Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Text & The Interaction Base: Interpersonally-Oriented Sequences

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 123):
As already noted, text organisation also draws on the interaction base; and there are certain parallels with the ideation base with respect to sequences. The interaction base certainly has text forming resources that are uniquely interpersonal. In particular, it has the resources for the collaborative exchanges that are embodied in the notion of interaction — for producing dialogue jointly by means of coordinated moves alternating between the interlocutors. But these interpersonal moves may also form sequences of moves in a way that is similar to the formation of sequences in the ideation base. Typical examples involve motivating condition (‘I invite you to accept x, if you want x’; for example: If you’re thirsty, there’s a beer in the fridge) and evidence (‘I think, infer / you should believe x because y’; for example: John’s in Germany because I just talked to him).

Monday, 29 September 2014

Text & The Ideation Base: ‘Macro-Figures’

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 123):
Many text types are heavily influenced by patterns in the meaning base — they can be seen as ‘macro-figures’, i.e. as expansions of figures by means of logico-semantic relations. This is not to say that that the relationship between organisation in the meaning base and the discoursal organisation is always one-to-one even when a text is organised according to an ideational sequence. In particular, a text may leave to be inferred certain steps that would be specified in the sequence in the meaning base (e.g. to make explicit the inferential processes involved).

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sequences & Text

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 122-3):
Texts and sequences are of the same order of abstraction; both are semantic phenomena. A text is a piece of language that is functional in context. It draws on the ideational meaning base but it involves the full metafunctional spectrum; i.e. there are interpersonal and textual contributions as well. Since text draws on the ideational meaning base, sequences are one principle for organising text.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Sequences & Text Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 122):
Sequences impose a certain order on our experience in terms of the relations that connect [one] happening with another. Hence sequences can be used to store information about the world in the form of organised text — ‘this is how to change tyres on your car’, ‘this is how to make cauliflower surprise’, etc.. Such texts often fall into a clearly recognisable text type, such as procedures, proofs, explanations, and episodic narratives. Not all texts are as highly regulated as these; but it is usually possible to make some prediction about the kinds of sequence, and the complexity to which sequences extend, in most our culturally recognised modes of discourse.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sequences: Constraints

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 122):
Thus sequences are formed by binary logico-semantic relations which may relate either single figures or sequences of figures [i.e. internal nesting]. Certain relations may impose constraints on the phenomena being related; for example, a projecting relation can only obtain when the first figure is one of sensing or saying. But the range of different logico-semantic relations is highly varied, so that constraints tend to be specific to particular subtypes.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Relational Organisation Vs Configurational Organisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 119-20):
In contrast to figures, sequences are not constructional units.  We can specify the range of projecting and expanding relations available for further developing a sequence, but we cannot specify where a sequence has to come to an end — that is, we cannot specify a sequence as a unit whole with a conventional configuration of parts.  Thus if we have expanded one figure we can always repeat the operation … .  In contrast, a figure is a unit with a finite number of elements … .  Hence a sequence can be indefinitely complex, whereas a figure cannot.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Condition & Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 119):
… the distinction between expansion and projection is less determinate than we have suggested.  The logico-semantic relation of condition, which is prototypically construed as a form of enhancement, could also be construed as a kind of projection; and this is also brought out in the grammar. Conditions specify a potential and actualisable but non-actual situation.  This potential situation can also be set up through projection:
If the power supply fails, what’s the best thing to do? 
Supposing the power supply fails, what’s the best thing to do? 
Say the power supply fails, what’s the best thing to do?
Words such as supposing and assuming are verbs of projection which have come to function as conjunctions in conditional figures; while other words such as imagine and say retain more of their projecting force. Sometimes even variants of the same word have come to differ a little in their locations on this cline: for example, suppose and assume seem closer to projection than their corresponding participial variants.  This is an uncertain region in which a figure hangs in the air, so to speak, suspended between the hypothetical material plane and the semiotic one.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Expansion Relations: Lexicogrammatical Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 119-20):
Relations of expansion are typically realised in the grammar by conjunctions or conjunctive expressions linking a pair of clauses, either paratactically or hypotactically (e.g. that is, in other words; and, but, or, also, besides; so, yet, then, when, if, because, unless).  Some of these may realise more than one category; for example, but may be adversative ‘and yet’ (extending), or concessive ‘and in spite of this’ (enhancing); while may be additive ‘and in addition’ (extending), or temporal ‘and at the same time’ (enhancing); or may be alternative ‘or else’ (extending: alternatives in the external world, like take it or leave it), or restating ‘in other words’ (elaborating: alternatives in the world ‘internal’ to the discourse, like they are reduced to the smallest size, or micro-miniaturised.).  Overlaps of this kind show that the primary categories we have set up do in fact shade into one another; in particular, extending in some sense occupies a space intermediate between elaborating and enhancing, and shares a fuzzy borderline with each.

