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Exploring

Functional Grammar
______________________________________

A course book by
Maxine Lipson
2nd edition

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Series Editor
Preface
Ch. 1: General Information
Ch. 2: Review Test
Ch. 3: Functional Grammar: Principles and Important Aspects
3.1 Why Functional Grammar
3.2 Fundamental Concepts
3.3 Context of Culture and Context of Situation
Keys and Further Reading
Ch. 4: The Rank System: Words, Groups and Clauses
4.1 The Rank Scale
4.2 Embedding
Keys and Further Reading
Ch. 5: Tenor: MOOD SYSTEM and Interaction in the Clause
5.1 Interpersonal Meanings and the Clause as Exchange
5.2 Mood Elements
5.3 Modality
5.3.1 Modalization and Modulation
5.3.2 Orientation of Modality
5.3.3 Value
5.4 Grammatical Metaphor: Interpersonal Metaphors
5.4.1 Metaphors of Modality
5.4.2 Metaphors of Mood
Keys and Further Reading
Ch. 6: Field: TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM and Representing the World
6.1 Material Processes
6.2 Mental Processes
6.3 Verbal Processes
6.4 Behavioral Processes
6.5 Relational Processes
6.6 Existential Processes
6.7 Projecting Propositions/Proposals and Verbal Group Complexes
6.8 Causality
6.9 Summary and Exercises
Keys and Further Reading
Ch. 7: Grammatical Metaphor: Ideational Metaphors
7.1 Ideational Metaphor and Process Types
7.2 Ideational Metaphor and Nominalization
Keys and Further Reading
Ch. 8: APPRAISAL SYSTEMS
8.1 Attitude: Affect, Judgement, and Appreciation
8.2 Attendant APPRAISAL SYSTEMS: Graduation and Engagement
8.3 Summary and Exercises
Keys
Ch. 9: Mode: THEME/RHEME SYSTEM and the Realization of Textual Meanings
9.1 The Role of Language, the Channel of Communication, and Medium
9.2 The THEME SYSTEM

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113

9.2.1 Structural Cohesive Devices: Theme/Rheme


9.2.2 Structural Cohesive Devices: Grammatical Parallelism
9.2.3 Thematic Progression and Thematic Drift
9.3 Non-Structural Cohesive Devices
Keys and Further Reading
Appendix A: List of Common Attributive and Identifying Relational Processes
Appendix B: Example of a Functional Grammar Test
Bibliography and Acknowledgements
Index

113
122
124
125
130
133
134
137
139

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Preface
The purpose of this course-book, which is the fundamental reading text for the course Exploring
Functional Grammar, is to explore and apply the principles and techniques of Functional Grammar
(FG) and the Systemic Functional approach to language in order to increase the EFL student's awareness
of how the English language system works to construct meanings appropriate for their cultural and
situational context. The course is part of a three-year syllabus in which grammar is considered more
than just applying rules in isolated sentences. As Candlin argues, grammar is a purposeful,
constructive and above all social enterprise (in Butt et al. 2000: vi).
The course-book aims to explore further the complex theory of Functional Grammar, yet make it
accessible and meaningful to the intermediate EFL learner; attempts have been made to provide
explanations and definitions of terminology in simple language that is reader-friendly for intermediate
EFL students. Concepts and theories are illustrated by means of analyzing authentic texts (e.g. ads,
headlines, short conversations, advertisements, etc. from up-to-date sources). In this way, the student
becomes aware of the link between grammar and meaning. As F. Christie and L. Unsworth (2000: 2)
point out,
language study should focus on meaning and on the ways people exercise choices in
order to make meaning the focus is on how people use language to make
meanings with each other.
In his preface to Introducing Functional Grammar, Michael Halliday himself defines his aim as
constructing a grammar for purposes of text analysis; one that would make it possible to say sensible
and useful things about any test, spoken or written, in modern English (1994: xv). It is to be kept in
mind that Exploring Functional Grammar, therefore, is not only a collection of theoretical notions and
explanations, but a source of illustrative examples and tasks (with keys) to help students apply the
analytical tools of Functional Grammar, in the hope of their becoming better readers, writers and
speakers of English.
The basic reference for the notions presented herein is Michael Halliday , An Introduction to
Functional Grammar 1994. Throughout the course-book, there are pages assigned from the books
Introducing Functional Grammar by Geoff Thompson and Using Functional Grammar by David Butt
et al., both references extremely helpful and enlightening for teachers and students of Functional
Grammar. Other references found to be valuable resources in the preparation of this handbook are
Gerot and Wignell (1994) and Eggins (1994). The FG model of analysis is a vital aspect of Systemic
Functional Linguistics (SFL); a full study of SFL, however, is beyond the scope of the undergraduate
language program.
In closing, it is important to remember the importance for university EFL students who are aiming at
the acquisition of professional levels of language use to study grammar in a broader framework. As I
wrote in a recent article:
The study of grammar must be embedded in a broader framework of language and
context if students are to understand first and foremost just what a language is and
how it functions both to construct 'reality' and to construct
subjectivity/intersubjectivity
This [functional] approach would therefore help future graduates acquire not only
professional levels of language use in particular areas of specialization, but also a
greater knowledge and appreciation of how language works, so as to be able to
operate in the international job market more effectively and intelligently. (Lipson,
M. 2002: 372- 373)
1

