The Thought Occurs

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.