The Thought Occurs

Friday, 6 November 2015

Text Vs Discourse [Defined]

Halliday (2008: 78):
I do make a distinction between these two; but it is a difference in point of view, between different angles of vision on the phenomena, not in the phenomena themselves. So we can use either to define the other: “discourse” is text that is being viewed in its sociocultural context, while “text” is discourse that is being viewed as a process of language.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A Giant About To Stand On The Shoulders Of Giants

ASFLA 2015
Abstract #:    39       
Day:    Wednesday    
Session type:            50 minute paper
Presenter:     ROSE - David Rose, University of Sydney
Title:  Movin’ on up: the stratal progress of SFL research

Abstract: The development of SFL theory and research can be seen, from the broadest perspective, as a pilgrim’s progress up the strata of language in social context, along with the specialisations of its leading figures. Halliday’s teacher, JR Firth, was a phonologist, but he had already mapped out SFL’s stratified model of meaning, long before Halliday became his student. ‘I propose to split up meaning or function into a series of component functions… Meaning, that is to say, is to be regarded as a complex of contextual relations, and phonetics, grammar, lexicography, and semantics each handles its own components of the complex in its appropriate context’ (1935:45).
Like Firth, Halliday was interested in language in general but specialised in grammar, for which his most profound contribution was the recognition of its organising principles as three metafunctions, intrinsically related to three dimensions of social context. Halliday and Hasan (1976) also explored semantic relations in discourse, in terms of the textual metafunction, as cohesive devices for relating grammatical units as texts unfold. Halliday’s student, JR Martin, specialised in discourse, for which he further proposed a metafunctional analysis, termed discourse semantics. In so doing, Halliday’s model of intrinsic functionality was extended to model tenor, field and mode as register variables, realised by discourse semantic systems, and genre as a further contextual stratum configuring these variables. 
These giants have spawned generations of researchers who have massively extended and applied our knowledge of grammar, discourse semantic and genre systems, alongside other modalities. The next research frontier is the vast domain of register, already well underway in work such as Halliday and Martin on science, Halliday and Painter on early language learning, Hasan, Cloran, Williams on parent/child exchanges and early reading, Rothery, Christie, Derewianka on literacy teaching, Coffin on history, Iedema on bureacracy, Macken-Horarik on literature, O’Halloran on maths, Wignell on social science, to name only a few. This research speaks to trained systemicists and is often recontextualised for other practitioners.

In this paper I would like to suggest another approach to register, informed by this work, but deliberately described in terms of register systems and processes. As phonology, grammar and discourse are each described in their own terms, so register deserves registerial description, motivated by but not constrained to its linguistic realisations. It is conceivable that such descriptions could not only speak directly to practitioners in the fields under investigation, but enable these practitioners to analyse their own fields semiotically, without insisting on specialist linguistic training. This approach is taken to analysing the registers of both curricula and classroom teaching in the Reading to Learn teacher training program, which the paper will illustrate, and is previewed for science and history teaching in Martin 2013. But the principle is applicable to many other fields, potentially widening the scope of SFL’s appliability, sustainability and growth.


Blogger Comment:
For a reality check, see here and here.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Meaning "Beyond" The Clause

In SFL theory, the two enabling metafunctions, the logical and the textual, provide the means of realising meaning "beyond" the clause.

The logical metafunction does this structurally, by relating clauses in complexes by means of interdependency and the logico-semantic relations of expansion and projection.

The textual metafunction does this non-structurally, through the cohesive relations of reference, substitution–&–ellipsis, conjunction and lexical cohesion.

Anyone who claims that the grammatics does not model meaning "beyond" the clause does not understand the theory (or is being dishonest).

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Cooking Data

In scientific culture, cooking is a term for falsifying data or selectively deleting data in an attempt to prove a hypothesis.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Cline Of Dynamism Vs Cline Of Involvement

Hasan (1985: 45):
If we define effectuality – or dynamism – as the quality of being able to affect the world around us, and of bringing change into the surrounding environment, the semantic value of the various –er roles must be seen as distinct. This distinction correlates with two factors:
(1) the nature of the Process configuration into which the –er role enters, i.e., what other transitivity functions there are within the same clause; and  
(2) the nature of the carriers of roles, other than the –er role under focus ... a human carrier of –er role appears more dynamic than a non-human animate, and the latter appears more so than an object..