In this second edition, I have tried to improve the organization of the chapters and clarify a few
ambiguities pointed out by students and colleagues, as well as provide an example of a FG test
and further reading for those students wishing to deepen their understanding of FG. The keys to
the tasks are provided at the end of each chapter, immediately before Further Reading.
Maxine Lipson

CHAPTER 1
General Information

To achieve the best results from this course-book, it is necessary to have proper
study skills and the desire to learn. How can you develop the proper study skills? First of all, after you
read a chapter do all the tasks and check your answers with the Key. You should do them more than
once until you get them all right. Write down what you think are the Key points presented in the
chapter in the Notes page provided for you at the end of the chapter and write questions for class as
well. Consult these Notes pages frequently during the course and immediately before beginning a new
chapter. Most importantly, before going on to a new chapter, read the previous one again.
Besides doing the tasks in this handbook, you should reflect on language use and ask yourselves
questions regarding the language you use everyday, whether reading, speaking, listening or writing. Try
to apply what is presented here outside classroom.
For further information regarding the course of Lingua Inglese II, students are advised to read the
complete program for Lingua Inglese 2 in the guide for students which can be found on the web
site of the Facolt di Lingue e Letterature Straniere http://www.facli.unibo.it and to consult the web
site of the English Language Studies Program (ELSP) (link is on the homepage of the Facolt di
Lingue e Letterature Straniere http://www.facli.unibo.it ).

CHAPTER 2
Review Test

Since being able to proceed with Exploring Functional Grammar presupposes the
successful completion of the first year course-book, Functional Grammar: An Introduction for the
EFL Student, students are advised to review the theory and concepts treated in that course-book and
complete the following review test (an answer Key to these exercises follows).
REVIEW TEST
2

1.Which of the following statements is NOT part of the notions of Functional Grammar?
A) There are three levels of meanings mapped onto the same clause.
B) Functional Grammar considers the role of grammar in constructing meaning.
C) A text emerges from a context of situation in a context of culture.
D) Language and texts are independent of social and cultural processes.
2. How many morphemes are in each of the following words?
Unfriendly Books Kicked Motherhood
3. Analyze the following sentences by identifying clauses and groups (Nominal Groups, Verbal
Groups, Adverbial Groups, Prep. Phrases etc.):
According to staff, the changes were made too quickly.
He opened the door and strode into the hall.
Columbus may not have discovered America, but his accomplishments brought the medieval
world into a new era.
4. Identify the independent and dependent clauses and relationships of interdependency (hypotaxis
and parataxis) in the following clause complexes.
He bought the book before he went home.
He said he might go to the party.
She's great fun, but her husband is rather dull.
5. Identify the parts of the following nominal groups: (i.e. the Thing, Deictics, Numeratives,
Epithets, Classifiers)
Two thousand tired factory workers went on strike last week.
She is a working mother.
He bought a little charming rural cottage
6. In the statement, He loves football., the participant 'He' is
A) Senser B) Phenomenon C) Target D) Goal
7. In I made a dress for Maria, the Process is
A) material B) behavioral C) relational D) existential
8. In, He's the only one without a ticket, the Process is
A) material B) relational - attributive C) relational - identifying D) existential
9. He walked in (1) and demanded (2) a vodka., the Processes are:
A) both material
C) material (1) and mental (2)
B) material (1) and verbal (2)
D) behavioral (1) and mental (2)
10. In She should be able to arrive in time, the Mood Block consists of:
A) She should C) She should be able to
B) She should be D) She should be able to arrive
11. Identify the type of circumstance in, They attempted to continue their conversation despite the
noise.
A) Manner B) Accompaniment C) Cause D) Contingency
12. The Modal Operator may in the statement, John may be in the library, expresses:
A) obligation
B) certainty C) usuality D) inclination
3

