Sunday, 31 July 2016

One Of The Failings Of Cognitive Science

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 583-4):
The grammar of everyday discourse thus clearly points to the significance of interpersonal meaning in the way we construct ourselves — the self is not only construed but it is also enacted. Cognitive scientists, however, have derived their object of study, and their model of this object from the ideational perspective alone, failing to take the interpersonal perspective — that of enacting — into account.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Construing And Enacting The Self

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 583):
In the ideational mode we construe ourselves as conscious Sensers, while in the interpersonal mode we enact ourselves as speakers interacting with addressees; the metaphor [of modality] brings the two together in such a way that the ideational construal stands for the interpersonal enactment.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Interpersonal Metaphor & Constructing The Self

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 583):
A projection mental clause such as I (don’t) think, since ideationally it realises a figure of sensing, construes the speaker as ‘Senser at the time of speaking’ (it occurs metaphorically only in the present tense); at the same time, it enacts the speaker’s own ‘intrusion’ into the dialogue — his or her judgement about how much validity can be attached to the proposition contained in the projected clause. Interpersonal metaphor is thus the hinge between the ideational and the interpersonal modes of constructing the self.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Ontogenesis Of Construing Mental Projection

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 580):
Painter (1993) documents how one child first learned to construe mental projection: he began with figures in which he himself was the Senser. The system made it possible for him then to generalise his own experience of consciousness by construing other persons in the Senser rôle, as he built up a model in which this role could be occupied by any conscious (prototypically human) being.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Orders Of Semiotic Abstraction

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 579): 
… the idea clause is projected, as the “content of consciousness”, by the Senser involved in the process of sensing. The content is brought into existence by the sensing process, as actualised through the Senser; and it is construed as being of a higher order of semiotic abstraction than the process of sensing itself (ie it is always at one further remove from the instantial context).

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

‘Fact’ Clauses Are 'Idea' Projections But Clause Constituents

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 579):
… ‘fact’ clauses [are] those where the idea clause is a projection but it is not the accompanying mental clause that is doing the projecting; such ready–made projections do function as constituents.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Why Projected Clauses Are Not Clause Constituents

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 578-9):
In our analysis (unlike that of the mainstream grammatical tradition), the projected clause is not a constituent part of the mental or verbal clause by which it is projected. There are numerous reasons for this; some of them are grammatical — for example, it cannot be the focus of theme–predication … it cannot be the Subject of a passive mental clause … it is presumed by the substitute so, which is also used to presume conditional clauses in clause complexes … But these, in turn, reflect the semantic nature of projection: this is a relationship between two figures, not a device whereby one becomes a participant inside another.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Folk Model Of Consciousness

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 578): 
[A] figure of sensing is a configuration of a Process and the participant engaged in sensing, the Senser; that is, consciousness is construed as a complementarity of change through time and persistence through time — as a conscious participant involved in an unfolding process.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

How The Ideation Base Construes Consciousness

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 577): 
We have shown how the system of the ideation base construes consciousness: as conscious processing by a conscious being. Conscious processing can create a higher–order world of ideas (or, as we would say, meanings), comparable in certain respects to Popper’s World 3; this defines the essential distinction between projection and expansion as ways of relating one figure to another. Conscious processes themselves appear as the central figures in the construal of experience, and they are pivotal in differentiating among various types of participant. … Conscious processes are of two kinds: sensing, and saying.

Friday, 22 July 2016

What Reification Loses

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 575):
When they are reconstrued as things, processes lose their location in time and often also their participants …

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Reification Of Experience In Scientific English: 17th–19th C

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 575):
The most central aspect of the various changes that took place was the reification of experience — the grammatical metaphor whereby processes were construed as things.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 576):
This change in the grammar entailed a change in world view, towards a static, reified world — so much so that Bohm (1979) complains that language makes it hard to represent the kind of flux that modern physics likes to deal with. Bohm’s dissatisfaction is directed at language in general; but his real target is — or should be — the language of science. The everyday language of casual speech is, by and large, a language of flux, construing experience in much the way that Bohm seems to demand.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Scientific Models Embody A Metaphorical Construal Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 573-4):
… we can interpret folk models and scientific ones as co-existing varieties of the same basic system within the ideation base. In the first instance, we will, of course, be aware of them as differing in particular domains — eg as operating with different lexical semantic organisations; but they also tend to construe experience differently in general terms — scientific models tend to rely on grammatical metaphor and thus embody a metaphorical construal of experience …

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Folk Vs Scientific Models

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 573):
… folk models are part of the unconscious background of thinking in everyday situation types; they have evolved without any conscious design and are not associated with academic contexts. Folk models can also be more conscious, of course — these are the models that people talk about, that they believe they believe. Scientific models are consciously designed in more restricted situation types, usually with academic institutions, to serve as resources in reasoning about the world.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Functional Complementarity Of Folk & Scientific Models

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 572):
There will always be some complementarity of function between the more designed varieties and those that are naturally evolving. They may be allocated to different spheres of activity: for example, the language of bird–watchers vs the language of ornithologists. But in other cases the two are closely integrated as submotifs within a single sphere: for example, the use of both natural language and mathematical expressions side by side in the learning and practice of mathematics. This kind of interpenetration still entails a semiotic complementarity, but of a very sensitive kind, requiring a delicate interpretation of the context in order to bring it out.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Folk & Scientific Models Co–Evolving

