The Thought Occurs

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sample Clause Analysis


The sun looks as if it moves across the sky.


The sun : Carrier
looks: Process: relational
[[as if it moves across the sky]]: Attribute

which is metaphorical for:

The sun appears to move across the sky

The sun : Actor
appears to move: Process: material
across the sky: Location

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Theme And Mood


Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 85):
(i) Initial position in the English clause is meaningful in the construction of the clause as message; specifically, it has a thematic function.
(ii) Certain textual elements that orient the clause within the discourse, rhetorically and logically, are inherently thematic.
(iii) Certain other elements, textual and interpersonal, that set up a semantic relation with what precedes, or express the speaker’s angle or intended listener, are characteristically thematic; this includes finite operators, which signal one type of question.
(iv) These inherently and characteristically thematic elements lie outside the experiential structure of the clause; they have no status as participant, circumstance or process.
(v) Until one of these latter appears, the clause lacks an anchorage in the realm of experience; and this is what completes the thematic grounding of the message.

Unmarked Theme In Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 73):
In a declarative clause, the typical pattern is one in which Theme is conflated with Subject; … We shall refer to the mappaing of Theme on to Subject as the unmarked Theme of a declarative clause. The Subject is the element that is chosen as Theme unless there is good reason for choosing something else.

Marked Themes In Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 73, 74):
A Theme that is something other than the Subject, in a declarative clause, we shall refer to as a marked Theme. The most usual form of marked Theme is an adverbial group … or prepositional phrase … functioning as Adjunct in the clause. Least likely to be thematic is a Complement, which is a nominal group that is not functioning as Subject — something that could have been a Subject but is not … . Sometimes even the Complement from within a prepositional phrase functions as Theme … .

Theme In Exclamative Declarative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 74):
There is one sub-category of declarative clause that has a special thematic structure, namely the exclamative. These typically have an exclamatory WH-element as Theme … .

Theme In Polar Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 75, 76):
In a yes/no interrogative, which is a question about polarity, the element that functions as Theme is the element that embodies the expression of polarity, namely the Finite verbal operator. … but, since that is not an element in the experiential structure of the clause, the Theme extends over the following Subject as well.

Theme In WH- Interrogative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 75):
In a WH- interrogative, which is a search for a missing piece of information, the element that functions as Theme is the element that requests this information, namely the WH- element … whether Subject, Adjunct or Complement.

Theme In ‘You-&-Me’ Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 76):
… here, let’s is clearly the unmarked choice of Theme.

Theme In ‘You’ Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 76):
… although the ‘you’ can be made explicit as a Theme … this is clearly a marked choice; the more typical form is … with the verb in thematic position. … here, therefore, it is the Predicator that is the unmarked Theme.

Theme In Negative Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 77):
… the principle is the same as with yes/no interrogatives: the unmarked Theme is don’t plus the following element, either Subject or Predicator. Again there is a marked form with you, … where the Theme is don’t you. There is also a marked contrastive form of the positive, … where the Theme is do plus the Predicator … .

Predicator As Theme

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 77):
The imperative is the only type of clause in which the Predicator (the verb) is regularly found as Theme. This is not impossible in other moods … but in such clauses it is the most highly marked choice of all.

Adjunct As Theme In Imperative Clauses

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 78):
Imperative clauses may have a marked Theme, as when a locative Adjunct is thematic in a clause giving directions … The adjunct part of a phrasal verb may serve as marked Theme in an imperative clause with an explicit Subject, as in Up you get! … .

Thursday, 4 August 2011

SFL Or Ethnography?

SFL is itself a theoretical resource for "doing ethnography".
Ethnography (from Greek ἔθνος ethnos = folk/people and γράφω grapho = to write) is "the science of contextualization" often used in the field of social sciences—particularly in anthropology, in some branches of sociology, and in historical science—that studies people, ethnic groups and other ethnic formations, their ethnogenesis, composition, resettlement, social welfare characteristics, as well as their material and spiritual culture. It is often employed for gathering empirical data on human societies and cultures. Data collection is often done through participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Ethnography aims to describe the nature of those who are studied (i.e. to describe a people, an ethnos) through writing. In the biological sciences, this type of study might be called a "field study" or a "case report," both of which are used as common synonyms for "ethnography".

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wording-Meaning Proportionalities

verbal is to mental (process types) as
locution is to idea (levels of projection) as
wording is to meaning (strata) as
lexicogrammar is to semantics (strata)