The Thought Occurs

Friday, 31 May 2013

Why Intensive Attributes Are Complements

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 122-3):
A Complement is an element within the Residue that has the potential of being Subject but is not; in other words, it is an element that has the potential for being given the interpersonally elevated status of modal responsibility — something that can be the nub of the argument. It is typically realised by a nominal group. … Any nominal group not functioning as Subject will be a Complement; and this includes nominal groups of one type which could not function as Subject as they stand, namely those with adjective as Head … There is an explanation of this ‘from above’ in terms of function in transitivity: nominal groups with adjective as Head can function in the clause only as Attributes, and the Attribute cannot be mapped onto the interpersonal rôle of Subject. This is because only participants in the clause can take modal responsibility, and the Attribute is only marginally, if at all, a participant.
That is, the reason that a Complement that is an Attribute cannot be raised to Subject is experiential, not interpersonal.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Reconstruing Platonic Forms Through Metalanguage

Viewed through the lens of SFL theory, (non-material abstract) Platonic Forms (or ideas) correspond to the system pole on the cline of instantiation. 

That is, the Forms are the (categorial) potential of which perceived material phenomena are actual instances; the Forms are the types of which perceived material phenomena are the tokens.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Reconstruing Cosmogenesis Through Metalanguage

The grammar construes material processes as 
  • either creative or transformative, and 
  • either doing (transitive) or happening (intransitive).
Models of the creation of the universe construe it as either a doing or happening.

Mythological models construe the creation as 'other-engendered': a doing in which the universe is the Goal/Medium of the process and a supernatural being is the Actor/Agent.

the Universe
Process: material: creative

Scientific models construe the creation as 'self-engendered': a happening in which the universe is the Actor/Medium of a process that has neither Goal nor Agent.

the Universe
Process: material: creative

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Reconstruing 'Solving An Equation' As 'Elaborating An Identifying Clause'

A mathematical equation is an identifying clause with the function structure:
  • Identified^Process^Identifier
Solving the equation involves elaborating the same relation until the unknown Token conflates with the Identified and its mathematical Value conflates with the Identifier, giving the function structure of a decoding identifying clause:
  • Identified/Token^Process^Identifier/Value
In a decoding clause such as this, the identity decodes the Token by reference to the Value.