Friday, 31 May 2019

Prepositional Phrases With 'Of'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 425):
We noted above that prepositional phrases serve either as Adjunct or as Postmodifier. The exception is prepositional phrases with of, which normally occur only as Postmodifier; the reason is that they are not typical prepositional phrases, because in most of its contexts of use of is functioning not as minor Process/Predicator but rather as a structure marker in the nominal group (cf. to as a structure marker in the verbal group). 
Hence of phrases occur as clause elements only in two cases: 
(1) as circumstance of Matter, e.g. Of George Washington it is said that he never told a lie
(2) as one of a cluster of circumstances expressing a sense of ‘source’, all ultimately deriving from abstract locative ‘from’: died/was cured of cancer, accused/convicted/acquitted of murder, and so on.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Why Prepositional Phrases Are Not Groups But A Kind Of Minor Clause

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 425):
But note that prepositional phrases are phrases not groups; they have no logical structure as Head and Modifier, and cannot be reduced to a single element. In this respect, they are clause-like rather than group-like; hence when we interpret the preposition as ‘minor Predicator’ and ‘minor Process’ we are interpreting the prepositional phrase as a kind of ‘minor clause’ — which is what it is.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Prepositional Phrase: Experiential Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 425):
Likewise on the experiential dimension the preposition functions as a minor Process. The nominal group corresponds in function to a Range. But the constituency is the same whether we represent the prepositional phrase experientially, as in Figure 6-26 (a), or interpersonally, as in Figure 6-26 (b).

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Prepositional Phrases Vs Non-Finite Clauses [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 425):
There is in fact an area of overlap between prepositional phrases and non-finite clauses; some instances can be interpreted as either, and some non-finite verb forms can be classified as prepositions, for example regarding, concerning, including.  In principle, a non-finite clause implies a potential Subject, whereas a prepositional phrase does not; but the prevalence of so-called ‘hanging participles’ shows that this is not always taken very seriously (e.g. it’s cold not wearing a hat).  More significant is the fact that non-finite clauses are clauses; that is, they can be expanded to include other elements of clause structure, whereas prepositional phrases cannot. One can say either he left the city in his wife’s car or he left the city taking his wife’s car; but only the latter can be expanded to he left the city taking his wife’s car quietly out of the driveway.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Why Many Prepositional Complements Have The Potential To Become Subject

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 424):
… prepositional Complements increasingly tend to have the same potential for becoming Subject, as in this floor shouldn’t be walked on for a few days.  No doubt one reason for this tendency has been the lexical unity of phrasal verbs; because look up to is a single lexical item, with a one-word near-synonym admire, it is natural to parallel people have always looked up to her with she’s always been looked up to.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Prepositional Phrase: Interpersonal Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 424):
A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus a nominal group for example, on the burning deck. We have explained a preposition as a minor verb. On the interpersonal dimension if functions as a minor Predicator having a nominal group as its Complement;

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Prepositional Phrase: Functions

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 424):
The prepositional phrase serves as Adjunct in the modal structure of the clause.  Like the adverbial group, it can serve as circumstantial Adjunct or, less commonly, as interpersonal Adjunct; and like the conjunction group, it can serve as conjunctive Adjunct.  In addition, it can be rank-shifted to serve as Postmodifier in a nominal group or adverbial group.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Complex Prepositions Vs Prepositional Phrases [Diagnostics]

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 423):
Complex prepositions such as in front (of), for the sake (of), have evolved from prepositional phrases, with front, sake as ‘Complement’.  Many expressions are indeterminate between the two … however, there is a difference; those that have become prepositions typically occur without a Deictic preceding the noun (in front of not in the front of), and the noun occurs in the singular only (in front of not in fronts of).  In some instances duplex forms occur: beside has become a full preposition, but because it is often used in an abstract or metaphorical sense a modern version of the original complex form by the side of has reappeared along with it, and this, in its turn, is now starting to follow the same route towards prepositional status.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Preposition Group Vs Prepositional Phrase

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 423):
It is important to make a distinction between a preposition group, such as right behind or immediately in front of, which is a Modifier-Head structure expanded from and functionally equivalent to a preposition, and a prepositional phrase, which is not an expansion of anything but a clause-like structure in which the Process/Predicator function is performed by a preposition and not by a verb.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Preposition Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 423):
Prepositions are not a sub-class of adverbials; functionally they are related to verbs.  But they form groups by modification, in the same way as conjunctions; e.g. right behind, not without, way off as in right behind the door, not without some misgivings, all along the beach, way off the mark. Again, there are more complex forms such as in front of, for the sake of which can be left unanalysed.  These are also subject to modification, as in just for the sake of, immediately in front of.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Conjunction Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 423):
Within the 'primary' word class of adverbials, there is another class besides adverbs, namely conjunctions. […] they form three subclasses, namely linker, binder and continuativeConjunctions also form word groups by modification, for example even if, just as, not until, if only.  These can be represented in the same way, as β^α structures (or α^β in the case of if only).  Note, however, that many conjunctive expressions have evolved from more complex structures, eg as soon as, in case, by the time, nevertheless, in so far as.  These can be treated as single elements without further analysis.  They are themselves, of course, subject to modification, eg just in case, almost as soon as.

