The Thought Occurs

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Pageviews by Countries Since Blog Relocation

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

What Is The Textual Metafunction?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 30-1):
But the grammar also shows up a third component, another mode of meaning that relates to the construction of text. In a sense this can be regarded as an enabling or facilitating function, since both the others — construing experience and enacting interpersonal relations — depend on being able to build up sequences of discourse, organising the discursive flow, and creating cohesion and continuity as it moves along. This, too, appears as a clearly delineated motif within the grammar. We call it the textual metafunction.
Halliday (2008: 45):
Every clause in every kind of discourse combines an ideational and an interpersonal strand of meaning. But weaving these two together is an extremely complicated task; and in managing all this complexity, language evolved a third metafunctional component, by which it is enabled to organise itself in the form of discourse. Discourse is what linguists perceive as text; so we call this the textual metafunction. This is what enables a language to function meaningfully in all its multifarious contexts.
Halliday (2008: 142):
This blending [of the ideational and the interpersonal into a lexicogrammar] entailed a third component, that we call the textual, whereby the meanings are organised into discourse in such a way that each element in this experiential-interpersonal complex (each clause, since that is the key grammatical unit where most of the blending takes place) makes sense with its surroundings, both its material environment of what is going on around and its semiotic environment of other clauses that have gone before. 
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 7-8):
The textual metafunction is an enabling one; it is concerned with organising ideational and interpersonal meaning as discourse — as meaning that is contextualised and shared. But this does not mean processing some pre-existing body of information; rather it is the ongoing creation of a semiotic realm of reality.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 512): 
Textually, the grammar is the creating of information; it engenders discourse, the patterned forms of wording that constitute meaningful semiotic contexts. From one point of view, therefore, this “textual” metafunction has an enabling force, since it is this that allows the other two to operate at all. But at the same time, it brings into being a world of its own, a world that is constituted semiotically. With the textual metafunction language not only construes and enacts our reality but also becomes part of the reality that it is construing and enacting.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 528):
There is a third component in the linguistic construction of meaning; this is what we refer to as the “textual” metafunction. If we were trying to find a term to match the expressions “language as reflection” and “language as action” that we used to gloss the ideational and interpersonal metafunctions, we might come up with “language as information”; but this is itself not very informative. It is a difficult concept because unlike the other two, the textual metafunction has no obviously distinct function at the back of it. All uses of language involve the creation of text. But at the same time this is precisely the context in which the textual metafunction may be understood.
 Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 528):
… and if we observe children developing their mother tongue we can see how the ideational and interpersonal resources of the system gradually emerge from the earliest semiotic encounters, in a way which may plausibly mimic how the metafunctions originally evolved. The textual metafunction is different because it does not originate in an extrinsic context of this kind. Rather, it is intrinsic to language itself.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 528): 
The “textual” metafunction is the name we give to the systematic resources a language must have for creating discourse: for ensuring that each instance of text makes contact with its environment. The “environment” includes both the context of situation and other instances of text.
 Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 528):
Relative to the other metafunctions, therefore, the textual metafunction appears in an enabling rôle; without its resources, neither ideational nor interpersonal constructs would make sense.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 532):
… in the course of serving this enabling rôle, the textual component opens up a new dimension of meaning potential, in that it construes a further plane of “reality” that is as it were made of language — meaning not as action or reflection but as information.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Projecting Verbal Group Complex Or Projecting Clause Complex?

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 586):

Fig. 8-14 Projecting verbal group/clause nexuses: 
(a) Mary wanted to go (i) as verbal group complex [preferred], (ii) as clause complex; 
(b) Mary wanted John to go (i) as verbal group complex, (ii) [preferred] as clause nexus

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 588):
A verbal group nexus is intermediate between a clause nexus and a verbal group: a verbal group construes a single event, and a clause nexus construes two distinct processes; but a verbal group nexus construes a single process consisting of two events. These different options are available to speakers and writers when they construe their experience of the flow of events. They choose whether they construe a given experience as a process consisting of a single event, as a process consisting of a chain of two (or more) events, or as a chain of two (or more) processes.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Positive Space

Timewave is the third episode in Series XII of Red Dwarf.

A ship from the 23rd century, the SS Enconium, is washed up from the past, and the Dwarfers run into a crew where
  • ineptitude is to be tolerated by law, 
  • audacious self-expression is encouraged, and 
  • all forms of criticism are illegal.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Word Of The Day

MUMPSIMUS – Someone who obstinately sticks to old ways or ideas in spite of all the evidence showing that they're wrong.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Interpersonal Constructs The Personal

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 511):
Interpersonally, the grammar is not a theory but a way of doing; it is our construction of social relationships, both those that define society and our own place in it, and those that pertain to the immediate dialogic situation. This constitutes the "interpersonal" metafunction, whereby language constructs our social collective and, thereby, our personal being. The word "construct" is used to suggest a form of enactment — though something on which we inevitably build a theory, of ourself and the various "others" to whom we relate.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 583):
in the interpersonal mode we enact ourselves as speakers interacting with addressees;

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 583):
If we move outside the ideational metafunction to the interpersonal, the resource through which we interact with other people, we find that here we are acting out our conscious selves — "modelling" consciousness not by construing it but by enacting it.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Field: The Ideational Dimension Of Culture As Semiotic System

Note that 'field' does not refer to the ideational meanings of language (as system, register or text).

