Thursday, 30 April 2015

Simple Circumstances: Location & Cause

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 217):
There are some adverbial expressions realising other types of circumstances, e.g. everywhere (Location: space), recently (Location: time); as well as others that might be interpreted differently because of the nature of the quality itself, e.g. pointlessly ‘in a pointless manner’ or ‘for no good reason’ (Cause).

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Simple Circumstances: Manner

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 217):
[Simple circumstances] are qualities — but construed not as qualities of a particular participant but as qualities of a figure as a whole […]. The usual function is as circumstance of Manner, with the meaning ‘in such a way’, ‘to such a degree’; and if the manner of doing determines the quality of the outcome there may be very little difference between a circumstance of this kind and a resultative Attribute: cf. don’t chop the parsley too fine / too finely.*

* Also, poetically, depictive Attribute: Do not go gentle into that goodnight.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Patterns Of Time In English: Temporal Profile (Aktionsart)

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 216):
The temporal profile, of unbounded/bounded, is not an independent option available to processes in general. Boundedness is a feature which may accrue to certain classes of process, typically processes of doing: contrast, for example, unbounded use with use up […]. It is on the borderline of lexis and grammar: the verb is extended by up or some other adverb of the locative-directional class (drink up, eat up, load up, pour out, melt down, fly away). The boundedness is not in fact temporally defined; its degree — and often its exact nature — is specific to the kind of process concerned, and may depend on the total figure and on the context; e.g.
pour out the water         ‘until the bowl is empty / until everyone has a drink’
write up the results        ‘in a publishable form’
But there is a clear proportionality involved, which allows us to treat this as a systemic feature of a significant subset of processes in English.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Patterns Of Time In English: Temporal Staging (Phase)

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 216):
Temporal staging is explicit and lexicalised […]. Staging also extends to other categories that are not strictly temporal, which the grammar however construes as analogous: especially conation (tries to do / succeeds in doing) and appearance (seems to be / turns out to be).

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Patterns Of Time In English: Temporal Perspective (Aspect)

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 215):
By comparison with temporal location, temporal perspective (aspect) is relatively backgrounded in English. […] The temporal perspective takes over, however, when there is no deictic location (the clause is non-finite); in such cases, instead of making reference to ‘now’ the process is construed as either actualised, as in (on) reaching the gallery, turn left, or visualised, e.g. to reach the gallery, turn left.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Patterns Of Time In English: Temporal Location (Tense)

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 215):
English foregrounds location in the flow of time (tense), and construes this not only as past/present/future relative to ‘now’ […] but also as past/present/future relative to some moment that is relative to now […], with the possibility of up to five shifts of reference point, as in
They said they’d been going to’ve been paying me all this time …
(present in past in future in past in past). This system is fully grammaticised, and is unusual in that it construes location in time as a logical relation rather than as an experiential taxonomy; it thus becomes a form of serial time reference. The tense categories also combine with time adverbs such as already, just, soon […]. Interestingly, the deictic time reference (that appealing to ‘now’) can be switched off; either there is no deixis (the clause is non-finite […]) or the deixis takes the form of modality (speaker’s angle on the process, eg they should have paid me).

Friday, 24 April 2015

Basic Parameters In Construing Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 215):
… in any given language, (i) one or other parameter may be given prominence, (ii) two or more parameters may be combined into a single semantic system, (iii) any parameter may be construed either more grammatically or more lexically, and (iv) a number of features that are not strictly temporal may be incorporated into the picture, both ideational ones like attempting/succeeding and interpersonal ones like the speaker’s angle on the process — judgement of its likelihood, desirability, and so on.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Temporal Perspective On A Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 214):
This takes many different guises in different languages, even within the same language; such as
(a) in focus: ongoing, out of focus: terminated;
(b) in focus: significant in itself, out of focus: significant for what follows;
(c) in focus: actualised, out of focus: visualised.
(It is the last of these that is relevant to English.)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Basic Parameters In Construing Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 214, 215):
In transforming experience of time into meaning, human communities have evolved a number of basic parameters.  We can identify four of these that are relevant in the present context:
(1) the temporal staging of a process: it may be beginning, taking place or ending. underlying concept: a process occupies a certain measure of time … [grammaticised as phase] … 
(2) the temporal perspective on a process: we may frame it in or out of temporal focus. […] underlying concept: a process relates to the flow of experience as a whole, including other processes … [grammaticised as aspect] … 
(3) the temporal profile of a process: it is either unbounded or bounded.  underlying concept:  a process has the potential for being extended in time … [grammaticised as aktionsart] … 
(4) the temporal location of a process: it can be related to 'now' as past, present or future. underlying concept: a process takes place within a linear flow or current of time … [grammaticised as tense] …

