Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Phrasal Verbs: Types

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 413): 
Phrasal verbs are lexical verbs which consist of more than just the verb word itself. They are of two kinds, plus a third which is a combination of the other two:
(i) verb + adverb, e.g. look out ‘unearth, retrieve’
(ii) verb + preposition, e.g. look for ‘seek’
(iii) verb + adverb + preposition, e.g. look out for ‘watch for the presence of’

Monday, 29 April 2019

The Distinction Between ‘Contrastive In Tense’ And ‘Contrastive In Polarity’

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 411):
The distinction between ‘contrastive in tense’ and ‘contrastive in polarity’ is realised only if at least one secondary tense is chosen; it is however regarded as systemic in all instances, with ambiguity arising where there is no secondary tense.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

No System Of Mood In The Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 411):
There is no system of mood in the verbal group.  If a clause is ‘free: indicative’ or ‘bound: finite’, the verbal group is ‘finite’.  If a clause is either ‘free: imperative’ or ‘bound: non-finite’ the verbal group is ‘non-finite’.  The verbal group of an imperative clause is ‘perfective’ in aspect and ‘no secondary’ or ‘present’ in (secondary) tense; negative variants have the special realisation don’t(In various languages, clausal contrasts in MOOD correlate with verbal contrasts in MODE.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

The Key To The Organisation Of The Verbal Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 411):
The logical system of SECONDARY TENSE provides the key to the organisation of the verbal group: this is the system that defines the logical structure discussed above. The system of VOICE also contributes an auxiliary to this structure (be ... -en), which functions like a final secondary tense right before the Event.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Verbal Group Systems By Metafunction

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 411):
The systems of the verbal group derive from different metafunctions:
(i) Textual: voice, contrast and ellipsis; 
(ii) Interpersonal: polarity, finiteness and modality; 
(iii) Experiential: aspect and event type; 
(iv) Logical: secondary tense.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Event Type

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 410-1):
As we have seen, the verbal group is highly grammaticalised: all elements of its structure except for the Event are realised by grammatical items, the Event being the only one that is realised by a lexical item. It follows that the system network of the verbal group is a network of systems representing contrasts that are purely grammatical in nature.  The only system that extends in delicacy towards distinctions that are realised lexically is the system of event type — the verbal group analogue of the thing type system in the nominal group.  This system is concerned with distinctions among verbs relating to their temporal properties (thus complementing the clausal system of process type, which is concerned with distinctions among processes relating to configurations of process plus participants).

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Serial Tense Subcategorises Events Grammatically

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 407):
What has happened is that relative time — before, at or after a defined time reference — has come to be interpreted, in the semantics of English, as a kind of logical relation; a way of subcategorising events similar to the subcategorising of things, except that the latter is multidimensional (and hence lexicalised), whereas the former is based on a single semantic dimension and can therefore be expressed entirely by grammatical means.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Serial Tense Vs 'Aspect' Nomenclature

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 406):
What is remarkable about serial tense is its regularity: the way in which each choice of tense, whether past, present or future, defines a location in time which is then used as the point of departure for a further choice among the same three tenses. This regularity is obscured, and distorted, by the categories of the structuralist analysis, and especially the ‘aspect’ nomenclature of perfect and progressive (or continuous).

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Tense System Differences: Deixis

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 405):
The difference between this [System III] and System II is that in System III the effect is simply to eliminate the entire choice of primary tense. System I minus the α tense gives System III. The non-finite or modalised verbal group has no deictic tense element: non-finites because they have no deictic at all (that is what non-finite implies: not anchored in the here-and-now); modalised because, while they have a deictic element (being finite), their deixis takes the form of modality and not tense. Strictly speaking, the first secondary tense of the non-finite should be labelled α, since that becomes the Head element; but it seems simpler and clearer to retain the association of α with finiteness and show non-finites as beginning with β.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Non-Finite Tense Systems (System III)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 405):
System III is the tense system available in non-finite and in modalised forms of the verbal group. Here a further neutralisation takes place, that is, both that in system II (affecting the past) and a parallel one affecting the future. … What happens here is that (i) past, past in present and past in past are all represented by past; (ii) future, future in present and future in future are all represented by future. There are twelve such triads; the total number of tenses in System III is therefore 36 – (2 x 12) = 12.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Sequent Tense Systems (System II)

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 404-5):
System II is that which is available after a past projection [i.e. projecting clause] such as they said. … What happens here is that in the environment of a ‘past’ feature, the past element in three of the System II tenses is neutralised; past, past in present and past in past [are] all represented as past in past. Since there are six such triads, System II has 2 x 6 =12 fewer tenses than System I.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Finite, Sequent & Non-Finite Tense Systems

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 404):
There are in fact three distinct systems of tense in English:
  • System I: finite 36 tenses
  • System II: sequent 24 tenses
  • System III: non-finite/modalised 12 tenses

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Restrictions On Tense

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 401):
Since the tense system is recursive, there should be no longest possible tense.  However, in practice there are certain restrictions which limit the total set of those that occur.  These restrictions, or ‘stop rules’, are as follows:
  • (i) Apart from α, future occurs only once.
  • (ii) Apart from α, present occurs only once, and always at the deepest level.
  • (iii) Apart from α, the same tense does not occur twice consecutively. … 
    That is:
    • following (i), we do not hear she is going to have been about to do it
    • following (ii), we do not hear he has been having done it
    • following (iii), we do not hear they will have had done it.
    These restrictions limit the total number of finite tenses to 36.