13. In the following clause, All students who are attending this course must pass the oral test., the
words who are attending this course is an example of a/an
A. elliptical clause
C. independent clause
B. embedded clause
D. dependent clause
14. In which of the following is there an example of embedding?
A. Write your surname on the sheet
B. Write your surname and sign the sheet
C. Write your mother's surname on the sheet
D. Write the surname of your mother on the sheet
15. In Functional Grammar, Tenor refers to
C) Graphology
A) The nature of the exchange
B) What is going on
D) Phonology
16. The Modal Adjunct gladly in the statement Ill gladly help you expresses:
A) obligation
B) willingness C) probability
D) necessity
17. What is the Topical Theme in The doctor will see you now.?
A) The doctor will
B) The doctor will see
C) The doctor D) The
18. The underlined clause in the following statement, I didn't go to class this morning because I
slept late, is an example of a/an
A) independent clause
B) dependent clause
C) embedded clause
19. Identify the type of circumstance in, The old cat hadn't eaten for days.
A) Cause
B) Location: time
C) Extent: time D) Manner
20. The statement, I said I would go, is an example of a
A) quoted locution B) quoted idea C) reported locution

D) reported idea

KEY
1) D
2. un/friendly = 3; book/s = 2; kick/ed = 2; mother/hood = 2
3.Analyze the following sentences by identifying clauses, groups, and phrases:
a. According to the staff/ the changes /were made /too quickly.- one clause: PP, NG , VG, AG
b. He /opened/ the door // and / strode /into the hall. 2 clauses paratactically linked. Clause 1:
NG, VG, NG; coordinating conjunction; clause 2: ellipsis of NG , VG, PP
c. Columbus/ may not have discovered /America,/ / but/ his accomplishments/ brought /the
medieval world /into a new era. 2 clauses: NG, VG, NG, CONJ G, NG, VG, NG, PP
4. Identify the independent and dependent clauses and relationships of interdependency (hypotaxis
and parataxis) in the following clause complexes.
a. He bought the book before he went home.- Ind-dep (hypotaxis)
b. He said he might go to the party.- Ind-dep (projection - hypotaxis)
c. She's great fun, but her husband is rather dull.- 2 indep (parat.)
4

5. Identify the parts of the following nominal groups: (i.e. the Thing, Deictics, Numeratives,
Epithets, Classifiers)
a. Two thousand/ tired/ factory /workers. Numerative, Epithet, Classifier, Classifier, Thing
b. a /working/ mother. Non Specific Deictic, Classifier, Thing
c. a /little /charming/ rural cottage. Non Specific Deictic, Epithet, Epithet, Classifier, Thing
6. A
7. A
8. C
9. B
10. A
11. D
12. B
13. B
14. D
15. A
16. B
17. C
18. A
19. C
20. C

Keys to tasks in the following chapters are at the end of each chapter.

CHAPTER 3
A Review of Functional Grammar: Principles and Important
Aspects
How we formulate and construct a statement about the world is underpinned by ideological premises. Even
formations taken for granted are full of ideological premises (Stuart Hall 1995: 18).
Language is a resource for making meanings. (Michael Halliday, 1994: xxvi ).

This course is based on the Hallidayan concept that language is a social semiotic which construes
our social reality through lexico-grammatical structures, which are, according to Halliday, resources
of a culture for making meaning (1984: 15). These lessons aim at exploring the analytic tools
provided by Functional Grammar which help one to understand the relationships between the
context of situation in which a text is produced, the meanings activated by this context and the
language in which and by which these meanings are realized.

