programs is important, particularly today || when the stresses of operational deployments are higher than ever before. |||
But the relation may also link domains that are more extensive than single clause complexes;

Friday, 24 April 2020

Other Terms For Cohesive Conjunctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 609n):
Cohesive conjunctions have also been called ‘discourse markers’, but many other terms have been used as well (e.g. ‘discourse particle’, ‘connective’; and in computational linguistics/natural language processing: ‘clue word’, ‘cue phrase’) and the term ‘discourse marker’ has also been used to include items other than cohesive conjunctions, e.g. textual continuatives but also interpersonal items (see, e.g., Schiffrin, 1987, 2001; Fraser, 2006, and other contributions to Fischer, 2006). Fraser (2006) uses the term ‘discourse marker’ in the sense of ‘conjunction’, treating it as a type of ‘pragmatic marker’; Schiffrin (1987) uses the term ‘discourse marker’ in a broader sense. Aijmer & Simon-Vandenbergen (2009) present different senses of the term ‘pragmatic marker’, and make the point that in systemic functional linguistics such markers are either interpersonal or textual.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Clause Complexing Vs Cohesive Conjunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 609):
A key difference between clause complexing and cohesive conjunction is that while the clause complexing specifies
(i) the nature of the logico-semantic relation,
(ii) the degree of interdependency, and
(iii) the clausal domains being related through the formation of univariate structure, 
cohesive conjunction only specifies (i) – the nature of the logical-semantic relation.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

The Cohesive System Of Conjunction: A Complementary Resource To Clause Complexing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 609):
While the grammar does not provide any grammatical structure beyond the clause complexes, it still provides ‘clues’ to indicate logico-semantic relations operating on any scale within text. This is the cohesive system of CONJUNCTION, which has evolved as a complementary resource to clause complexing: it provides the resources for marking logico-semantic relationships that obtain between text spans of varying extent, ranging from clauses within clause complexes to long spans of a paragraph or more.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Logico-Semantic Relations In The Semantic Organisation Of Text

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 609):
The clause complex thus provides the resources for realising logico-semantic relations grammatically as tactic patterns. This is the most extensive domain of grammatical structure. However, in the semantic organisation of text, logico-semantic relations extend beyond the semantic sequences that are realised by clause complexes; they extend to rhetorical paragraphs and even to whole texts. The semantic organisation of text in terms of logico-semantic relations is brought out by different forms of analysis, including the conjunctive reticular analysis developed by Martin (e.g. 1992: Chapter 4) drawing on the work by the Hartford stratificationalists and the rhetorical-relational analysis based on the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) developed by Mann, Matthiessen & Thompson (e.g. 1992).

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, Martin's (1992) conjunction, now relabelled connexion, is a confusion of two grammatical systems — Halliday & Hasan's (1976) original cohesive system of conjunction (textual metafunction) and Hallidays (1985) structural system of clause complexing (logical metafunction) — rebranded as discourse semantics, wherein the expansion categories are misunderstood and misapplied and the category of projection is entirely absent. Evidence here.

Monday, 20 April 2020

The Two Complementarities Of Cohesive Resources

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 607-8):
…the different types of cohesion make distinct contributions to the creation and interpretation of text, contributions that complement one another. This complementarity can be described in terms of two distinctions, (i) one having to do with the extent of the elements that are linked cohesively and (ii) the other with the location of cohesive resources within lexicogrammar. 
(i) We can make a distinction between CONJUNCTION and the three other resources of cohesion. As we have seen, conjunction is concerned with rhetorical transitions — transitions between whole ‘messages’, or even message complexes. Conjunction indicates the relations through which such textual transitions are created. In contrast, the other cohesive resources are concerned with textual statuses — statuses having to do with how ‘components’ of messages are processed as information … 
(ii) At the same time, we can also recognise that the systems of cohesion operate within either the grammatical zone or the lexical zone of the lexicogrammatical continuum. CONJUNCTION, REFERENCE and ELLIPSIS are all grammatical systems, and are thus all manifestations of what we might call grammatical cohesion. The point of origin of each of these systems falls within one or more particular grammatical unit; and terms within these systems are realised either by grammatical items that have some particular place within the structure of that unit or (in the case of ellipsis) by the absence of elements of grammatical structure. … In contrast, LEXICAL COHESION operates within the lexical zone of the lexicogrammatical continuum; and it follows the general principle that lexical items are not defined in terms of particular grammatical environments.
Table 9-5 shows how (i) and (ii) intersect to define the overall space of cohesive systems in English.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Cohesive Ties