    Tuesday, 16 April 2019

    Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Voice

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 400):
    The expression of voice is an extension of that of tense.  The active has no explicit marker; the passive is expressed by be or get plus V-en (past/passive participle), appearing as an additional modifying element at the end.  The passive thus functions like an additional secondary tense; and it displays a distinctive combination of presentness (be) and pastness (V-en) suggesting ‘to be in a present condition resulting from a past event’For this reason, there is no very clear line between passives and attributes having passive form.

    Monday, 15 April 2019

    Logical Structure Of The Verbal Group: Primary & Secondary Tense

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 398-9):
    The logical structure of the verbal group realises the system of tense. … Thus tense in English is a recursive system.  The primary tense is that functioning as Head, shown as α.  This is the Deictic tense: past, present or future relative to the speech event.  The modifying elements, at β and beyond, are secondary tenses; they express past, present or future relative to the time selected in the previous tense… In naming the tenses, it is best to work backwards, beginning with the deepest and using the preposition in to express the serial modification.

    Sunday, 14 April 2019

    Verbal Group: Limitations Of Experiential Labelling

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 398):
    However, the structural labelling of the words that make up the verbal group is of limited value, not only because the meaning can be fully represented in terms of grammatical features (of tense, voice, polarity and modality), but also because it is the logical structure that embodies the single most important semantic feature of the English verb, its recursive tense system, and the elements of the logical structure are not in the individual words but certain rather more complex elements.

    Saturday, 13 April 2019

    Verbal Group: Metafunctional Components

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 397-8):
    Just as with the nominal group, therefore, there is no call to give a separate analysis corresponding to each of the three semantic components experiential, interpersonal, textual. The textual meaning is embodied in the ordering of the elements. The interpersonal meaning resides in the deictic features associated with finitenessprimary tense or modality — together with any attitudinal colouring that may be present in the lexical verb. And further systematic distinctions of both kinds may be realised by intonation and rhythm: contrast the neutral he hasn’t been working
    // ^ he /hasn’t been /working //
    with a variant such as he has not BEEN working
    // ^ he has /not /been /working //
    which has ‘marked negative (polarity)’ and ‘contrastive past (tense)’, as in Figure 6-14.

    Friday, 12 April 2019

    Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Textual Motivation

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 397):
    Initial position is thematic; and the natural theme of a process or participant is its relation to the here-&-now.  Final position is informative; and the newsworthy component of a process or participant is some aspect of its lexical content.  So the structure of groups recapitulates, in the fixed ordering of their elements, the meaning that is incorporated as choice in the message structure of the clause.

    Thursday, 11 April 2019

    Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism: Underlying Commonality

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 397):
    Both verbal and nominal group begin with the element that ‘fixes’ the group in relation to the speech exchange; and both end with the element that specifies the representational content — the difference being that, since things are more highly organised than events, there are additional lexical elements in the nominal but none in the verbal group.

    Wednesday, 10 April 2019

    Verbal Group / Nominal Group Parallelism

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 397):
    A striking feature of this structure is its parallelism with the nominal group. The verbal group begins with the Finite, which is the verbal equivalent of the Deictic, relating the process to the ‘speaker-now’; the Finite does so by tense or modality, whereas the Deictic does so by person or proximity, but each of these provides the orientation of the group. The verbal group ends with the Event, which is the verbal equivalent of the Thing; the former expresses a process, which may be an event, act of consciousness or relation, whereas the latter expresses an entity of some kind, but both represent the core of the lexical meaning.

    Tuesday, 9 April 2019

    Experiential Structure Of The Finite Verbal Group

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 397):
    The experiential structure of the finite verbal group is Finite (standing for ‘Finite operator’) plus Event, with optional elements Auxiliary (one or more) and Polarity. Finite verbal groups range from short, one-word items such as ate, where the Finite is fused with the Event and there is no Auxiliary, to long strings like couldn’t have been going to be being eaten.

    Monday, 8 April 2019

    Verbal Group Viewed From Above And Below

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 396-7):
    The verbal group is the constituent that functions as Finite plus Predicator (or as Predicator alone if there is no Finite element) in the mood structure (clause as exchange); and as Process in the transitivity structure (clause as representation). …
    A verbal group is the expansion of a verb, in the same way that a nominal group is the expansion of a noun; and it consists of a sequence of words of the primary class of verb. If we consider has been eating just as a word sequence, it contains a lexical verb eat, which comes last; a finite verb has, which comes first; and an auxiliary verb been, which comes in between. No other ordering of these three components is possible. 
    As with the nominal group, we can express this both as an experiential and as a logical structure. Because there is very much less lexical material in the verbal group — only one lexical item, in fact — the experiential structure is extremely simple; and most of the semantic load is carried by the logical structure, including the tense system.

