Thursday, 31 May 2018

Attributive Clauses: Circumstantial Or Intensive [Diagnostic: Constituent Structure]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 290n):
Ascriptive verbs of marked phase such as turn and look, were treated as ‘intensive’ even when they had a preposition after them: for example, caterpillars turn into butterflies, Penelope looked like an angel.  This reflects their constituent structure; cf what they turn into are butterflies (not what they turn is into butterflies), Penelope looked angelic.  But there is an overlap at this point, and these could also be interpreted as circumstantial.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Circumstance As Attribute: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 290):
Here the Attribute is realised (1) by a prepositional phrase, in which case the circumstantial relation is expressed by the preposition … and/or (2) by an adverbial group …

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Circumstantial Attributive Clauses: Process Or Minor Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 290):
In the ‘attributive’ mode, the circumstantial element is an attribute that is being ascribed to some entity … These take two forms:
(a) one in which the circumstance is construed in the form of the Attribute
(b) the other in which the circumstantial relation is construed in the form of the Process
In the first case, the circumstantial relation is construed as a minor process realised by a preposition; in the second, it is construed as a process realised by a verb

Monday, 28 May 2018

Circumstantial Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 290):
In the ‘circumstantial’ type, the relationship between the two terms is one of time, place, manner, cause, accompaniment, role, matter or angle. These are also manifested as circumstantial elements in the English clause.

Blogger Comment:

As manifestations of the 'fractal types', the relationship is one of 
  • expansion
  • enhancement (time, place, manner, cause),
  • extension (accompaniment),
  • elaboration (role), or
  • projection (matter, angle).

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The ‘As Participant’ Or ‘As Process’ Contrast In Intensive Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 290):
The contrast between ‘as participant’ and ‘as process’ is, as we have just noted, a grammatical one and in a sense it applies also to ‘intensive’ clauses. Thus we have for example:
the meaning of ‘kita:bun’ is ‘book’/ ‘kita:bun’ means ‘book’,
the name of his mother is Anna/ his mother is called Anna,
examples of amphibians are frogs, toads and salamanders/ amphibians are exemplified by frogs, toads and salamanders
But a special feature of the ‘intensive’ type is that the sense of ‘meaning’, ‘name’, ‘example’ and the like may be left implicit in the participant (for the reason, see Matthiessen, 1991a): ‘kita:bun’ is ‘book’, his mother is Anna.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Possession & Circumstantiation As Participant vs Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 289-90):
With ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses, there is thus a systemic contrast between ‘possession/circumstantiation as participant’ and ‘possession/circumstantiation as process’. The contrast is a general one, construed in the grammatical zone of lexicogrammar rather than the lexical one; and just as with the ‘like’/‘please’ contrast in the grammar of ‘mental’ clauses, we often find lexical pairs manifesting the contrast such as be x’s/be owned, be like/resemble, be with/accompany, be in/inhabit, be around/surround, be opposite of/face, be about/concern – but just as in the mental case there may be gaps in the lexical paradigm.

Friday, 25 May 2018

The Rationâle For 'Possessive' And 'Circumstantial'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 289):
If all ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses had the intensive verb be as the Process, we could perhaps interpret them as subtypes of ‘intensive’ clauses – subtypes where possessor and possessed are related to one another and where circumstances are related to one another. Here the piano is Emily’s would be like our earlier example her name is Alice, where naming is construed as an aspect of one of the participants (cf. also the owner of the Piano is Emily). Under this interpretation a clause such as Emily has a piano would be the odd one out because here the sense of possession is construed in the process in the first instance (the verb have), not in (one of) the participants. 
However, Emily has a piano is not the odd one out; it exemplifies a regular option throughout for all ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses. This is the option of construing possession or circumstantiation as process. Thus alongside the piano is Emily’s, we have the piano is owned by Emily; and alongside Emily is like her mother, we have Emily resembles her mother. Here own means ‘be + possession’ and resemble means ‘be + like’.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Possessive And Circumstantial Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 289):
The verb be can be used in all categories set out in Section 5.4.2 although have is the unmarked verb in ‘attributive’ clauses of possession (in standard English we say Emily has a piano rather than with Emily is a piano).  The variants of ‘possessive’ and ‘circumstantial’ clauses with be (and have) are analogous to ‘intensive’ clauses.  Thus Emily has a piano can be interpreted as ‘Emily is a member of the class of piano–owners’ and the meeting is on Friday as ‘the meeting is a member of the class of the class of events on Friday’.  Similarly, the piano is Emily’s can be interpreted as ‘the piano is identified as the one belonging to Emily’ and Friday is the best time as ‘Friday is identified as the best time’.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