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Grammar's Model Of Time

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 213-4):
… grammar’s model of time has been evolving unconsciously in the context of human survival; it is part of the selective and collective wisdom that the species has accumulated in the understanding of its relationship to its environment and in the interaction of its members one with another. And again, like everything else in the construal of experience it is the product of continual compromise, whereby divergent and often conflicting aspects of experience are adjusted and accommodated in such a way that all of them have some place in the total picture.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Processes: Internal Organisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 213):
Thus from the point of view of the figure, a process is the central element, forming a nucleus around which participants and circumstantial elements are organised into a meaningful pattern.  From the point of view of its own internal organisation, a process is a construal of ‘eventing’ — a phenomenon perceived as having extension in time.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Thing Vs Event

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 213):
But while the Thing is enmeshed in a[n] elaborate taxonomy of things the Event is taxonomically rather simple and its complexity lies in the construal of time itself. Hence the verbal group is lexically sparse — typically the Event is the only lexicalised part; whereas nominal groups can be lexically extremely dense.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Participants Vs Processes: Spatio-Temporality

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 213):
While participants are located in referential space, processes are located in time. The verbal group realising a process constructs a “moment” in time beginning with the ‘now’ (the time of speaking) leading up to the categorisation of the Event; this is analogous to the way the nominal group, realising a participant, constructs a “body” in space beginning with the ‘here’ and leading up to the categorisation of the Thing.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Key To The Construal Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 213): 
The key to the construal of experience is the perception of change; the grammar construes a quantum of change as a figure (typically one clause) and sorts out figures in the first instance into those of consciousness (sensing and saying), those of the material world (doing & happening) and those of logical relations (being & having). The central element of a figure is the process; ‘things’ are construed as entities participating in processes, having different rôles, of which one is ‘that participant in which the process is actualised’ … ; hence the grammatical nucleus of the clause is the configuration of Process with Medium.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Qualities Of Enhancement: Realisation And Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 212):
This relation is typically typically a temporal or spatial one involving the thing as a discoursal instance rather than the thing as a general experiential class. Consequently, like qualities of extension, qualities of enhancement tend to serve as deictic elements (Post-Deictic) rather than as Epithets; as Post-Deictics, they come before Numeratives in the structure of the nominal group: the preceding / subsequent two meetings. Here they relate a specific referent, recoverable in the current situation: the subsequent two meetings : the two meetings that followed this one. But the spatial qualities can also, being taxonomic, serve to subclassify the thing they are assigned to: interior monologue, external pipes. Here they relate to a general class of thing, inferable from the experiential system: interior monologue : monologue that is within a person, external pipes : pipes that are outside a house.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Qualities Of Enhancement: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 212):
Qualities of enhancement also resemble those of ‘elaboration: identity’ and those of extension in that construe a relation between a thing they are assigned to and another thing. This is brought out by the fact that they are agnate with processes relating participants circumstantially: subsequent : be (come) before / precede, interior : be within, exterior : be outside, as in previous occasions : occasions coming before this one, interior design : design is what is within a house.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Qualities Of Extension

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 212):
Qualities of extension resemble those of ‘elaboration: identity’ in that they construe a relation between the thing they are assigned to and some other thing. The relation typically obtains between the thing as a discoursal instance rather than the thing as a general experiential class. Thus an alternative solution is a solution that can replace the one we have just been talking about. Consequently, properties of extension tend to serve as deictic elements (Post-Deictic) rather than as Epithets; they indicate how an instance (or instances) of the general class of the thing they are assigned to is selected from that class: we need an additional two volunteers means ‘two further instances of the general class of volunteer’. Like other properties serving as Post-Deictic, they may precede the Numerative (additional^two); but they may also follow, with no strong contrast in meaning: we need two additional volunteers.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Qualities Of Elaboration: Identity

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 212):
Qualities of elaboration, subtype identity are not inherent properties, but rather are comparative. Thus the standard of comparison can always be construed: their car is the same/similar/different : their car is the same as / similar to / different from ours; and they are agnate with processes: their car is / resembles / differs from ours. The line between elaboration: identity and enhancement: manner: comparison is a fuzzy one; and processual agnates such as their car resembles ours are within the domain of enhancement.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Qualities Of Elaboration: Attribution

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 211-2):
The most prototypical qualities are those of elaboration, subtype attribution: they stand in a pure intensive relation to the thing they are assigned to, being construed as inherent qualities. They are typically scalar, but certain types are taxonomic or binary. As Epithets (or Classifiers) they are agnate with the Attribute of a figure of being. Many of them can serve as the Attribute of a figure of doing (as in he squashed it flat, she painted it blue) and are related to the outcome of such figures (cf. she heated/widened/enlarged it : it was hot/wide/large). The limiting case of qualities of attribution are quantities; they are assigned to a thing as a discoursal instance rather than as a general experiential class. Consequently, they do not serve as Epithets; they have a special rôle, that of Numerative (as in two/many brave volunteers).

