The Thought Occurs

Sunday, 25 August 2019

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Subjunctive 'Mood' In SFL Theory And Description


Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 143n):
Note that the system of MOOD is a system of the clause, not of the verbal group or of the verb. Many languages also have an interpersonal system of the verb(al group) that has been referred to as ‘mood’: it involves interpersonal contrasts such as indicative/subjunctive, indicative/subjunctive/optative. To distinguish these verbal contrasts from the clausal system of MOOD, we can refer to them as contrasts in mode. The subjunctive mode tends to be restricted to the environment of bound clauses – in particular, reported clauses and conditional clauses having the sense of irrealis. In Modern English, the subjunctive mode of the verb is marginal, although there is some dialectal variation.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Minor Speech Function Of 'Well-Wishing'

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 196):
Greetings include salutations, e.g. Hullo!, Good morning!, Welcome!, Hi!, and valedictions, such as Goodbye!, See you!; together with their responses, largely the same set of forms. Under this heading we could include well-wishings, like Your very good health!, Cheers!, Good shot!, Congratulations!. Both calls and greetings include some that are structured as clauses or nominal groups.
Cf. The Lord be with you, God forgive you your sins and God bless you.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Decolonising Vs Hegemonic

May I add that adopting SFL as a metalanguage is already a decolonising act, against the hegemonic universalist metalanguage of north American formal linguistics?
at the end of a conversation on SYSFLING begun by Jim Martin on 28 Jul 2019, 22:47:
… I would encourage the ISFLA executive to develop guidelines to the effect that in the absence of simultaneous interpreting English be used as a lingua franca for plenary addresses, that programs are clear about which language will be used for parallel presentations, and that where possible an English alternative be made available.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

International Conferences

International Conferences are institutional devices whereby
those with the greatest capacity to pay (savvy senior academics with expense accounts)
have their international (business class) air travel and accommodation paid for (as plenary speakers)
by those with the least capacity to pay (naïve students and junior academics).

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Why It Is Important To Understand Theory

Just as a language adapts to the inabilities of those who use the language,
so too does a theory adapt to the inabilities of those who use the theory,
thereby gradually losing contact with the phenomenon being modelled.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Predictive Attributes

The hosts were most welcoming.
The food was delicious.
The papers were stimulating.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

A Semiotic Principle

The Presumption Of Immanence

All meaning is presumed to be immanent unless proven otherwise.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Explaining Something In SFL

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 49):
Giving priority to the view ‘from above’ means that the organising principle adopted is that of system: the grammar is seen as a network of interrelated meaningful choices. In other words, the dominant axis is the paradigmatic one: the fundamental components of the grammar are sets of mutually defining contrastive features. Explaining something consists not in stating how it is structured but in showing how it is related to other things: its pattern of systemic relationships, or agnateness (agnation).

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Systemic Functional Linguistic Theory Vs Systemic Functional Linguistics

Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistic Theory ('Systemic Functional Grammar') is a scientific theory with a precisely defined architecture that provides the means of identifying misinterpretations of it.

Systemic Functional Linguistics, on the other hand, is a movement, the members of which have responded to a call to improve humanity by teaching students and/or analysing texts.  Because it is the movement that is paramount, it is not so much the theoretical consistency of the work that matters, but merely the fact that the work is 'Systemic' (i.e. 'us' not 'them'). When members of the movement die, they are chiefly praised for the extent to which they served the 'cause'.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Material Setting Vs Semiotic Context

Using the theory of language to interpret the language of theory:
  1. The material setting is what is mentally perceived by people when they speak, sign or write.
  2. The semiotic context is what is verbally construed by people when they speak, sign or write.
That is:
  1. The material setting is a first-order phenomenon of a mental process of perception.
  2. The semiotic context is a second-order phenomenon (metaphenomenon) realised by a projection of a verbal process.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Social Parameters Vs Semiotic Context

IF
context is construed by / realised in language

THEN
the social parameters that can be used to characterise the interactants (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.) are not context

UNLESS
they are construed by / realised in the language of the interactants.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

What Does The Theoretical Term 'Realisation' Actually Mean Precisely?

Linguistic theory is 'language turned back on itself'. This just means that linguistic theory is the use of language to model language.

As a consequence, the language of theory can be analysed in terms of the theory of language.

For example, the theoretical relation of 'realisation' can be understood in terms of grammatical theory.

In transitivity theory, 'realise' is an intensive identifying Process — subtype 'symbol'.

It construes an identity between two levels of symbolic abstraction: a lower Token and a higher Value.

In an identity relation, either level can be used to identify the other.

If the lower Token is used to identify the higher Value, the relation is encoding:
the identity encodes the Value by reference to the Token.

If the higher Value is used to identify the lower Token, the relation is decoding:
the identity decodes the Token by reference to the Value.


So when the language of theory says that the stratum of wording (lexicogrammar) realises the stratum of meaning (semantics), the theory of language says that this construes an identity between two levels of symbolic abstraction, a lower Token (wording) and a higher Value (meaning).

If the lower Token (wording) is used to identify the higher Value (meaning), then the identity encodes the meaning by reference to the wording.

If the higher Value (meaning) is used to identify the lower Token (wording), then the identity decodes the wording by reference to the meaning.

(In this regard, Halliday's argument in On the ineffability of grammatical categories was that a theory of meaning can only be encoded by reference to a theory of wording.  That is, a theory of wording cannot be decoded by reference to a theory of meaning.)


Similarly, when the language of theory says that form (e.g. verbal group) realises function (e.g. Process), the theory of language says that this construes an identity between two levels of symbolic abstraction, a lower Token (form) and a higher Value (function).

If the lower Token (form) is used to identify the higher Value (function), then the identity encodes the function by reference to the form.

If the higher Value (function) is used to identify the lower Token (form), then the identity decodes the form by reference to the function.


Finally, when the language of theory says that structure (syntagmatic axis) realises system (paradigmatic axis), the theory of language says that this construes an identity between two levels of symbolic abstraction, a lower Token (structure) and a higher Value (system).

If the lower Token (structure) is used to identify the higher Value (system), then the identity encodes the system by reference to the structure.

If the higher Value (system) is used to identify the lower Token (structure), then the identity decodes the structure by reference to the system.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Research Misconduct

Make research misconduct public

Even when investigations are exemplary and findings clear, universities rarely report them publicly, says research ethicist C. K. Gunsalus — and that perpetuates misbehaviour and breeds mistrust. Gunsalus argues that open misconduct reports would create a virtuous circle of mutual learning and trust among institutions, leaders and researchers.