The Thought Occurs

Friday, 31 October 2014

Behavioural Processes: Grammatical Reactances

(Mostly) from Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 135-6).
  • Like material clauses (but unlike mental clauses) the unmarked present tense in behavioural clauses is present-in-present (he is watching) rather than the simple present (he watches).
  • Behavioural clauses include conscious processing construed as active behaviour (watching listening, pondering, meditating) rather than just passive sensing (seeing, hearing, believing).
  • Like the Senser in a mental clause, the ‘Behaver’ in a behavioural one is endowed with consciousness; whereas in other respects behavioural clauses are more like material ones.
  • Like material clauses (but unlike mental ones), behavioural clauses can be probed with do: What are you doing? — I’m meditating but not I’m believing.
  • Behavioural clauses normally do not project, or project only in highly restricted ways (contrast mental: cognitive David believed —> the moon was a balloon with behavioural: David was meditating —> the moon was a balloon;
  • Behavioural clauses can not accept a ‘fact’ serving as Phenomenon (mental: David saw that the others had already left but not behavioural: David watched that the others had already left).

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Behavioural Processes

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 136):
These can be interpreted as a subtype of material processes or as a borderline category between material and mental.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 514):
Here [in English] the grammar postulates a third type of process intermediate between these two [material and mental]: “behavioural” processes, in which inner events are externalised as bodily behaviour, like staring, thinking (in the sense of pondering) or crying.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 171):
On the borderline between ‘material’ and ‘mental’ are the behavioural processes: those that represent the outer manifestations of inner workingsthe acting out of processes of consciousness and physiological states. 
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 248-50):
These are processes of (typically human) physiological and psychological behaviour, like breathing, coughing, smiling, dreaming and staring. They are the least distinct of all the six process types because they have no clearly defined characteristics of their own; rather they are partly like the material and partly like the mental.
 Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 250):
The usual unmarked present tense for behavioural processes is present in present, like the material … however, we also find the simple present in its unmarked sense (ie not meaning habitual) … which suggests an affiliation with a mental.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 250):
The participant who is ‘behaving’, labelled Behaver, is typically a conscious being, like the Senser; the Process is grammatically more like one of ‘doing’.
Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 255):
… ‘behavioural’ process clauses are not so much a distinct type of process, but rather a cluster of small subtypes blending the material and the mental into a continuum …

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

'Deploying Functional Grammar' On "Behavioural" Processes

In Deploying Functional Grammar (Martin et al. 2010: 124), the following clauses are said to be 'best treated as behavioural':
the tyres went 'screech!'
the little engine went 'wheeee!'
the car went 'bang!'
This is a very strange analysis, not least because behavioural processes are processes of psychological and physiological behaviour.

Looked at from above, in terms of the meaning being realised, these are creative happenings (making noises).

Looked at from their own level, in terms of the wording that realises the meaning, these are verbal clauses quoting locutions (cf and she went "Oh my God!").

They are therefore metaphorical clauses in which a material happening [meaning] is realised as a verbal projection nexus [wording] — one stylistic resource for personifying inanimate objects in children's stories.

The source of this confusion — aside from not taking a trinocular perspective — appears to be the unsupported claim that behavioural processes include 'processes which concern the creation of a symbolic representation' (ibid) — though it is more likely that this was added as an ad hoc afterthought intended to justify the analysis.

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 252):
… while ‘behavioural’ clauses do not ‘project’ indirect speech or thought, they often appear in fictional narrative introducing direct speech, as a means of attaching a behavioural feature to the verbal process of ‘saying’.
For example: "She's responsible", they gossiped. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

Van Leeuwen's Verticality As "Ideal – Real"

upper class
lower class

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Reconstruing Email Discussions As Protolanguage

After more than a decade of observing the socio-semiotic dynamics of another social species, rainbow lorikeets, as they continually "renegotiate" their position in the pecking order, it strikes me that the socio-semiotic dynamics of humans on academic discussion lists, such as sys-func and sysfling, can also be construed in terms of the microfunctions of protolanguage.

exterior phenomenon
I want you-&-me
I want it
I think you-&-me
I think it

regulatory: demands for compliance (i.e. bullying)
interactional: collegiality and grooming (e.g. flattery*)
instrumental: requests for goods-&-services (e.g. for articles and analyses)
personal: opinions (e.g. on analyses and theory)

* Some instances:

David Rose to Margaret Berry (Sys-Func and Sysfling 27/9/13):
I can't tell you what a pleasure it is having someone with your experience and stature and personal generosity fomenting discussion on sysfling… its such a great potential resource for the community…

David Rose to Gordon Tucker (Sys-Func and Sysfling 5/12/13):
And I am glad that you are adding your academic weight to correct the epidemic error that process types are classifications of verbs.

David Rose to Margaret Berry (Sys-Func 13/2/14):
 Thank heavens you're still with us Margaret

David Rose to Margaret Berry (Sys-Func 15/2/14):
Thanks Margaret, its such a pleasure to read your posts

I might point out that David Rose has openly boasted, with glee — at least three times in my presence — that if he tells a colleague he likes their work they "roll over and become like kittens".

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
— Edmund Burke