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Cline From Sequence To Figure

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 118):
There is no sharp line between a figure and a sequence of figures: a quantum of experience is not defined before it is construed, and the grammar rather sets up a cline from sequence to simple figure. […] For example:
1 sequence of 2 figures:   Tarzan pulled the rope; so it broke.
                                          Tarzan made the rope break (by pulling it).
                                          Tarzan broke the rope.
                        1 figure:    The rope broke.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Elaboration Sequences: Repetition As The Other Limiting Case Of Expansion

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 118):
And there is a third type of accumulation where the logical relation is that of ‘equals’: x is the same figure as a. Here at this end the limiting case is a simple repetition; this may be further elaborated in such a way that one figure is reworded as another, or else further clarified or brought out by an example.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Extension Sequences: No Logical Priority

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117-8):
But figures may also be added to one another, making them part of the same story without assigning any kind of logical priority to either: x as well as / instead of / in contradistinction to a’. We have referred to these as extensions.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Enhancement Sequences: Temporality As One Limiting Case Of Expansion

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
From one standpoint the limiting case of expansion would be accumulation in a temporal sequence (hence our general term “sequence” for the product of this construal): ‘a happens, then x happens’. This gives value to a as the temporal circumstance of x. From this we could derive a wide range of more complex enhancing relations: variations on the simple temporal sequence (‘after’, ‘before’, ‘at the same time’, ‘immediately after’, &c.) and further circumstances such as cause, condition, concession and their subcategories. […] These are ‘enhancements’, multiplying one figure by another, as it were.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
Expansion can be thought of as construing another dimension of experience, so that superimposed, as it were, on the construal of a figure — a basic fragment of experience in the form of a quantum of change (event, action, behaviour &c.) — is the construal of a nexus between two figures, such that one fragment is non-randomly (i.e. meaningfully) cumulated with another.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Enhancement Sequences

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
enhancement is a circumstantial or qualifying relation between figures: it is, in a sense, extension plus a circumstantial feature — ‘and’ + time (‘and then’, ‘and at the same time’, etc.), ‘and’ + manner (‘and in the same way’, ‘and likewise’), ‘and’ + cause (‘and therefore’, etc.), etc.: it is autumn, so the leaves are turning brown.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Extension Sequences: Addition

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
extension is an additive relation between figures: a sequence is made bigger by the addition of another figure. This may involve pure addition (‘and’: he is too young and he doesn’t speak the language) or addition with an adversative feature (‘and yet’: he speaks the language but he is too young). As a variant of addition, we also have alternation (he is too young or else he is just immature).

Monday, 15 September 2014

Elaboration Sequences: Identity & Inclusion

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
elaboration is a (partial) identity relation between figures: one is identified with another with a difference in perspective (it matters a lot; it plays an important rôle) or one is included under another as an example (it plays an important rôle; e.g., it provides the infrastructure).  These are clearly related to one another: identity is the limiting case of inclusion and inclusion is partial identity.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Expansion Sequences

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 117):
Expansion is a highly generalised type of relation, whereby one figure is joined logico-semantically to another figure by a relator to form a sequence of the same order of reality. […] immediate subtypes: elaborate (reiterate), extend (add) and enhance (qualify).

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Proposals Realised As Modulated Indicative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 115-6):
We saw that quoted offers may be realised by modulated indicative clauses. This would seem to be an exception to the generalisation that indicative clauses realise propositions. However, it is a principled one: the type of indicative clause involved is precisely the type that lies closer in the interpersonal clause grammar to imperative clauses — modulated indicative clauses, i.e. those with an imperative modality. As can be expected, this is then also a possible realisation of commands; it is a metaphorical strategy for expanding the meaning potential, typically to vary the tenor between speaker and listener.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Reported Offers: Grammatical Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 115):
However, reported offers can always be realised in the same way as reported commands — as in the case of reported propositions, the distinction in orientation between giving and demanding is realised by the projecting clause; for example:
command: she told him —> to do the laundry
offer: she offered (promised; threatened) —> to do the laundry
The category of reported proposal is thus realised generally as a perfective non-finite clause when it is reported.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Quoted Offers: Grammatical Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 115):
Quoted offers naturally retain the property of being variously realised in the mood system:
declarative: She said: “I can do the laundry.”
interrogative: She said: “Shall I do the laundry?”
imperative: She said: “Let me do the laundry!”