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 607):
The cohesive resources make it possible to link items of any size, whether below or above the clause; and to link items at any distance, whether structurally related or not. Many instances of cohesion involve two or three ties of different kinds occurring in combination with one another. For example:
‘You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; ‘and that’s a fact.’
Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark, and thought it would be as well to introduce some other subject of conversation.
where the nominal group this remark consists of a reference item this and a lexical item remark, both related cohesively to what precedes. Similarly in some other subject of conversation, both other and subject relate cohesively to the preceding discussion, which was about whether or not cats could grin. Typically any clause complex in connected discourse will have from one up to about half a dozen cohesive ties with what has gone before it, as well as perhaps some purely internal ones like the that by which the Duchess refers back to the first part of her own remark.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Logogenetic Chains

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 607):
… the cohesive selections in a text form logogenetic patterns. In the case of conjunction, such patterns take the form of favoured selections of logico-semantic relations for developing the text rhetorically. In the case of the other types of cohesive resources, such patterns take the form of logogenetic chains – chains of reference, ellipsis and lexical cohesive links, and of interactions among such chains within and across different types of cohesion.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, this confuses paradigm (choice) with syntagm (chain):  logogenetic patterns are patterns of paradigmatic choices, whereas chains link items syntagmatically.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Lexical Cohesion

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 606-7):
While conjunction, reference and substitution & ellipsis are cohesive resources within the grammatical zone of lexicogrammar, lexical cohesion operates within the lexical zone and is achieved through the choice of lexical items. Most typically, such cohesive relations hold between single lexical items, either words or larger units, e.g. locomotive (word), steam engine (group), in steam (phrase), steam up, get up steam (‘phrases’ in the dictionary sense); but also involving wordings having more than one lexical item in them, such as maintaining an express locomotive at full steam. … Lexical ties are independent of structure and may span long passages of intervening discourse …

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, lexical cohesion involves relations between single lexical items, whether single-worded, as in locomotive, or multi-worded, as in steam engine. It does not involve relations of hyponymy, meronymy etc. with multi-lexical item wordings such as maintaining an express locomotive at full steam.  Cf. Halliday (1985: 314; 1994: 335):

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Ellipsis & Substitution

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 606):
Reference creates cohesion by creating links between referents – elements at the level of meaning; but there is also a resource operating at the level of wording, either a clause or some smaller item. This takes two forms, substitution and ellipsis; but we shall refer to it simply as ellipsis, since substitution can be interpreted as a systemic variant. Ellipsis makes it possible to leave out parts of a structure when they can be presumed from what has gone before. Ellipsis indicates continuity, allowing speaker and addressee to focus on what is contrastive… . Unlike reference, ellipsis is usually confined to closely contiguous passages, and is particularly characteristic of question + answer or similar ‘adjacency pairs’ in dialogue.

Blogger Comments:

Here again Matthiessen misrepresents Halliday's model of reference by infusing it with Martin's (1992) misunderstandings of it as participant identification. Reference is a relation between reference item and referent, not between referents. Any relations between referents will be those of lexical cohesion; cf Halliday's (1985: 295-6; 1994: 316) original wording:

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Referential Chains

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 606):
However, once introduced in this way [exophorically], they [such elements] are picked up through anaphoric reference again and again, forming referential chains in the unfolding conversation: this fish – it ...; the pan – the pan – the pan – it. It is these references within the text that create cohesion of the referential kind. These references are to non-interactants. In addition, there are references to interactants, for example, Jane: mine – I. Such interactant determiners and pronouns refer outside the text to roles defined by the speech events – speaker, speaker plus others, addressee; but they can still form chains within the text, of course.

Blogger Comments:

The term 'reference chain' is from Martin (1992;140) — itself derived from the original notion of an 'identity cohesive chain' (Hasan 1989/1985: 83-4).

Here Matthiessen repeats Martin's misunderstanding of reference relations as forming a chain of referents. Importantly, the reference relation holds between a reference item and its referent, not between referents. The cohesive relation between referents in the above example is lexical cohesion: the repetition of pan in the pan – the pan – the pan – it. That is, Matthiessen here repeats Martin's confusion of reference with lexical cohesion. 