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 173):
The “degree of involvement” in the sense of how deeply some element is involved in actualising the process that is construed by the figure, can thus be represented as a cline: the difference appears not only between participants and circumstances as a whole, but also within each of these primary categories, so that there is a continuum from one to the other along this scale.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

First Order Field Vs Material Setting

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 321-2):
…  the first order field is the social activity being pursued (e.g. instructing somebody in how to prepare a dish, predicting tomorrow's weather, informing somebody about yellow-pages information over the phone) …

Halliday (2007 [1991]: 278):
The setting, on the other hand, is the immediate material environment. This may be a direct manifestation of the context of situation, and so be integrated into it: if the situation is one of, say, medical care, involving a doctor and one or more patients, then the setting of hospital or clinic is a relevant part of the picture. But even there the setting does not constitute the context of situation …

Monday, 10 August 2015

Positive Discourse Analysis





































The most positive men are the most credulous.
 — Alexander Pope

Friday, 7 August 2015

Why Relational Constructions With An Indefinite ‘Value’ Cannot Be Viewed As Attributive

Relational constructions with an indefinite ‘Value’: Non-exhaustive instance-type specification

Kristin Davidse (University of Leuven):
The grammar and semantics of relational constructions are a key interest in SFL. Yet, a number of these constructions, particularly ones that contain participants realized by indefinite nominal groups have, in my view, not yet received a wholly satisfactory characterization – not in their own right and not in terms of their agnation relations to other relational constructions. In this talk I’ll address some of these issues, focusing on clausal and ‘cleft’ constructions in English with be and indefinite nominal groups.
A first set of issues is situated at the borderline between identification and attribution. Clauses with an indefinite Value such as (1a)-(1b) are viewed as identifying in Halliday (1967, 1994: 129) because they share reversibility as a crucial recognition criterion with identifying (2a) – (2b). The question I want to raise is whether they can be viewed as attributive. Semantically, they express a categorizing relation: a more specific thing is said to be an instance of a more general type. Unlike with identifying clauses, no exhaustiveness is implied. Moreover, as is typical of attributive (but not identifying) clauses, the conformity of the instance to the type can be graded in certain contexts, as in (3). If they are viewed as attributive, i.e. as ‘categorizing’ rather than ‘equative’, the further question is whether an opposition akin to decoding – encoding for identifying clauses should be posited for attributive clauses.
(1a) … The Gulf War is a good example.
(1b) … Also, a good example is the Gulf War
(2a) … Tom is the loser.
(2b) … The losers are you and me.
(3) … but Pandora's Tower is very much an example of the difficulty I'd like to see in Zelda game.


Blogger Comments:

[1] It is not true that clauses with an indefinite Value such as (1a)-(1b) semantically express a categorising relation.  In these clauses, the Gulf War identifies a good example — so they are identifying.  (Identifying an example isn't assigning it membership to a class.) The identity encodes a good example by reference to The Gulf War.  (See further clarification here.)

encoding: operative
The Gulf War 
is
a good example
Agent
Process:
Medium
Token/Identifier
identifying
Value/Identified

encoding: receptive
a good example
is
the Gulf War 
Medium
Process:
Agent
Value/Identified
identifying
Token/Identifier

Importantly, encoding identifying clauses and attributive clauses differ markedly on the ergative model.  In terms of agency, encoding clauses are effective, whereas attributive clauses are middle.

encoding
the Gulf War 
is
a good example
Agent
Process:
Medium
Token/Identifier
identifying
Value/Identified

attributive
the Gulf War 
was
immoral
Medium
Process:
Range
Carrier
attributive
Attribute


[2] The function of very much in (3) is interpersonal: a mood Adjunct of intensity.

Pandora's Tower 
is
very much
an example [of the difficulty [[I'd like to see in Zelda game]] ]
Agent
Process:

Medium
Token/Identifier
identifying

Value/Identified
Subject
Finite
mood Adjunct: intensity
Complement
Mood
Residue

These occur whether the clause is identifying or attributive, and whether the Value is definite or indefinite:
  • Tom is very much the loser (identifying with definite Value) 
  • Gerri is hardly an actress (attributive).
Therefore, the Adjunct does not grade 'the conformity of the instance to the type' and does not provide an argument for treating such clauses as attributive.