Monday, 20 May 2019

The Domain Of Comparative Postmodifiers

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 422-3):
Strictly speaking the domain of these comparative Postmodifiers is not the Head of the group but an item within the Premodifier: as, more, less, too (the exception is -er comparatives like faster). This could be shown as in Figure 6-25 (a); cf. the nominal group, where given a better man than I am we could show than I am as dependent on better rather than on man.* (* Cf. the brightest star in the sky, where in the sky would modify brightest.)
But this is not really necessary: structure is not the appropriate concept for interpreting semantic domain, and the locus of comparison may in any case be part of the Head (the -er in faster, readilier) or even part of the Postmodifier (the exceptional form enough, which follows the Head). It seems unnecessary to represent pairs such as too fast (for me) to follow, slowly enough (for me) to follow, or as fast as I could count, faster than I could count, as having different structures. They can be analysed as in Figure 6-25 (b).

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Comparative Postmodifier: Embedded Clause Or Phrase?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 422):
There are also the type favoured in grammar tests, such as John runs faster than Jim, where the embedded element is said to be a clause with the Finite and Residue presupposed by ellipsis: ‘than Jim runs’. It appears however that these are now embedded prepositional phrases, since the normal form of a personal pronoun following than or as is oblique/absolute rather than nominative: John runs faster than me (not than I). The same applies in the nominal group when the Head is an adjective: John isn’t as tall as me.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Adverbial Group Postmodification: Comparison

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 422):
Postmodification is of one type only, namely comparison. As in the nominal group, Postmodifiers are rank-shifted, or embedded; they may be (a) embedded clauses, or (b) embedded prepositional phrases. Examples:

(a) much more easily [[ than you would have expected ]]
as grimly [[ as if his life depended on it ]]
too quickly [[ for us to see [[ what was happening]] ]]
not long enough [[ to find my way around ]]
(b) as early [as two o’clock]
faster [than fifteen knots] …
This is the only instance of embedding other than in a nominal group. All other embedding in English is a form of nominalisation, where a group, phrase or clause comes to function as part of, or in place of (ie as the whole of), a nominal group.

Friday, 17 May 2019

The Negative Adverb 'Not' And Premodifier Types In Combination

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 421):
Note that in the case of polarity, the negative adverb not has the adverbial group as its domain, not the clause in which the adverbial group serves; this can be checked by adding a Moodtag: with the clause not infrequently the supply of communication services in fact precedes the growth of incomes the unmarked tag would be negative (doesn’t it), following the general principle of reversed polarity and thus showing that the clause itself is positive. 
The different types may, of course, combine, as with polarity + intensification and intensification + comparison; for example:
Not altogether surprisingly, my wife had fainted.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Items Serving As Adverbial Group Premodifiers

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 420-1):
The items serving as Premodifiers are adverbs belonging to one of three types — polarity (not), comparison (more, less; as, so) and intensification. The classes of adverbs that can
serve as Premodifier are thus considerably more restricted than the classes that can serve as Head; they correspond largely to adverbs from the degree class in Table 6-18. Those of intensification indicate higher or lower intensity; they are either general intensifiers that are interpersonally neutral (very, much, quite, really, completely, totally, utterly; rather, fairly, pretty,; almost, nearly), including the interrogative adverb how, or specific ones that derive from some interpersonally significant scale (amazingly, astonishingly, awfully, desperately, eminently, extraordinarily, horribly, incredibly, perfectly, terribly, terrifically, unbelievably, wonderfully).