Cf Halliday (1985: 296; 1994: 317):

Tuesday, 14 April 2020


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 605-6):
While conjunction (including continuity) links whole clauses or combinations of clauses, reference creates cohesion by creating links between elements. It is a relationship between things, or facts (phenomena, or metaphenomena); it may be established at varying distances, and although it usually serves to relate single elements that have a function within the clause (processes, participants, circumstances), it can give to any passage of text the status of a fact, and so turn it into a clause participant.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Conjunctive Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 605):
Conjunctive relations marked by explicit cohesive conjunctions may hold between clauses in a clause complex, between text segments realised by clause complexes, or between longer text segments such as rhetorical paragraphs.

Sunday, 12 April 2020


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 603):
… there is a set of lexicogrammatical systems that have evolved specifically as a resource for making it possible to transcend the boundaries of the clause – i.e. the domain of the highest-ranking grammatical unit. These lexicogrammatical systems originate in the textual metafunction and are collectively known as the system of COHESION. … There are four ways by which cohesion is created in English: by (i) conjunction, (ii) reference, (iii) ellipsis, and (iv) lexical organisation.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

The Systemic History Of An Unfolding Text

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 601):
Logogenesis pertains to the entire meaning potential of a language – all the strata and all the metafunctions. For example, alliteration in a poem is an example of logogenesis at work at the stratum of phonology. … In this book, we are largely limiting ourselves to the lexicogrammatical subsystem, and within this subsystem we have had to focus on the grammatical part of the lexicogrammatical continuum. But since our focus is on grammar rather than on semantics, the concept of logogenesis is all the more important: it allows us to explore how local grammatical selections accumulate to create logogenetic patterns that become part of the systemic history of an unfolding text. As we have noted, we can identify phases of selections within such logogenetic patterns; and we can then match them up with contextual and semantic structures of a more global nature (or, alternatively, let these emerge as interpretations of the lexicogrammatical logogenetic patterns).

Friday, 10 April 2020

Logogenesis, Logogenetic Patterns Of Instantiation, And Instantial Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 601):
It is helpful to have a term for this general phenomenon – i.e. the creation of meaning in the course of the unfolding of text. We shall call it logogenesis, with ‘logos’ in its original sense of ‘discourse’. Since logogenesis is the creation of meaning in the course of the unfolding of a text, it is concerned with patterns that appear gradually in the course of this unfolding; and the gradual appearance of patterns is, of course, not limited to single texts but is rather a property of texts in general instantiating the system of language. Such patterns have been called emergent patterns and when we focus on grammar we are concerned with patterns of emergent grammar (as formulated by Hopper, e.g. 1987, 1998). We shall refer to the version of the system created in the course of the unfolding of a text as an instantial system since it represents a distillation of patterns at the instance pole of the cline of instantiation.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Text As The Process Of Instantiation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 593-4):
How can we model text as an ongoing process of meaning? To do this, we return to the concept of the cline of instantiation… . The system of a language is instantiated as text, the two representing the poles at either end of the cline of instantiation. System and text are not different phenomena; they are simply complementary phases of one and the same phenomenon. When seen up close, this phenomenon appears to us as text; but when we adopt a more distant observer perspective, we can build up a picture of it as system. System and text form a cline rather than a dichotomy, because between these two poles there is a semiotic region of intermediate patterns (conceived of as instance types – as text types, or as subsystems – as registers).
Text is thus the process of instantiation; and we can characterise it by reference to the system as the selection of systemic options unfolding through time.

Blogger Comment:

Note that SFL Theory models 'register' as a subsystem of language, not a system of context, and 'genre', in the sense of 'text type', as an instance type of language, not a system of context.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

A Scale Of Strategies For Construing The Causal Relation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 591):
We can thus identify a scale of strategies for construing the causal relation:
(i) clause nexus, paratactic – middle clause: the fuse was overloaded, so it blew
(ii) clause nexus, hypotactic – middle clause: because the fuse was overloaded, it blew
(iii) verbal group nexus – effective clause: overloading caused the fuse to blow
(iv) verbal group – effective clause: overloading blew the fuse
…The point of these examples is to show how the grammar gives us considerable flexibility in construing the flow of events by providing a range of strategies. These strategies are all ideational, but they range from purely logical [(i) and (ii) above] via logical and experiential [(iii)] to purely experiential [(iv)].

