Thursday, 28 February 2019

Personal Pronoun And Proper Noun

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 384):
Personal pronouns and proper names are alike in that, for both, the reference is typically unique. With pronouns, the referent is defined interpersonally, by the speech situation. With proper names it is defined experientially: there exists only one, at least in the relevant body of experience. In both cases, this means that typically there is no further specification; pronouns and proper names usually occur without any other elements of the nominal group. Sometimes they need further defining, like you in the back row, Henry the Eighth (this was how surnames started, as Qualifiers of personal names); and they may carry attitudinal Epithets, like poor Tom – cf. pretty little Polly Perkins of Paddington Green, which has both.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Personal Pronoun As Thing

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 383):
The personal pronoun represents the world according to the speaker, in the context of a speech exchange. The basic distinction is into speech rôles (I, you) and other rôles (he, she, it, they); there is also the generalised pronoun (one).

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Thing: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 383):
The element we are calling Thing is the semantic core of the nominal group. It may be common noun, proper noun or (personal) pronoun.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Qualifier In Incongruent Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 383):
In an incongruent nominal group corresponding to a congruent clause, Qualifiers correspond to participants or circumstances in the transitivity structure of the clause; or when the Head/Thing of the nominal group is a nominalisation of a verb of sensing or saying, they may correspond to projected clauses in a clause nexus.
Carnation has been available in the UK since 1946, but the main marketing effort dates only from 1954 with the removal [of restrictions [on sales] ].
THE decision [by the Arbitration Commission] [[ to award the 2.3 percent pay increase]] is unfortunate, but it was to be expected.
This is the real meaning of the US Senate’s decision [last week] [[ to override any possibility of a presidential veto for real, hard-hitting sanctions against the separate, increasingly desperate tribes [[ that make up the political entity of South Africa]] ]] .
As the examples illustrate, participants reconstrued as Qualifiers are realised by prepositional phrases with either of or by; circumstances are realised in the same way that they would be realised in clauses, by either prepositional phrases or adverbial groups.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Defining Vs Non-Defining Relative Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 383):
A clause functioning as Qualifier in the nominal group is referred to as a relative clause; more specifically, as a defining relative clause (in contrast to a non-defining relative clause, which is not embedded but hypotactically dependent).

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Nominal Group As Qualifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382):
It is also possible for a nominal group to function as Qualifier inside the structure of another nominal group, for example my brother the lawyer, where the lawyer defines which brother is being referred to. Such instances typically have a possessive determiner as the Deictic element.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Qualifier: Nature Of The Characterisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382):
But the characterisation here is in terms of some process in which the Thing is, directly or indirectly, a participant. It may be a major process — that is, a clause, finite or non-finite; or a minor process — a prepositional phrase. … The non-finite clause may appear in this environment with no verb present, eg the poles with flags on

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Qualifier: Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382):
Like the other, ‘ranking’ (i.e. not embedded) elements of the nominal group, the Qualifier also has the function of characterising the Thing; and again the Deictic the serves to signal that the characteristic in question is defining.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Term ‘Embedded’ In SFL

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382):
We may also use the term ‘embedded’, taken from formal grammars; but with the proviso that this term is often used to cover both rank shift (where the item is downgraded as a constituent) and hypotaxis (where the item is dependent on another one but is not a constituent of it …). Here we shall use embedded only as an alternative term synonymous with rankshifted.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Adjectives After The Thing Element

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382n):
Adjectives and nouns can occur after the Thing in wordings borrowed from languages where Epithets and Classifiers follow the Thing, e.g. professor emeritus, salade Niçoise; and this may be used to give a person a foreign flavour, as with Agatha Christie’s linguistic portrayal of Hercule Poirot: a crime most horrible. However, certain types of adjective also appear after the Thing as part of the pattern of the nominal group in English; they often include a sense of potentiality. There are reasons for interpreting these as Qualifier rather than as Epithet or Classifier. Bolinger (1967) drew attention to contrasts such as a navigable river and a river navigable, and his suggestions have been followed up in the literature (see e.g. McCawley, 1988: Ch. 12; Blöhdorn, 2009). The sequence with Thing: noun ^ Qualifier: adjective is much less common than the sequence with the adjective before the Thing, but it does occur, e.g.:
Throughout the U.S., there are more than 30,000 miles of waterways navigable by small boats.;
So did the idea of making the Danube a river fully navigable by large vessels.;
It was the best solution possible.
The sense is that of a Qualifier rather than that of an Epithet or Classifier, and it would be possible to interpret such adjectives as Attributes in reduced intensive attributive relative clauses, as in a river that is fully navigable by large vessels, and, by a further step (‘unpacking’ the potential form of the adjective), a river that can be fully navigated by large vessels.