[3] Since such clauses cannot be viewed as attributive, there is no motivation for positing an opposition akin to encoding and decoding for attributive clauses.


Moreover, it is actually the decoding identifying clauses — not the encoding — that are closer to attributives.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 237):
The 'decoding' type of 'identifying' clause is intermediate between the 'attributive' and  the 'encoding' type. … Nominal Attributes are closer to Values than adjectival ones; and these, in turn, are very close to the ‘is an example of’ type of ‘identifying’ clause …

Monday, 3 August 2015

How To Get An Abstract Accepted To An ISFC

Step 1: Choose an abstract from another field.


Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
Alan D. Sokal

There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in "eternal" physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the "objective" procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method. …

My approach will be as follows: First I will review very briefly some of the philosophical and ideological issues raised by quantum mechanics and by classical general relativity. Next I will sketch the outlines of the emerging theory of quantum gravity, and discuss some of the conceptual issues it raises. Finally, I will comment on the cultural and political implications of these scientific developments. It should be emphasized that this article is of necessity tentative and preliminary; I do not pretend to answer all of the questions that I raise. My aim is, rather, to draw the attention of readers to these important developments in physical science, and to sketch as best I can their philosophical and political implications. …

Step 2: Adapt the source wording to that of the target field.


Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Systemic Functionalisation Of Formal Syntax

There are many linguists, and especially Formal linguists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural phenomena can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such insights. Rather, they cling to the dogma which can be summarised briefly as follows: that there exists a Universal Grammar, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in a Language Acquisition Device (LAD); and that linguists can only acquire knowledge of language by sticking rigidly to the "objective'' procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the scientific method.

In challenging this hegemony, my approach will be as follows: First I will review very briefly some of the philosophical and ideological issues raised by Formal and Functional theories of language. Next I will sketch the epistemological assumptions of Systemic Functional Grammatics (SFG), and discuss some of the conceptual issues they raise. Finally, I will comment on the implications of such an approach. It should be emphasised that this paper is of necessity tentative and preliminary; I do not pretend to answer all of the questions that I raise. My aim is, rather, to draw attention to these important issues, and to sketch as best I can their philosophical and ideological implications.

Step 3: Add an appropriate reference list.


Chomsky, N. 1995 The Minimalist Program Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
Fitch, W. T., Hauser M. D., and Chomsky N. The Evolution Of The Language Faculty: Clarifications And Implications Cognition 97.2 (2005): 179-210.
Halliday, M.A.K. and Matthiessen, C.M.I.M. 1999 Construing Experience Through Meaning: A Language-Based Approach To Cognition London: Continuum
Halliday, M.A.K. and Matthiessen, C.M.I.M. 2004 An Introduction To Functional Grammar London: Arnold
Hauser, M. D., Chomsky N., and Fitch W. T. The Faculty Of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, And How Did It Evolve? Science 298.5598 (2002): 1569-1579.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Origin Of The Notion Of A 'Language Organ'

The notion of a 'language organ' derives from the field of phrenology, a pseudoscience primarily focused on measurements of the human skull, based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localised, specific functions or modules.

https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-155404357/phrenology-and-language

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Stratification: Levels Of Symbolic Abstraction

The semantic stratum (meaning) and the lexicogrammatical stratum (wording) are two levels of symbolic abstraction of the one phenomenon: the content plane.  The content plane is an identifying relation between meaning and wording.

The content plane and the expression plane are two levels of symbolic abstraction of the one phenomenon: language.  Language is an identifying relation between content and expression.

Friday, 19 June 2015

"A Register"

Halliday (2002 [1990]: 168):
I shall assume the concept of register, or functional (diatypic) variation in language.  It is convenient to talk of "a register", in the same way that one talks of "a dialect": in reality, of course, dialectal variation is typically continuous, along many dimensions (that is, with many features varying simultaneously), and what we call "a dialect" is a syndrome of variants that tend to co-occur.  Those feature combinations that actually do occur — what we recognise as "the dialects of English", for example, or "the dialects of Italian" — are only a tiny fraction of the combinations that would be theoretically possible within the given language.  Similarly, "a register" is a syndrome, or a cluster of associated variants; and again only a small fraction of the theoretically possible combinations will actually be found to occur.