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Premodification In The Adverbial Group

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 419-20):
Premodifiers are grammatical items like not and rather and so; there is no lexical premodification in the adverbial group. What there is is therefore more like what we have called ‘submodification’ in the nominal group, with SubModifiers relating to an adjective as their SubHead. 
We can represent the adverbial group as a logical structure as shown in Figure 6-24.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Adverbial Group: Classes Of Adverb Serving As Head

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 419):
The adverbial group has an adverb as Head, which may or may not be accompanied by modifying elements. Adverbial groups serving as circumstantial Adjunct have an adverb denoting a circumstance as Head – for example, a circumstance of time (e.g. yesterday, today, tomorrow) or of quality (e.g. well, badly; fast, quickly, slowly). Adverbial groups serving as modal Adjunct have an adverb denoting an assessment as Head – for example, an assessment of time (e.g. still, yet, already) or of intensity (e.g. really, just, only, actually). Examples are given in Table 6-18. As the table shows, some classes of adverb have interrogative and demonstrative forms.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Adverbial Group: Clause Function

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 419):
The adverbial group serves as Adjunct in the modal structure of the clause — either circumstantial Adjunct or modal Adjunct (mood or comment). Examples:
(1) circumstantial Adjunct
You’ve coped beautifully tonight; you’ve coped so well compared to how I would have coped.
(2a) interpersonal Adjunct, mood
I actually didn’t have a lot of chicken; I had probably more vegetables.
(2b) interpersonal Adjunct, comment

Apparently he’s got a wife and a couple of kids.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Allerton's ‘Stretched Verb Constructions’ vs Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 417-9):
As we have shown above, there are three types of phrasal verb: verb plus preposition, verb plus adverb or verb plus both. We can also note combinations verbs with nouns such as
Taking account of …
… to pay more attention to …
… ran great risks …
Such combinations are investigated by Allerton (2002) under the heading of ‘stretched verb constructions’. However, while it can be argued that these are also lexicalised verbs, just as phrasal verbs, ‘stretched verbs’ can still be accommodated in terms the transitivity patterns of the clause. They involve combinations of Process + Range, e.g. take + account of, pay + attention (to), run + risk, reach + conclusion, or Process + abstract circumstance of Place, e.g. put + at risk, come + to an end, arrive + at conclusion. The lexical verb serving as the Event of the verbal group functioning as Process tends to be fairly general, and the lexical content is represented by the noun serving as Thing in the nominal group functioning as Range in the clause, or in the prepositional phrase serving as Place. There tend to be collocational combinations of verb and noun, as illustrated by the examples above; compare also wreak + havoc, tender + resignation, lend + support. This noun is often a nominalisation of a verb, as with attention, conclusion, which reflects the fact that ‘stretched verb constructions’ embody grammatical metaphor. Like other instances of grammatical metaphor, clauses with ‘stretched verb constructions’ can thus be given more than one analysis, as illustrated in Figure 6-23. 

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Diagnostic For Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 417):
There will often be doubt about whether these complex lexical items can be interpreted grammatically as a single Process or not. In such cases it is important to consider the transitivity of the clause as a whole, to see whether it appears to be structured as process plus participant or process plus circumstance. Thematic variation often shows a preference one way or the other.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Phrasal Verb In Transitivity And Mood Structure

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 417-8):
Figure 6-21 gives the analysis of a clause with a phrasal verb of the adverbial type (i) in it, in terms of (a) transitivity and (b) mood. Similarly with the prepositional type (ii): in I’m looking for a needle, the mood constituents are looking Predicator, for a needle Adjunct, and this accounts for the ordering relative to other Adjuncts, e.g. I’ve looked everywhere for a needle. The third type includes some where both adverb and preposition are (or may be) part of the Process, e.g. look out for, put up with, put in for; and others where only the adverb is within the Process, e.g. let in for, put up to, as in he let me in for it, he put me up to it.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Why Pronominal Goals Usually Occur Within Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 417):
This also explains something that is often presented as an arbitrary rule of English, but is in fact anything but arbitrary: that if the Goal is a pronoun it almost always occurs within the phrasal verb (they called it off rather than they called off it). This is part of the same story; a pronoun is hardly ever newsworthy, since it refers to something that has gone before, so if the Goal is a pronoun it is virtually certain that the Process will be under focus. (But not quite; the pronoun may be contrastive, and if so it can come finally, e.g. they rang up me, but apparently nobody else.)

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Why Phrasal Verbs Have Flourished In Modern English

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 416):
The grammar enables us to explain why phrasal verbs have evolved to the extent that they have done in modern English. The leading edge is formed by those of type (i), the adverbial ones, which are particularly widely spread. Typically these have non-phrasal, one-word synonyms, or near-synonyms; yet the phrasal form tends to be preferred, and is strongly favoured in the spoken language. Why is this?
Suppose we have a two-participant clause, active in voice, in which the main item of news is the Goal. The Goal comes at the end, and this is where the prominence – the information focus – typically falls. We can express the process either phrasally or nonphrasally – there is nothing very much to choose between the two:
they cancelled the meeting      they called off the meeting
Suppose however that I want the focus of information to be the Process rather than the Goal. At this point a significant difference arises. If I say
they cancelled the meeting
the result is that the information focus is now non-final; this is a marked, strongly foregrounded option, and therefore carries additional overtones of contrast, contradiction or unexpectedness. I may not want these overtones; but the only way I can avoid them is to leave the focus unmarked – i.e. at the end. This means that the Process, not the Goal, must come last. … but in English it is impossible – I cannot say they the meeting cancelled – unless the Process is split into two parts. This, therefore, is what happens, with a phrasal verb: it splits the Process into two parts, one functioning as Predicator and the other as Adjunct, with the Adjunct coming in its normal place at the end:
they called the meeting off