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Verbal Group Nexus As Intermediate Between Clause Nexus And Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 588):
A verbal group nexus is intermediate between a clause nexus and a verbal group: a verbal group construes a single event, and a clause nexus construes two distinct processes; but a verbal group nexus construes a single process consisting of two events. These different options are available to speakers and writers when they construe their experience of the flow of events. They choose whether they construe a given experience as a process consisting of a single event, as a process consisting of a chain of two (or more) events, or as a chain of two (or more) processes.

Monday, 6 April 2020

The Systems Of The (Non-Causative) Hypotactic Verbal Group Complex

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 588, 589):
The various options open to non-causative hypotactic verbal group complexes are represented as a system network in Figure 8-15.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

The Anomaly Of Adjectival Forms Serving As The Event Of The Projecting Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 586-7):
Table 8-7 includes some verbal group nexuses with adjectival forms serving as the Event of the projecting verbal group: (i) desideration: be willing/keen/eager/anxious to do; (ii) fear: be afraid/scared to do. The forms afraid and scared are verbal in origin, but they function as adjectives now, as can be seen by the form taken by intensification (very rather than much): be very afraid/scared to do. Since these forms are adjectival, they are obviously anomalous as verbal groups. But they fit in systemically: they are agnate with verbal forms, and all the forms of the desiderative set are agnate expressions of modulation. We could try to push the analysis even further to include patterns with nominal forms such as (i) desideration: have a mind to do, and (ii) intention: make up one’s mind to do. But here we are really going beyond what can be accommodated within the verbal group since these constructions involve grammatical metaphor of the ideational kind.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Types Of Projection In The Verbal Group Complex

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 585, 587):
To go into all the types of projection that cluster around this area would be beyond our present scope. Table 8-7 lists some of the more common types. 
All of them could be analysed as clause complexes; but there is a case for treating some of them as complexes of the verbal group – perhaps just those that are proposals, are perfective in aspect, and have the same Subject in both halves. This would exclude
(1) propositions, like pretend and claim (she claims to be infallible = she claims that she is infallible); 
(2) imperfectives, e.g. she doesn’t like/mind John leaving so early; and 
(3) ‘causatives’, e.g. I didn’t mean/expect you to notice, and all ‘indirect commands’ such as who asked you to comment?
It would also exclude those where the projecting process is itself causative, like tempt (‘make want’), decide in she tempted John to stay, what decided them to change their plans?
All these would thus be interpreted as projecting clause nexuses.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Projecting Verbal Group/Clause Nexuses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 585, 586):
Despite the borderline cases, projection is, as we have pointed out, a different kind of relationship from expansion. It is always, in fact, a relationship between processes – between a mental or verbal process on the one hand, and another process (of any kind) that is mentalised or verbalised (projected) by it. Nevertheless it is not inappropriate on grammatical grounds to treat some projections as verbal group nexuses, on the analogy of the types of expansion to which they are somewhat similar in meaning. Figure 8-14 gives some analyses for purposes of comparison. Examples under (a) and (b) are analysed (i) as verbal group nexus, (ii) as clause nexus. Those under (c), with that clause, are analysed only as clause nexus, since here the alternative does not arise.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

'Wanting' And 'Causing': Where Projection Meets Expansion

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 585):
It is in this area that expansion and projection come to meet and overlap. Causing something to be done means that it is done, with ‘external agency’ as a circumstantial feature. Wanting something to be done means that it is envisaged, or projected, but may or may not happen: its status is that of a metaphenomenon, not a phenomenon. But the line between the two is fuzzy. In general, if the relationship can be expressed by a finite that clause, as in she wished that he would come, then in principle it is a projection; but in this respect too there is a ‘grey’ area: she wanted that he should come is possible, but uncommon, whereas she allowed that he should come is uncommon, but possible.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Hypotactic Desiderative Projection Nexus: Clause Or Verbal Group?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 585):
However, there are some respects in which they [i.e. desiderative clause nexuses] resemble nexuses of the verbal group. 
(1) The projected element, a (typically perfective) non-finite, has – like the expansion types – given birth to what are now tenses of the verb, namely the two future forms will and be going to
(2) The WH- probe is what does she want to do?, rather than simply what does she want?; compare what is she trying to do? not what is she trying?
(3) The command forms – those with change of Subject – resemble some of the causative expansions; compare the following pairs, including the passives:
she wants him to do it          she causes him/gets him to do it
he is wanted to do it             he is caused/got to do it
she wants it (to be) done      she causes it to be done/gets it done