The Thought Occurs

Friday, 28 November 2014

How To Use The Other Metafunctions To Identify The Participants In Identifying Processes

Interpersonal: The Token is the Subject if the clause is operative voice.

Textual: The Identifier is the unmarked focus of New information (realised by tonic prominence).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Conscious Processes And Linguistic Choice

What does the construal of experience that has evolved in language, as modelled by SFL grammatics, tell us about people using language?

(1) Someone using language is modelled as a projection nexus in which symbolic processing projects the content plane of language into semiotic existence.

(2) The Medium of symbolic processing, the Symboliser, is construed as a symbol source (Sayer) in the case of saying (verbal processes), and as endowed with consciousness (Senser) in the case of sensing (cognitive and desiderative mental processes).

(3) The symbolic processing that projects the content plane of language into semiotic existence can be either self-engendered (middle) or other-engendered (effective).

(4) Symbolic processing projects wording (lexicogrammar) into semiotic existence, in the case of saying (verbal processes), and it projects meaning (semantics) into semiotic existence, in the case of sensing (cognitive and desiderative mental processes).

(5) The linguistic content that is projected into semiotic existence is organised as a system in which options are networked according to relations that are both logical (expansion: elaboration, extension and enhancement) and experiential (symbolic identity: realisation).

(6) The activation of specific options in the network of relations — during logogenesis (the creation of text) — is the process of instantiation.

(7) The question of which options will be instantiated in a given situation type is built into the system of potential as probabilities, varying as registers, established through previous experiences of logogenesis in the context of ontogenesis.

The notion of "free will" is another matter.
Honestly, I cannot understand what people mean when they talk about the freedom of the human will.  I have a feeling, for instance, that I will something or other; but what relation this has with freedom I cannot understand at all.  I feel that I will to light my pipe and I do it; but how can I connect this up with the idea of freedom? What is behind the act of willing to light the pipe? Another act of willing?Schopenhauer once said: Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will (Man can do what he will but he cannot will what he wills).
― Albert Einstein

Free will is a delusion caused by our inability to analyse our own motives.
— Charles Darwin

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Difference Between Context And Register

Context is realised by language, and so: more abstract than language.
The context-language relation is one of symbolic identity: Value-Token.

Registers are subpotentials of language (that realise subpotentials of context).
The register-language relation is one of class-membership: Carrier-Attribute.

Context Vs Register

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 375):
Context is the ‘semiotic environment’ of language (and other socio-semiotic systems such as image systems); its systems specify what demands may be placed on language and what rôle it may play in responding to those demands.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 563)
… a register is a particular probabilistic setting of the system; and the move from one register to another is a re-setting of these probabilities.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

From Behaviour To Saying Behaviourally

(1) He nodded.

Process: behavioural

(2) He nodded agreement.

Process: verbal

(3) He nodded that he agreed with her.


with her
Process: verbal

Process: mental

Thursday, 6 November 2014

System Networks

System networks are not flowcharts.
Nothing flows through the network.
A speaker does not choose how far to go in delicacy.

System networks map how features relate to each other.  The architecture of the network can be understood in terms of the logical relations set out in the theory: specifically, the three types of expansion.

i. delicacy: elaboration
ii. disjunction: extension: alternative
iii. conjunction: extension: addition
iv. entry condition: enhancement: condition

The arrows in a system network represent the relation of condition, not temporality.
A "traversal" of the network is a specific map — an instantiation — of logically related features.

Hostility To Critique: A Character Study

Bertrand Russell, in his History Of Western Philosophy (pp 21-2), identifies those who are hostile to science and explains the motivations for their hostility:
Throughout this long development, from 600 BC to the present day, philosophers have been divided into those who wished to tighten social bonds and those who wished to relax them.  With this difference, others have been associated.  The disciplinarians have advocated some system of dogma, either old or new, and have therefore been compelled to be, in greater or lesser degree, hostile to science, since their dogmas could not be proved empirically.  They have almost invariably taught that happiness is not the good, but that ‘nobility’ or ‘heroism’ is to be preferred.  They have had a sympathy with irrational parts of human nature, since they have felt reason to be inimical to social cohesion.  The libertarians, on the other hand, with the exception of the extreme anarchists, have tended to be scientific, utilitarian, rationalistic, hostile to violent passion, and enemies of all the more profound forms of religion.  This conflict existed in Greece before the rise of we recognise as philosophy, and is already quite explicit in the earliest Greek thought.  In changing forms, it has persisted down to the present day, and no doubt will persist for many ages to come.

a person who believes in or practises firm discipline.
"he was a strict disciplinarian whose word was law"