Blogger Comment:

Note that these reasons are not provided.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Rank–Shifted Vs Ranking [Definition]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 382):
With only rare exceptions, all Qualifiers are rank–shifted. What this means is that position following the Thing is reserved for those items which, in their own structure, are of a rank higher than or at least equivalent to that of the nominal group; on these grounds, therefore, they would not be expected to be constituents of a nominal group. Such items are said to be ‘rank–shifted’, by contrast with ranking ones which function prototypically as constituents of the higher unit.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Qualifier: Realisation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 381):
Unlike the elements that precede the Thing, which are words (or sometimes word complexes …), what follows the Thing is either a phrase or a clause.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

From Less To More Permanent Attribute

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 381):
By and large, the more permanent the attribute of a Thing, the less likely it is to identify it in a particular context. So we proceed with the very impermanent, quantitative characterisation that is nearest to a Deictic, e.g. three in three balls; through various qualitative features such as new in new ball; and end up with the most permanent, the assignment to a class, e.g. tennis ball. Within the qualitative characteristics, if more than one is specified there is, again, a tendency to more from the less permanent to the more permanent; e.g. a new red ball rather than a red new ball.

Friday, 15 February 2019

From Most To Least Identifying Potential

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 381):
So the principle which puts the Theme first in the clause is the same as that which puts the Deictic first in the nominal group: start by locating the Thing in relation to the here–&–now — in the space–time context of the ongoing speech event. From there we proceed to elements which have successively less identifying potential — which, by the same token, are increasingly permanent as attributes.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Ordering Principle Common To Nominal Group And Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 381):
… there is a progression in the nominal group from the kind of element that has the greatest specifying potential to that which has the least; and this is the principle of ordering that we have already recognised in the clause. In the clause, the Theme comes first. We begin by establishing relevance: stating what it is that we are using to introduce this clause into the discourse, as ‘this is where I’m starting from’ — typically, though by no means necessarily, something that is already ‘given’ in the context. In the nominal group, we begin with the Deictic: ‘first I’ll tell you which I mean’, your, these, any, a, etc.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Experiential Pattern Embodied In Nominal Group Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 380-1):
We can now follow the experiential pattern that is embodied in nominal group structure. Proceeding from left to right, we begin with the immediate context, the identification of the item in terms of the here-&-now, e.g. those trains ‘the trains you can see over there’. Of course, this identification is often in terms of the surrounding text rather than the situation, e.g. those trains ‘the trains you’ve just been talking about’; but the point of reference is still the speech event. 
From there we go on to quantitative features: place in order, and number. These are less naturally definitive than this or that, mine or yours, but more so than a merely qualitative attribute; and the ordinals, being the more definitive of the two, come first. An ordinal is a kind of superlative cardinal: third = ‘three-est’, i.e. identified by being at number three. 
Next come the qualitative features, again with superlatives preceding others: the oldest trains ‘trains for which oldness is the identifying feature’. Often there is an intensifier, such as very, or an attitudinal element like nice, terrible as a marker of the quality. 
Finally, comes class membership; this reduces the size of the total set referred to in the noun by specifying a sub-set, e.g. passenger train ‘kind of train that is for carrying passengers’. 
We are talking here, it should be made clear, of the identifying potential of these elements. In any actual instance, the item in question may or may not be identifying; and this is the function of the word the at the beginning of the group – to signal that something that is capable of identifying is actually functioning in this way. 
So there is a progression in the nominal group from the kind of element that has the greatest specifying potential to that which has the least;