Halliday M.A.K. 2002 Linguistic Studies of Text And Discourse London: Continuum

Friday, 5 June 2015

Social Realism And SFL: Epistemological Differences

Social realism, in sociology, refers to the assumption that social reality, social structures and related social phenomena have an existence over and above the existence of individual members of society, and independent of our conception or perception of them.

In Systemic Functional Linguistic theory, human experience is construed (as ideational meaning) and social relations are enacted (as interpersonal meaning).  Social structures and related social phenomena are thus construals of language and enactments of language by humans, and thus crucially dependent on the construing and enacting of the humans involved.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Theorising Knowledge Practices

it's not what you know but who you know*


Proverb

For success, and especially to obtain employment, one's knowledge and skills are less useful and less important than one's network of personal contacts.


* Cf Oxbridge vs the rest.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Transcategorisation (As Opposed To Grammatical Metaphor)

Halliday (2008: 100):
Two aspects of a language are involved [in developing technical, theoretical forms of discourse]: (1) the metaphoric potential, realigning the relations between the semantics and the lexicogrammar (“de- and re-coupling”); (2) the transcategorising potential, moving lexicalised elements across syntactic classes. The first of these is the essential operation; the second is the mechanism by which it is achieved.

Halliday (2008: 152-3):
Technology is based on things: complex things, whose parts are measured and consolidated into wholes. Grammatically, these things are construed as nouns and organised into taxonomies, on the principle of meronymy. Measuring and taxonomising are steps toward scientific theory; a theory is a designed construction of meanings (a piece of semiotic technology!) in which the grammar is being used to construe more elaborate and more abstract models of experience: cosmologies, geometries, theories of the socio-political and moral order. For the first two, at least, you need to theorise about generalised processes and qualities: [how] big things are, how fast and in what directions they move, how they change from one state to another; so the grammar turns these processes and qualities into pseudo-things, virtual objects like length, motion, speed, distance, proportion. To do this the grammar uses the resources of transcategorising, which is part of its architecture: it makes verbs and adjectives into nouns, the category which construes phenomena that can be measured, and that are stable and persist through time. Transcategorising is a syntactic operation; it may use formal marking, morphological and phonological, but there may be no formal variation at all.

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 271): 
Thus grammatical metaphor is a means of having things both ways. An element that is transcategorised loses its original status because of the nature of the semantic feature(s) with which it comes to be combined … A[n] element that is metaphorised does not lose its original status. Its construction is not triggered by its being associated with any new semantic feature. If it has a new semantic feature this is a result of the metaphorising process. … It has become a ‘junctional’ construct, combining two of the basic properties that the grammar evolved as it grew into a theory of experience.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Dead Hand Of Plato In Formal Linguistics

Genuine change, according to essentialism, is possible only through the saltational origin of new essences.  Because evolution, as explained by Darwin, is by necessity gradual, it is quite incompatible with essentialism.
 — Ernst Mayr

Friday, 17 April 2015

Social Realism

Social realism, in sociology, refers to the assumption that social reality, social structures and related social phenomena have an existence over and above the existence of individual members of society, and independent of our conception or perception of them.

Social realists consider that science is an empirically based, rational and objective enterprise, the purpose of which is to provide explanatory and predictive knowledge. For the realist, there is an important distinction between explanation and prediction. Social realists believe that explanation should be the primary objective. They claim that explanation in both the natural and social sciences should entail going beyond simply demonstrating that phenomena are instances of some observed regularity, and uncovering the underlying and often invisible mechanisms which causally connect them. Frequently, this means postulating on the existence of types of unobservable phenomena and processes which are unfamiliar to us, but realists believe that only by doing this will it be possible to get beyond the mere "appearance" of things to their very nature and essence.