‘Circumstantial’ and ‘Possessive’ Relational Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 289):
These two types also come in two modes of being, ‘attributive’ and ‘identifying’. We can thus recognise the following series of proportions:
intensive            Emily is a poet :                            attributive
                          Emily is the poet ::                       identifying 
possessive          Emily has a piano :                        attributive
                          the piano is Emily’s ::                   identifying 
circumstantial    the meeting is on Friday :              attributive
                         the time of the meeting is Friday   identifying

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Assigned Attributive Clauses vs Creative Material Clauses [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 288-9):
We may note that there is a type of clause that is agnate to those with verbs of appearance in which the Carrier is construed on the model of a circumstance of Means (of the subtype ‘material’) marked by of or out of; for example:
‘It makes a mockery of the slogan which many of them use, “To Protect and Serve”,’ he said.
I mean, I think she’s made an absolute fool of herself
No one’s gonna make a fool out of me
These relational clauses resemble creative material ones with a circumstance of Means such as you could make fortune out of any one of your loves. However, in such material clauses the circumstance of Means can be left out: you could make a fortune, whereas the Carrier/Means cannot be left out of an assigned relational clause: we cannot say she’s made an absolute fool without of herself. Creative verbs other than make can serve as the Process, e.g. create, produce, develop. Further, there is a receptive option with such material clauses, e.g. a fortune could be made (by you) out of any of your loves, but there is no receptive version of assigned relational clauses of this type: an absolute fool has been made (by her) of herself is odd.

Monday, 21 May 2018


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 288):
Both ‘identifying’ and ‘attributive’ clauses of the ‘intensive’ kind have the option of assignment: they may be configured with a third participant representing the entity assigning the relationship of identity [or] attribution … In the case of ‘identifying’ clauses, this is the Assigner; in the case of ‘attributing’, this is the Attributor.  In a ‘receptive’ clause, this participant may be left implicit …

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Identifying Mode: Naming & Defining Vs Calling

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 287-8):
Most problematic of all are clauses of naming and defining, which lie exactly at the crossover point between the the two types of ‘identifying’ clause … Naming and defining are linguistic exercises, in which the word is Token and its meaning is Value. In calling, on the other hand, it is the name that is the Value.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Adjectival Attribute <-> Nominal Attribute <-> Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 287):
Nominal Attributes are closer to Values than adjectival ones; and these, in turn, are very close to the ‘is an example of’ type of ‘identifying’ clause, like those missiles constitute a threat to our security.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Attribute As An Instance Of A Class

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 287):
And on the other hand we often interpret an Attribute not just as an instance of a class but in some sense the value of the entity it carries, e.g. Pat is a millionaire.

Blogger Comment:

The incoherence here arises from Matthiessen's mistaken rewording of Halliday (1994: 129):
And on the other hand we often interpret an Attribute not just as an instance of a class but in some sense the value of the entity that carries it, e.g. Pat is a millionaire.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Continuity From Attribution To Decoding Identity

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 287):
The continuity becomes clearer when we set up as Value/Identifier something that is explicitly worded as membership of a class, using the expression ‘one of ...’
Pat                             is            one of the richest people I know
Identified/Token                       Identifier/Value

Blogger Comment:

Note that, viewed 'from above', an attributive relation obtains between the Head (Carrier) — one — and the Postmodifier (Attribute) — the richest people I know — of the nominal group serving as Identifier/Value.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Attributive <–> Decoding <–> Encoding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 286):
… the [decoding] type of ‘identifying’ clause where the Identifier is the Value (that is, the identity is given by function) is intermediate between the attributive and the other [encoding] type of ‘identifying’, the one where the Identifier is the Token (identity is given by form):
Pat is rich                      Attribute               attributive
Pat is the richest           Identifier/Value     decoding
the richest is Pat           Identifier/Token    encoding

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Classifying vs Identifying

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 286):
So for example
my brother                 is       tall
Carrier = member                Attribute = class
means ‘my brother belongs to the class of people who are tall’. This specifies one of his attributes; but it does not serve to identify him – there are other tall people besides. The only means of identifying something by assigning it to a class is to make that a class of one. But if the one-member class is at the same level of abstraction as its member, we have a tautology: my brother is my brother.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Carrier & Attribute Differ In Generality Not Abstraction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 286):
In attribution, some entity is being said to have an attribute. This means that it is being assigned to a class, and the two elements that enter into this relation, the attribute and the entity that ‘carries’ it, thus differ in generality (the one includes the other) but are at the same level of abstraction [unlike Token and Value].