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Verb Participle As Epithet Or Classifier In Incongruent Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 380):
Often the participle is itself further modified, as in a fast-moving train, a hard-boiled egg. The resulting compound may embody any one of a number of different experiential relations, e.g. well-meaning, habit-forming, fund-raising, right-angled, fruit-flavoured, pear-shaped, architect-designed, simple-minded, bottled-nosed, iron-fisted, two-edged
What is happening here is that some part of the experiential structure of a clause is being downgraded to function as Epithet or Classifier; it is a reduced form of a non-finite clause and hence agnate to a (finite or non-finite) Qualifier.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Cliché Nominal Groups: Participle As Classifier Or Epithet?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 380):
Note finally that the fact that a particular expression is a cliché does not imply that the modifying element is necessarily a Classifier – the ‘permanence’ is merely a feature of the wording! Thus in a considered opinion, a heated argument, the promised land, a going concern, the verbs are all Epithets: ‘which has been considered’, ‘which has become heated’, ‘which has been promised’, ‘which is going [well]’.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Verb Participle: Epithet vs Classifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 380):
It is natural that the more lasting attribute should tend to have a classifying function. But the present participle as Classifier does not exclude the sense of ‘which is ... ing’, as in the rising/setting sun; and conversely, the past participle as Epithet does not always carry the meaning of ‘which has been ...’, since many such forms are in fact adjectives, as in a haunted house, a crowded train
The same word may be now one, now the other: in Would you like a boiled egg? boiled is Classifier, ‘which gets boiled’, contrasting with fried, poached or scrambled; while in You must drink only boiled water here, boiled is Epithet ‘which has been boiled’. 
In He got stuck in a revolving door, either interpretation is possible: Classifier ‘of the kind which revolves’, Epithet ‘which was revolving’ (cf. fast trains above).

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Verb Functioning As Epithet vs Classifier

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 379):
When functioning as Epithet, these forms usually have the sense of the finite tense to which they are most closely related: the present participle means ‘which is (was/will be) ... ing’, the past participle means ‘which has (had/will have) been ... ed’. When functioning as Classifier, they typically have the sense of a simple present, active or passive: present (= active) ‘which ... s’, past (= passive) ‘which is ... ed’. 
If however the verb is one which does not normally take the ‘present in present’ tense be ... ing (i.e. a verb expressing a mental or relational process), the distinction between ‘which ... s’ and ‘which is ... ing’ is neutralised;

Friday, 8 February 2019

Functions Of Verbs In The Nominal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 379):
Other words also enter into the nominal group, namely words of the class verb, which may function as Epithet or Classifier. Verbs function in the nominal group in one of two forms:
(i) present (active) participle, V-ing, e.g. losing, as in a losing battle;
(ii) past (passive, or intransitive) participle, V-en, e.g. lost, as in a lost cause.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Word Class: Nominal

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 379):
These word classes — noun (= common noun), adjective, numeral and determiner — are all different kinds of noun; they are subclasses of this one primary class. This larger class can be referred to as ‘nominals’, to avoid confusion with ‘noun’ in its narrower, more specific sense.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Typical Word Classes Realising Nominal Group Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 379):
The classes of word which most typically realise these functions are as follows:

But there are other possibilities: for example, numeral occurring as Classifier, as in first prize, or embedded nominal group as possessive Deictic, e.g. the day before yesterday’s paper.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Possessive Deictic vs Classifier: Determination

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 378):
Unlike nominal groups embedded as possessive Deictics, nouns serving as Classifier have no determination system, so they do not refer to particular participants only to generalised ones: contrast the Minister’s decision with ministerial decision.

Blogger Comment:

Note that 'refer' here has the sense of ideational denotation, rather than that of reference in the cohesive sense.  The two senses are confused in Martin (1992) and Matthiessen here helps to maintain that confusion.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Classifier In Incongruent Nominal Groups

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 378):
In an incongruent nominal group corresponding to a congruent clause, the Classifier may correspond to either a participant or circumstance in the transitivity structure of the clause; for example:
I would have thought the entry of the Americans into the war, the British and French efforts, and the losses sustained in Ludendorf’s final offensive had something to do with it,

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Classifier + Thing Vs Compound Noun

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 378):
A sequence of Classifier + Thing may be so closely bonded that it is very like a single compound noun, especially where the Thing is a noun of a very general class … In such sequences the Classifier often carries the tonic prominence, which makes it sound like the first element in a compound noun. … the line between a compound noun and a nominal group consisting of Classifier + Thing is very fuzzy and shifting, which is why people are often uncertain how to write such sequences, whether as one word, as two words, or joined by a hyphen …

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Classifier: Range Of Semantic Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 377):
The range of semantic relations that may be embodied in a set of items functioning as Classifier is very broad; it includes material, scale and scope, purpose and function, status and rank, origin, mode of operation — more or less any feature that may serve to classify a set of things into a system of smaller sets …

Friday, 1 February 2019

Classifier Vs Epithet: Reflections In The Grammar [Diagnostic]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 377):
The line between Epithet and Classifier is not a very sharp one, but there are significant differences. Classifiers do not accept degrees of comparison or intensity – we cannot have a more electric train or a very electric train; and they tend to be organised in mutually exclusive and exhaustive sets – a train is either electric, steam or diesel.