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Qualities Of Expansion: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 210):
Qualities of expansion cannot normally be assigned to metathings. They expand the thing they are related to by elaboration, extension or enhancement. these different subtypes display different patterns of agnation, but as Epithet (or Classifier) + Thing configurations they are all agnate with figures of being & having.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Qualities Of Projection: Modalities & Attitudes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 210):
As we have seen, sensing is agnate with modality and, in the case of emotive sensing, with attitude. Similarly, qualities of projection extend to include modalities and attitudes; when the thing (or metathing) they are assigned to is agnate with the Phenomenon, these qualities are construed as objective, impersonal ones: it is certain/likely/possible that the moon’s a balloon. (Contrast: I’m certain the moon’s a balloon.) With qualities of usuality, this is the only possible orientation.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Qualities Of Projection: Transferability

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 210):
[when they are agnate with the Senser], these qualities [of projection] may be transferred to tokens of the senser’s sensing, as in an angry face/look/letter/reaction.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Qualities Of Projection: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 210): 
Qualities of projection are all scalar and they are […] agnate with processes of sensing in figures of sensing; they are often realised by participial verb forms used as adjectives. The thing they are assigned to, as Attribute or as Epithet, is agnate either with the Senser (the ‘like’ type …) or with the Phenomenon (the ‘please’ type …). From this it follows that when they are agnate with the Senser, they are ascribed to conscious beings …, whereas when they are agnate with the Phenomenon, they can be ascribed not only to things but also to metathings, ie projections …

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Qualities Of Projection & Expansion: Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 209-10):
Qualities can be distinguished according to the transphenomenal types of projection and expansion. Qualities of projection and qualities of expansion differ in a number of respects. Most fundamentally, they differ in their patterns of agnation. Qualities of projection are agnate with processes of sensing in figures of sensing; … In contrast qualities of expansion display patterns of agnation within being & having, with variation according to subtype. This fundamental difference explains other differences; for example, qualities of projection tend to occur in agnate pairs of the ‘like’ and ‘please’ type that we find with figures of sensing (e.g. afraid/scary, suspicious/suspect, bored/boring), whereas qualities of expansion do not.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Qualities & The Semantic Organisation Of Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 209):
The former [closed grammatical systems] are taxonomically simple (although they are notoriously difficult to interpret in lexical glosses); they include specific/non-specific; personal/demonstrative; near/far; total/partial &c. In contrast, elements at the latter end [open lexical sets] tend to be construed in complex taxonomies. That is, greater experiential complexity is handled by means of greater taxonomic complexity. […] Qualities lie at different places along these various dimensions; hence they vary in their potential for taking on rôles in different types of figure.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Semantic Organisation Of Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 209):
… the nominal group is organised as a move along two semantic dimensions: the elements become increasingly stable in time, and increasingly complex in their taxonomy of features. Lexicogrammatically, this corresponds to a move from grammatical items (determiners, determinative adjectives such as usual, same, typical, cardinal and ordinal numerals) to lexical items (adjectives [in general], and nouns); that is, a move from closed systems to open sets.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Qualitative Attributes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 209):
… a quality, when attached to the figure as an Attribute (rather than to a participant …), is construed as being more like a circumstance. The fact that manner circumstances are typically realised by adverbs that are simply derived from (and in some cases identical with) adjectives is a further symptom of the way a quality may resemble a circumstance.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Construing Qualities As Attribute Vs Manner

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 208):
Some qualities may occur as depictive (as opposed to resultative) Attribute in a figure of doing & happening; in such instances the quality is very close to a circumstance of Manner, as is shown by agnate pairs such as the following: 
quality as Attribute:                     quality as Manner: 
she came home cheerful              she came home cheerfully
he walked in drunk                      he walked in drunkenly

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Construing Qualities As Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 208):
Some qualities can be construed as processes of doing; here for example there is an agnate form I’ve dried the plate, with ‘dry’ worded as a verb. In these cases, the quality is not repeated as an Attribute — we do not usually say I’ve dried the plate dry; it may however reappear in an intensified form, e.g. I’ve dried it very dry. Very many qualities may be construed as verbs in this way.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Construing Qualities: Participants, Processes And Circumstances

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 208):
Thus in its typical construal, as Epithet or as Attribute, a quality is clearly “participant-like”; we might also note that realised as an adjective in superlative form it does appear as a participant (these are the driest, pass me the driest; the smallest will fall through the holes). But there are also environments where a quality resembles a process or a circumstance.