Blogger Comments:

Note that this also, therefore, characterises the difference between instantiation (attribution/generality) and stratification (identity/abstraction).  Language is more general than register; context is more abstract than language.  This is the fundamental theoretical reason why register ≠ context.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Thematic Equatives

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 285):
Note that in a thematic equative, the nominalisation is always the Value.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Intensive Identifying Clauses: Sub-Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 284-5):
Equation … Equivalence … Rôle–play … Naming … Definition … Symbolisation (including glossing and translation) … Exemplification … Demonstration …

Friday, 11 May 2018

Encoding vs Decoding Clauses In Logogenesis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 283-4):
Identifying clauses of different coding orientations make distinct and complementary contributions in the development of text. Thus ‘encoding’ clauses serve as a resource for presenting the steps in the organisation of a text …  In contrast, ‘decoding’ clauses can be used as a strategy for interpreting phenomena that have been observed …

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Token Vs Value [Diagnostic: Voice & Subject]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 282-3):
With a verb other than be it is clear which is Token and which is Value, since … this can be determined by the voice: if the clause is ‘operative’, the Subject is Token, whereas if the clause is ‘receptive’, the Subject is Value. … With the verb be one cannot tell whether the clause is ‘operative’ or ‘receptive’; the best strategy for analysing these is to substitute some other verb, such as represent, and see which voice is chosen.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Receptive Voice: Purpose

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 282):
The reason for choosing the ‘receptive’ in English is to get the desired texture, in terms of Theme–Rheme and Given–New; in particular it avoids marked information focus (which carries an additional semantic feature of contrast).

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Identifying Mode: Operative Vs Receptive Voice

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 280):
It is this directionality that determines the voice of the clause – whether it is ‘operative’ or ‘receptive’; and in order to explain this we need to operate with Token and Value as structural functions. … In other words, ‘identifying’ clauses select for voice; they have an ‘operative’ and a ‘receptive’ variant. The difference is entirely systematic, once we recognise the structure of Token and Value: the ‘operative’ voice is the one in which the Subject is also the Token (just as, in a ‘material’ clause, the ‘operative’ is the variant in which the Subject is also the Actor).

Monday, 7 May 2018

Identifying Mode: Decoding Vs Encoding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 279-80):
… either the Token is ‘decoded’
or else the Value is ‘encoded’.
If the Token is construed as Identified and the Value as Identifier, the clause is a decoding one …
if the Value is construed as Identified and the Token as Identifier, the clause is an encoding one …
In other words, the identity either decodes the Token by reference to the Value
or it encodes the Value by reference to the Token.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Identifying Mode: Direction Of Coding

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 279):
Every ‘identifying’ clause faces either one way or the other: the structure is either Identified/Token ^ Identifier/Value [decoding] … or Identified/Value ^ Identifier/Token [encoding].

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Token & Value

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 279):
In any ‘identifying’ clause, the two halves refer to the same thing; but the clause is not a tautology, so there must be some difference between them. This difference can be characterised as a stratal one of ‘expression’ and ‘content’; or, in terms of their generalised labels in the grammar, of Token and Value — and either can be used to identify the other.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Identifier & New [Contra Fawcett]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 279):
For the present discussion, we shall take it that the Identifier always carries the tonic prominence. This is not, in fact, true; it is the typical pattern, since it is the identity that is likely to be new information, but there is a marked option whereby the Identified is construed as the New. (Note therefore that Identified–Identifier cannot simply be explained as Given–New in an ‘identifying’ clause [as Fawcett maintains]; not surprisingly, since the former are experiential functions whereas the latter are textual.)

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Identifying Vs Attributive Mode [Diagnostic: Reversibility]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 278):
These [‘identifying’] clauses are reversible. All verbs except the neutral be and the phased become, remain (and those with following prepositions like as in act as) have passive forms … Clauses with be reverse without change in the form of the verb and without marking the non-Subject participant …

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Attributive Vs Identifying Mode: Interrogative Probe

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 278):
The interrogative probe for such [‘identifying’] clauses is which?, who?, which/who…as? (or what? if the choice is open–ended) …

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Identifying Mode: Lexical Verb

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 278):
The lexical verb of the verbal group realising the [identifying] Process is one from the ‘equative’ classes.