    Sunday, 7 April 2019

    Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Construal

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 396):
    In all such nominal expressions where Head and Thing are not conflated although both are clearly present, what is being construed is a phenomenon that from one point of view appears as a single entity and from another point of view as two. Such expressions have their basis in the concrete realms of our experience, such as cups and coffee; they then become an extremely rich resource for construing the virtual entities that make up so much of the environment of our adult existence.

    Saturday, 6 April 2019

    Extended Numerative: Type: Facet

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 395-6):
    In expressions of facet such as the front of the house, the entire length of the narrative, the Head noun front, length is related in function to the preposition in a prepositional phrase: before/in front of the house, throughout the narrative. There is, in fact, a cline from one to the other: for example 
    • at the summit of the hill (where summit is both Head and Thing) – 
    • at/on the top of the hill – 
    • on top of the hill – 
    • (atop the hill —) 
    • on the hill (where hill is both Head and Thing). 
    In on top of the hill, on top of is a preposition group; here top has no Deictic, cannot be pluralised, and can be used with abstract Things (I think we’ve got on top of the problem). But at/on the top of the hill forms a prepositional phrase: the preposition is at or on; the top of the hill is the Complement, where top can be pluralised ((on) the tops of the hills), but not made abstract – we will not find on the top(s) of the problem(s). Here top is a facet term, and the analysis will be as in Figure 6-12.

    Blogger Comments:

    In Figure 6-12, 'Qualifier' (experiential) should be 'Postmodifier' (logical).

    Friday, 5 April 2019

    Extended Numerative: Type: Variety

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 395):
    Those of variety include a few very general terms such as kind, sort, type; these are the expressions that have led to the use of kind of, sort of as little more than markers of hesitation in casual speech. The words example, instance, specimen sometimes function in a similar way, especially in exemplifying identifying clauses, e.g. a toad is an example of an amphibian, whereas with a word like kind the meaning of classification is embodied in the clause structure and is construed by the clause structure even where the classifying word is omitted (a toad is an amphibian).

    Thursday, 4 April 2019

    Extended Numeratives: Measure Vs Type

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 395):
    While measure items [aggregate, portion, quantum] delimit the Thing in terms of quantity, those of type [variety, facet, make-up] delimit it in terms of generality: some species of it, some aspect of it, or its composition.

    Wednesday, 3 April 2019

    Epithet And Head/Thing Dissociation

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 394-5):
    A measure item may be followed by a fully elaborated nominal group, as in a cup of that good strong Indian tea. It often happens that the Epithet is transferred to the Head, as in a strong cup of tea, although clearly it is the tea that is strong, not the cup. Similarly: a bloody good cup of coffee. It is partly the rather ambivalent nature of this structure, in which Head and Thing are separated, that causes this to happen; but it also arises because in many instances the Epithet could apply equally well to either, as in a cloud of thick smoke, a thick cloud of smoke, which provides the model for a strong cup of tea. (Classifiers, on the other hand, do not get transferred; we do not say a brown slice of bread.) Sometimes the Epithet belongs more naturally with the Numerative, as in a large cup of tea; but even here one can never have an Epithet that characterises the item in question in any way other than its function as a Numerative – one cannot say a blue cup of tea to mean ‘a cup of tea in a blue cup’. Finally, it is not unusual to have an Epithet in both positions, as in a thick layer of powdery snow, a plastic cup of red, watery punch.

    Tuesday, 2 April 2019

    Extended Numerative vs Qualifier In Nominal Groups

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 394):
    The word of is the generalised marker of a structural relationship between nominals. All these instances can be related to the different senses of of occurring in a Qualifier; e.g. (aggregate) the House of Lords, (portion) both Houses of Parliament, (quantum) a house full of treasure, (variety) a house of respite, (facet) the House of Windsor, (make-up) a house of three storeys. In all such examples, house is both Head and Thing. In measure/type expressions, on the other hand, the Head word has become partially grammaticalised; hence it is often phonologically weak (non-salient), and there is often indeterminacy about the location of other elements in the nominal group, such as plural markers and Epithets.

    Monday, 1 April 2019

    Dissociation Of Head & Thing: Extended Numeratives

    Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 393, 394):
    There is one other significant variety of nominal group that is construed in the same way, with the Head dissociated from the Thing and the two linked by of, as in a cup of coffee. We noted above that such expressions often figure as agnate to a ‘counted’ mass noun: a new polish/type of polish, three coffees/cups of coffee. These could be regarded as extended Numeratives, the Head being a word of measure or type. They can be represented as a matrix of two variables (see Table 6-11): (i) measure (quantity) / type (quality), (ii) the set relationship of Head to Thing (collective (Head > Thing), partitive (Head < Thing), quantitative (Head = Thing)). 
    What all these have in common is that, while the Thing is the entity that is functioning as participant in the transitivity structure of the clause, the logical Head of the construction is something that constrains the entity in terms of the two variables mentioned above. It is the Head that determines the value of the entity in the mood system, and therefore as a potential Subject.