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Thematic Argument For Interpreting A Phrasal Verb As A Single Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 415-6):
The experiential configuration [i.e. phrasal verb serving as single Process] is reflected in the thematic variation. If the prepositional phrase for a needle was a circumstantial element it should be able to be thematised; but we do not say for that I’ll look; the more likely form is that I’ll look for. Similarly with the adverbial ones: see off is a single process, so whereas we would say there I’ll see John (= I’ll see John there but with there instead of I as Theme), there is no form off I’ll see John thematically related to I’ll see John off.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Phrasal Verbs Of Motion

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 414):
As the examples illustrate, verbs of motion are phased temporally to indicate durative motion (‘continue to go’) and spatially to indicate directed motion (‘go’ + direction). With the second type, the verb often denotes some specific manner of motion such as flit and clamber in the examples above; the phrasal verb thus makes it possible to combine manner and direction: verb [manner] + adverb [direction]. Similar patterns are found in languages with ‘serial verb constructions’ and ‘verb compounding’. Direction occurs naturally with motion, of course; but it may also be used as a phasal extension verbs of other kinds, as with direction of perception:
Frodo and Sam gazed out in mingled loathing and wonder on this hateful land.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, on grammatical criteria, gaze and gaze out serve as behavioural Processes, not mental Processes of perception.  For example, neither affords a Phenomenon — * gaze (out) this hateful land — but instead, like some other behavioural Processes, can take a Location circumstance that indicates the orientation of the behaviour, such as gaze (out) on this hateful land.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Less Prototypical Phrasal Verbs

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 414n):
Note that a number of the items functioning as spatial adverbs can also serve as prepositions; cf. they clambered down and the[y] clambered down the hill. These combinations of verb of motion + adverb of place are less like prototypical phrasal verbs in that the adverb can be treated textually in the same way as a circumstance of Place: down they clambered, it was down that they clambered.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Phrasal Verbs Classified For Phase

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 414, 415):
Where there are agnate pairs of verb ~ verb + adverb, the ‘phrasal’ variant involves a specification of phase, similar to the phasal specifications in Chinese by post-verbs although the English range of options is much more restricted since it involves adverbs rather than verbs. There are three types of phase, temporal, spatial (directional) and resultative: see Table 6-17. These occur with various semantic fields; among these, motion is an important one …

Friday, 3 May 2019

Phrasal/Non-Phrasal Verb Agnation

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 414):
In the case of see off and many other phrasal verbs, the phrasal verb is thus not agnate with a non-phrasal counterpart. For example, there is no systemic proportionality such that see is related to see off as sound is to sound off. However, with many verbs, the simple verb is agnate with the combination of verb + adverb, e.g. break ~ break off (‘separate’), kill ~ kill off (‘kill in large numbers, rendering extinct’), take ~ take off (‘remove (clothing)’), beat ~ beat up (‘beat severely, inflicting injury’), drink ~ drink up (‘drink to the last drop’), go ~ go up (‘ascend’), go ~ go on (‘continue going’), although specialised senses may also evolve, as with break off in the sense of ‘abruptly stop talking’, beat up in the sense of ‘drum up support’, and go on in the sense of ‘talk at great length’.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Phrasal Verbs Realise A Single Process

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 413-4, 416):
Experientially, a phrasal verb is a single Process, rather than Process plus circumstantial element. This can be seen from their assignment to process types. For example, the verb see represents a mental process, and so has simple present as its unmarked present tense, as in do you see that sign? (not are you seeing that sign?). But see off is material, and so has present in present: are you seeing your brother off? (not do you see you brother off?, which can only be habitual). The transitivity analysis is therefore as in Figure 6-20.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Phrasal Verb: Expansion Of The Event?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 411n):
A major point of difference between the verbal group and the nominal group is that the Event (unlike the Thing) is not the point of departure for the recursive modifying relationship. Hence it does not figure as an element in the notation. It could be argued that a phrasal verb represents an expansion of the Event … But we have not explored this line of approach here.