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 572):
As designed semiotic systems emerge, both the registers of the everyday language and the original specialist registers continue to exist and develop; folk models of the world will co-exist along the scientific ones. A certain degree of intertranslatability is likely to be maintained — linguistic renderings of logical or mathematical formulas, for instance; and this constitutes one of the contexts in which ordinary language is brought into explicit contact with more scientific varieties.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Language & The Mind: Interpersonal & Textual Metafunctions

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 569):
However, although they tend to be overlooked when one comes to build a ‘scientific’ model of language and the mind, these other metafunctions are no less important than the ideational.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Different Degrees Of Awareness Of Different Linguistic (Meta)Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 569): 
In addition to the different degrees of awareness of different grammatical units, such as words and clauses, people are also not equally aware of the different kinds of functions in which the resources of language are organised. In particular, in constructing and reasoning about more conscious models, people are readily aware of those linguistic resources whose function it is to interpret and represent experience, those of the ideational metafunction; but they are less aware of those of the other two metafunctions, the interpersonal and the textual — no doubt because these do not embody representations of experience but reflect our engagement with the world in different ways.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Cryptogrammar Can Illuminate Cognitive Science

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 569):
It is the analysis of some of these more covert features embodied in the everyday grammar, in particular the theory of mental processes, that throws light on the domain of cognitive science.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 569):
Whorf (1956) distinguished between overt and covert categories and pointed out that covert categories were often also “cryptotypes” — categories whose meanings were complex and difficult to access. Many aspects of clause grammar, and of the grammar of clause complexes, are essentially cryptotypic.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Word As A Grammatical Rank

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568-9):
… the study of words varying in form according to their case, number, aspect, person etc. Word-based systems such as these do provide a way in to studying grammatical semantics: but the meanings they construe are always more complex than the categories that appear as formal variants, and grammarians have had to become aware of covert patterns.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Word As Lexical Item Or “Lexeme”

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568):
This is construed as an isolate, a ‘thing’ that can be counted and put into alphabetical order. … The taxonomic organisation of vocabulary is less exposed …

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Word

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568):
The folk notion of the “word” is really a conflation of two different abstractions, one lexical [lexical item] and one grammatical [word rank].

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Awareness Of Language

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568):
Certain aspects of language are closer to conscious awareness than others; these are the more exposed parts of language, which are also the parts that tend to get studied first. In Western thinking about language, the most exposed aspect of language has been the “word”: to talk is to “put things into words”.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Unawareness Of Models As Linguistic Constructs

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568):
Whatever the scope and sophistication of a model, however, we are likely to be more aware of a model as a cultural construct than as a linguistic construct, since language is typically further from our conscious attention.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Awareness Of Models As Models

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 568):
There is thus a range of variation from our everyday folk models to scientific models, with expert models somewhere coming in between (Linde, 1987). Such models vary considerably in the degree to which we are consciously aware of them as models. We are more aware of models that ‘stand out’ as belonging to a particular subculture than those that are part of our everyday repertoire; and we are more aware of scientific models than of folk models.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Folk Models Vs Scientific Models Of Experience

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 566-7): 
The everyday folk models are more likely to be embraced unconsciously by everybody in a culture, because they are everyday models, instantiated in casual conversation, and because they are construed as congruent in the cryptogrammar. The general model of the phenomena of our experience, including those of our own consciousness — seeing, thinking, wanting, and feeling — is of this highly generalised kind. 
In contrast, scientific models are much more contextually constrained: they are developed, maintained, changed and transmitted within those situation types that we associate with scientific language. … these situation types are quite restrained relative to the context of culture as a whole … In this respect, scientific models are clearly sub-cultural models: contextually they are located somewhere between the potential and the instance.
… an inherent property of instantiation is variation; and scientific models (like other subcultural models) vary one in relation to another. Sometimes they are complementary, sometimes they conflict.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Linguistic Meanings [Semantics] Vs Higher–Level Cultural Meanings [Context]

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 566n):
‘Text’ or ‘discourse’ here has to be understood not just at the lowest level of abstraction in language as a realisation in speech and writing, but primarily as configurations of linguistic  [i.e. semantic] and higher–level cultural [i.e. contextual] meanings.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Locating Models Of Experience Instantially

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 566): 
At both these strata [context and semantics], models are also located along the cline of instantiation, running between the potential — the overall resources for making meaning, within the context of culture, and the instance — instantial ‘texts’ constituted of meanings that have been selected from this potential, within particular contexts of situation. The potential end of the cline of instantiation embodies all the contextual–semantic models that a culture embraces.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Locating Models Of Experience Stratally

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 565): 
Any given model of experience exists at different orders of abstraction. It is a configuration of higher–level meanings within the context of culture; at the same time, it is also construed semantically, in the ideation base. The relationship between these two orders of abstraction, contextual and semantic, is a stratal one; hence a model is a cultural construct that is construed in language (together with other language–dependent semiotic systems such as expository drawings and diagrams.)

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Cognitive Science: Based Uncritically On The Folk Model

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 565):
Cognitive science operates with a scientific model of the individual mind; but, we shall suggest, it is one that is based fairly uncritically on certain aspects of the folk model, in particular in its selection of, and perspective on, its own domain of enquiry.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Cognitive Science Is A Metaphorical Extension Of The Folk Model

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 565):
we shall suggest that the domain of cognitive science is construed ideationally within the folk model; but that this model is extended metaphorically in cognitive science itself, and this extension in fact invites the interpretation of knowledge as meaning.