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Offers: Grammatical Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 115):
There is thus a parallel between reported propositions/proposals and quoted ones. But with offers (proposals: giving goods–&–services) there is a difference in respect of realisation. Offers, in English, are not grammaticalised in the mood system; that is, while the other categories, statements, questions and commands, have corresponding mood categories in the grammar (declarative, interrogative and imperative) offers do not. They may be realised by any of the mood categories; for example:
declarative: I can do the laundry.
interrogative: Shall I do the laundry?
imperative: Let me do the laundry!
Significantly, the indicative clauses realising offers are modulated; they select for an imperative modality of readiness or obligation.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Quoting Vs Reporting: Speech Function & Mood

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 114-5):
… in quoting, where the projected clause retains its mood, the general verb say can be used whatever speech function is being projected. In reporting, on the other hand, the projected clause is no longer specified for mood; its speech function is signalled by the verb in the projecting clause (asked, ordered, etc.). This gives the projected element more of an ideational status (c.f. its treatment in traditional grammar as “object” of the projecting verb), and opens up the way to a series of agnate expressions such as (the king ordered) “Execute him!” / that he should be executed / him to be executed / him executed / his execution.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Quoted Proposition Vs Quoted Proposal: Grammatical Realisations

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 114):
When the projection is quoted, propositions are realised by indicative clauses, i.e. clauses that select for primary tense or modality; and proposals are realised by imperative clauses:
(he said) “I have done the laundry” : (she said to him) “do the laundry”.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Reported Proposition Vs Reported Proposal: Grammatical Realisations

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 114):
Grammatically the distinction between propositions and proposals is constructed as follows. When the projection is reported, propositions are realised by finite bound clauses, i.e. clauses that select for primary tense or modality; and proposals are realised by irrealis (infinitival) non-finite bound clauses: 
(he said) that he had done the laundry : (she told him) to do the laundry.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Projected Proposals Vs Projected Propositions

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 114): 
The interpersonal system for dialogic interaction thus creates a fundamental distinction between ‘content’ as proposition and ‘content’ as proposal. This distinction is then reflected in the ideational system of projection: a figure is projected in one or other of these two modes, as a proposition or as a proposal. The two categories combine freely with ideas and locutions. Projected proposals are non-actual, or uninstantiated: that is, the occurrence of a projected proposal is always future in relation to the figure that projects it. In contrast, propositions are actual, or instantiated: that is, the occurrence of a proposition is located in actual time (which may be past, present or future).

Friday, 5 September 2014

Propositions & Proposals

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 113-4):
Information is either given or demanded; in either case it is encoded as a proposition. Similarly, goods and services are either given or demanded, but the linguistic act is a mediating one, specifying the (typically non-linguistic) action that embodies the exchange, as an offer to do or a demand that something should be done. This is a proposal for a deed, one that commits either the speaker (giving) or the addressee (demanding); together with a third type, which is a combination of these two, viz. suggestion: Let’s do the laundry.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Interpersonal Semantics & Orders Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 113):
Interpersonal semantics is centrally concerned with varieties of symbolic exchange. Here, as in other places in the meaning base, the system is organised in such a way that it creates a difference between non-symbolic reality and symbolic reality, between phenomena and metaphenomena. The “commodity” that is being exchanged in interpersonal dialogue is either semiotic or material: it is either one that is construed by language itselfinformation — or it is one that exists independently of languagegoods & services. In the first case, language constitutes the exchange; in the second, it facilitates the exchange of a non-linguistic commodity.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Projecting & Projected Figures: Temporal Implications

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 112):
In general, there is no temporal constraint between the projected and projecting figures: the projected figure may be past, present or future relative to the projecting one. The dimension affected by projection [is] order of reality, not time. However, there is a major dichotomy between two types of projection which does have temporal implications. To explore it, we have to look briefly at a fundamental interpersonal category, that of mood.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Projections Of Ideas And AI & Computational Linguistics: Hearer Modelling & Interpersonal Distance

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 112):
The projection of ideas has also played an important rôle in hearer modelling in AI and computational linguistics. From a systemic-functional point of view, hearer modelling corresponds to one aspect of the interaction base: the interactants in a dialogue have to be able to assess and model the way their experiences diverge. This is one measure of overall interpersonal distance between them. In hearer modelling, this tends to be construed ideationally by means of cognitive projection, where the projected idea is represented as a separate partition or space within overall knowledge: ‘the speaker believes —> the hearer knows —> …’. Such models may involve long projecting sequences (often called “nested beliefs”) …

Monday, 1 September 2014

Projections Of Ideas And Intensional (& Epistemic) Logic

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 112):
Projections of ideas have played a special rôle in the extension of standard logic within intensional logic (or more restrictedly for knowing and believing, within epistemic logic) to allow for reasoning in this domain. One of the features of the projection of ideas that has received special attention in logically-oriented approaches to meaning is its “referential opacity”.   If a speaker knows that Henry is the king, and construes someone else’s belief as Thomas thinks Henry is a nice man, the referring expression Henry cannot be replaced by the king although the speaker knows they have the same referent: ‘Thomas thinks Henry is a nice man’ cannot be inferred from ‘Thomas thinks Henry is a nice man’ since the identity of Henry and the king has not been established in the projected world of Thomas’s consciousness.