Sociologists make a distinction between social realism and positivism, which asserts that science can only deal with observable entities known directly to experience.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Rose-Coloured Theorising

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Emperor's New Theory

The Emperor's New Clothes
Hans Christian Andersen


Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, "The King's in council," here they always said. "The Emperor's in his dressing room."

In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colours and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

"Those would be just the clothes for me," thought the Emperor. "If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away." He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.

They set up two looms and pretended to weave, though there was nothing on the looms. All the finest silk and the purest old thread which they demanded went into their traveling bags, while they worked the empty looms far into the night.

"I'd like to know how those weavers are getting on with the cloth," the Emperor thought, but he felt slightly uncomfortable when he remembered that those who were unfit for their position would not be able to see the fabric. It couldn't have been that he doubted himself, yet he thought he'd rather send someone else to see how things were going. The whole town knew about the cloth's peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbours were.

"I'll send my honest old minister to the weavers," the Emperor decided. "He'll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he's a sensible man and no one does his duty better."

So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

"Heaven help me," he thought as his eyes flew wide open, "I can't see anything at all". But he did not say so.

Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colours. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn't see anything, because there was nothing to see. "Heaven have mercy," he thought. "Can it be that I'm a fool? I'd have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can't see the cloth."

"Don't hesitate to tell us what you think of it," said one of the weavers.

"Oh, it's beautiful -it's enchanting." The old minister peered through his spectacles. "Such a pattern, what colours!" I'll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it."

"We're pleased to hear that," the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colours and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention, so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever.

The Emperor presently sent another trustworthy official to see how the work progressed and how soon it would be ready. The same thing happened to him that had happened to the minister. He looked and he looked, but as there was nothing to see in the looms he couldn't see anything.

"Isn't it a beautiful piece of goods?" the swindlers asked him, as they displayed and described their imaginary pattern.

"I know I'm not stupid," the man thought, "so it must be that I'm unworthy of my good office. That's strange. I mustn't let anyone find it out, though." So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colours and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor he said, "It held me spellbound."

All the town was talking of this splendid cloth, and the Emperor wanted to see it for himself while it was still in the looms. Attended by a band of chosen men, among whom were his two old trusted officials-the ones who had been to the weavers-he set out to see the two swindlers. He found them weaving with might and main, but without a thread in their looms.

"Magnificent," said the two officials already duped. "Just look, Your Majesty, what colours! What a design!" They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

"What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I can't see anything. This is terrible!

Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! - Oh! It's very pretty," he said. "It has my highest approval." And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn't see anything.

His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than another, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, "Oh! It's very pretty," and they advised him to wear clothes made of this wonderful cloth especially for the great procession he was soon to lead. "Magnificent! Excellent! Unsurpassed!" were bandied from mouth to mouth, and everyone did his best to seem well pleased. The Emperor gave each of the swindlers a cross to wear in his buttonhole, and the title of "Sir Weaver."

Before the procession the swindlers sat up all night and burned more than six candles, to show how busy they were finishing the Emperor's new clothes. They pretended to take the cloth off the loom. They made cuts in the air with huge scissors. And at last they said, "Now the Emperor's new clothes are ready for him."

Then the Emperor himself came with his noblest noblemen, and the swindlers each raised an arm as if they were holding something. They said, "These are the trousers, here's the coat, and this is the mantle," naming each garment. "All of them are as light as a spider web. One would almost think he had nothing on, but that's what makes them so fine."

"Exactly," all the noblemen agreed, though they could see nothing, for there was nothing to see.

"If Your Imperial Majesty will condescend to take your clothes off," said the swindlers, "we will help you on with your new ones here in front of the long mirror."

The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. They took him around the waist and seemed to be fastening something - that was his train-as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

"How well Your Majesty's new clothes look. Aren't they becoming!" He heard on all sides, "That pattern, so perfect! Those colours, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit."

Then the minister of public processions announced: "Your Majesty's canopy is waiting outside."

"Well, I'm supposed to be ready," the Emperor said, and turned again for one last look in the mirror. "It is a remarkable fit, isn't it?" He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest.

The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn't dare admit they had nothing to hold.

So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!" Nobody would confess that he couldn't see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

"But he hasn't got anything on," a little child said.

"Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?" said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, "He hasn't anything on. A child says he hasn't anything on."

"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all.