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 384):
context of culture: the culture as social-semiotic system: networks of social semiotic features constituting the systems–&–processes of the culture; defined as potential clusters of field, tenor and mode.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 320): 
The context encompasses both the field of activity and the subject matter with which it is concerned (‘what’s going on, and what is it about?’) … .  The field is thus the culturally recognised repertoires of social practices and concerns …

 Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 321-2):
… there are two aspects to this category. In most contexts, there is both a first order field and a second order field — the first order field is the social activity being pursued (e.g. instructing somebody in how to prepare a dish …) and the second order field is the ‘subject matter’ the activity is concerned with (e.g. the ingredients and methods of cooking …).

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 322): 
… a full account of field would include a typology of the possible first and second order values that occur in a culture. Such a typology would show how closely various fields are related — how they form families.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 323):
the semantic correlate of a contextual field is a domain. When we model the ideational semantics of a particular field, we create a domain model.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 323): 
Domain models are variants of the general model. A particular domain model specifies which of the semantic systems in the overall model are activated in a particular contextual field: the ideational meanings that are “at risk”. Each field thus has its own semantic profile, which can be seen against the background of the overall semantic potential.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Functions Of SFL Theory

  1. Ideational: construing experience.  The theory can be used to understand language and the culture it construes.
  2. Interpersonal: enacting the self.  The theory can be used to legitimate the work of anyone who claims to be using it.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

SFL Metalanguage: A Stratified Semiotic

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 30-4):
We noted above that the semantics/lexicogrammar of natural language is itself a 'realisation' (an abstract construction) of daily experience. Likewise, the system we use to explore the semantics/lexicogrammar — our theory of semantics and our grammatics — is a 'realisation' of that part of daily experience that is constituted by semantics and lexicogrammar; that is, it is an abstract construction of language. This system is itself a semiotic one — a metalanguage; in Firth's more everyday terms, it is language turned back on itself (cf. Matthiessen & Nesbitt, 1996). So whereas a language is (from an ideational point of view) a resource for construing our experience of the world, a metalanguage is a resource for construing our experience of language. 
Metalanguage has the same basic properties as any semiotic system. This means that it is stratified. It construes language in abstract theoretical terms; but this construal is in turn realised as some form of representation — either language itself, in discursive constructions of theory, or some form of designed semiotic (system networks, constituency rules, conceptual networks, logical formulae, and so on). In the environment of computational work, this level is in turn realised in some form of implementation (stated in a programming language1 such as LISP, Prolog or C). We could summarise as follows (see Figure 1-7): 
  • metalanguage construes language at various strata (theoretical construal, representation, and implementation)
  • metalanguage construes language in terms of resources (the circles) and processes using the resources (the arrows), where processes include description, deduction and compilation.
  • the relationship between theoretical construal and representation should preferably be a natural one (note the 'should be'!), while the relationship between representation and implementation is likely to be more arbitrary (for instance, it should not matter whether LISP, Prolog or C is used).
  • the range of phenomena accounted for in metalanguage tends to decrease at lower levels. (A primary goal of research is always to expand it.)
If we recognise stratification as an aspect of the design of metalanguage, we are in a position to locate aspects of the overall construal of meaning at the appropriate stratum. … 
Thus any account of [language] has to be metalinguistically stratified. It has to be constructed as a theoretical model out of the resources the theory provides and according to the constraints imposed by these resources. … 
As we have already noted, the representational semiotic may also be language itself — the theory may be represented discursively in the registers) of linguistics. In this case, the relationship between theory and language is similar to the relationship between 'theme' and 'language' in Hasan's (1985/9) theory of verbal art — a relationship where theory might be construed as a connotative semiotic (in Hjelmslev's, 1943, conception: a semiotic system whose expression plane is a semiotic system) … 
Finally, the representational semiotic may also be a diagrammatic one — e.g. network graphs, tree diagrams, our circle diagrams. With such graphic representation, it is important to ask (i) if the information represented graphically can be restated in some other form of representation and (ii) if its realisational relationship with respect to theory is clear. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Halliday On Discourse Analysis

Halliday (1994: xvi-xvii):
The current preoccupation is with discourse analysis, or 'text linguistics'; and it has sometimes been assumed that this can be carried on without grammar — or even that it is somehow an alternative to grammar.  But this is an illusion.  A discourse analysis that is not based on grammar is not an analysis at all, but simply a running commentary on a text … the exercise remains a private one in which one explanation is as good or as bad as another.
A text is a semantic unit, not a grammatical one.  But meanings are realised through wordings; and without a theory of wordings — that is, a grammar — there is no way of making explicit one's interpretation of the meaning of a text.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Lemke On Covariate "Structure"

Lemke (1988: 159) reinterpreted his 'covariate structure' as a structuring principle, rather than a kind of structure:
My own 'covariate structure' (Lemke 1985), which includes Halliday's univariate type, is for the case of homogeneous relations of co-classed units, and should perhaps be called a 'structuring principle' rather than a kind of structure.