3.1 Why Functional Grammar?


5

The first question a student of language might ask her/himself is What is important or relevant
about the study of language? The next question might be What does the functional approach to
language analysis give you that the traditional one, or formal grammar, doesnt? The particular
relevance of Functional Grammar to language study, and to one's education in general, is that
Functional Grammar is fundamentally concerned with how we use language, how we structure language
for use or for a specific function or functions, how language is organized to make meanings.
Traditional grammar describes the grammar of standard English by comparing it with Latin. As such it
is prescriptive (Halliday 1985: 5). It teaches parts of speech and correct usage and focuses on rules for
producing correct sentences. Formal grammar describes language as a set of rules which allow or
disallow certain sentence structures. In contrast, Functional Grammar is concerned with how
structures construct meaning and describes language in actual use and focuses on texts and their
contexts.
The particular relevance of Functional Grammar (henceforth FG) to the teaching of language and for
education in general is best expressed by Francis Christie (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989: v):
How language is taught reflects questions regarding the nature of language as an
aspect of human experience, and about language as a resource of fundamental
importance in the building of human experience. Language is not to be seen as
something neutral, it is not a part of experience, but intimately involved in the
manner in which we construct and organize experience. it is never neutral, but
deeply implicated in building meaning.
Thus, as language learners and language teachers we cannot dissociate language
from meaning. Functional Grammar rests on the notion of language as a social
semiotic, and the conception of experience or reality as socially built and
constantly subject to processes of transformation.
Functional Grammar, thus, considers language as a social semiotic, but what is meant when we say,
Language is a social-semiotic. In Halliday's words:
Language arises in the life of the individual through an ongoing exchange of
meanings with significant others. A child creates, first his child tongue, then his
mother tongue, in interaction with that little coterie of people who constitute his
meaning group. In this sense, language is a product of the social process. (Halliday
1978: 1)
Halliday (1985/89: 4-5), explains the meaning of 'social' in the term 'social-semiotic':
Social in the sense of the social system, which I take to be synonymous with the
culture, So when I say social-semiotic I am referring to the definition of a social
system, or a culture, as a system of meanings. But I also intend a more specific
interpretation of the word social to indicate that we are concerned particularly with
the relationships between language and social structure, considering the social
structure as one aspect of the social system.
The perspective on language adopted by Functional Grammar is primarily a social one which relates
language to a social system, to culture, and to a particular aspect of human experience, namely that of
social structure. However, the relationship between language and reality is complex. How ones
perception of reality, values, and perspectives are mapped onto language is also complex. This is the
specific concern of Functional Grammar and of this course-book.
6

3.2 Fundamental Concepts

To begin to answer the questions posed by Functional Grammar (How do we use


language for meaning?, for example), to be able to talk about language itself and how ideology is
mapped onto it, special terminology metalanguage - is provided by SFL and FG. Halliday's approach
to grammar considers the role of linguistic items in a text in relation to their function in construing
meaning. For this reason, the interpretation and labelling of linguistic items are functionally based. The
purpose of functional labelling in Halliday's words, is to provide a means of interpreting grammatical
structure, in such a way as to relate any given instance to the system of the language as a whole (1994:
29). Many of the Functional labels and metalanguage has already been taught in the course Introducing
Functional Grammar A.A. 2002-03 (see Freddi, 2004: slides 12 17): lexico-grammar, context of
culture, context of situation, clause complex, Participant, Goal, Classifier, Epithet, etc. Other terms and
labels will be introduced in this course-book. But first, since this approach focuses on texts in their
contexts (cultural and situational), an understanding of the relationships between language and culture
and ideology should be reviewed.

LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND IDEOLOGY

Language:

There is a variety of definitions of language, culture and ideology. Language can be considered a code
from the perspective of semiotics. In semiotics, signs and symbols representing objects and also mental
concepts acquire meaning through conventions and use. Signs are organized into a code a system with
rules of operation with the aim of communication of ideas. Codes are governed by rules which are
consented to by all members of the community using that code. This means that the study of codes
frequently emphasizes the social dimension of communication (Fiske 1990: 64). Language, therefore,
is considered a code from this perspective (Fiske: 1990)1.
Halliday prefers to consider semiotics as the study of meaning in its most general sense, rather than
as the study of signs (Halliday in Halliday and Hasan 1985/89: 4). When speaking about language, he
says: Each language has its own semantic code, although languages that share a common culture tend
to have codes that are closely related. (1984: xxx our emphasis). The relationship between a code and
its culture is very complex and, as Halliday points out: Only the grammatical system as a whole
represents the semantic code of a language. (1984: xxxi). As you recall, Halliday defines language, as
a social semiotic; this implies that a community of speakers shares knowledge about the language
system, meanings, and situations. Language, then, can be considered, from a FG perspective, a
multilevelled system in which speakers and writers make lexico-grammatical choices motivated by the
meanings appropriate to a given context, and then express these lexico-grammatical choices in sounds
or writing. (Butt et al. 2000: 11).

Culture:

In Fiske 1990. Chapters 3 and 4 are interesting: chapter 3 for a brief discussion of Pierce and Saussure and chapter 4
for a summary of various kinds of codes

We use the word culture often without really defining it: youth culture, popular culture, cultural
background, intercultural communication etc. Fiske, in Television Culture (1987), calls culture the most
slippery concept of all. Rather than define what culture is, he says what culture consists of: culture
consists of the meanings we make of our social experience and of our social relations, and therefore the
sense we have of our selves (1987: 20).
Halliday also refers to culture as the whole of all meanings and the total set of options in behavior
that are available to the individual in his existence as social man. (Halliday in Coupland and Jaworski
1997: 31). In this course, culture will be used from Halliday's and Fiske's perspective, which includes
any aspect of the ideas, beliefs, or ways of behaving of a group of people which gives to them a
distinctive identity and sense of social cohesion and membership.

Ideology:

There are a number of definitions of ideology. Ideology, says Van Dijk (1998: 23), is one of the
most elusive notions in the social sciences. He proposes that ideologies reflect the basic criteria that
constitute the social identity and define the interests of a group. They have to do with values and a
sense of membership. Since individuals belong to several groups they may have several ideologies
(1998: 23-29). Stuart Hall defines the concept of ideology as those images, concepts, and premises
through which we represent, interpret, understand and 'make sense' of some aspect of social existence
(in Dines G and J.M. Humez 1995: 18 my emphasis). What is important in the study of language is that
opinions, ideologies and world-views are expressed in texts through lexical and surface structure
choices in concrete lexical items, clause and sentence structure, syntactic categories, word order,
discourse intonation, graphical structures, and the organization of macrostructures (Van Dijk
1998:45)

THE INTERWINING OF LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND


IDEOLOGY

There is an intertwining of language and ideology and culture. Stuart Hall clearly relates language to
ideology in the following statement: How we formulate and construct a statement about the world is
underpinned by ideological premises (Hall 1995: 19). The relationship between language, world view,
and shared knowledge and beliefs is the premise of interactional sociolinguistics as well: Gumperz,
linguist, anthropologist and founder of interactional sociolinguistics writes:
Interpretation of meaning is interactively negotiated taking into account the knowledge
of the context which the interactants have at their disposal. Negotiation of meaning
means understanding of culture of interlocutors. (Di Luzio in Eerdmans, Prevignano
Thibault 1997: 1-5)
From this perspective then, language is not to be considered just a carrier of content (see Lee 1992:
79-83 for the container metaphor of language). It is, rather, a heterogeneous form of social behaviour.
As sociologist J. Fishman argues:
Language is a referent for loyalties and animosities - an indicator of social statuses and
personal relationships, a marker of situations and topics as well as the social goals and
the large-scale value-laden arenas of interaction that typify every speech community.
There is a systematic relationship between the social environment on the one hand, and
the functional organization of language on the other. (Fishman J.A. in Coupland and
Jaworski 1997: 27).
8

There are different ways of using the resources of a particular language that mediates different modes of
interpretation. Individuals view their social world from different positions and construct their
interpretations through different linguistic practices.
TEXT
A text is defined by Halliday as language that is functional... language that is doing some job in
some context, as opposed to isolated words or sentences (Halliday in Halliday and Hasan 1985/89:
10). As pointed out in the first year course-book, text in Functional Grammar is defined as an instance
of language that is playing some part in a context of situation, it is a spoken or written form of
exchange, it is a social exchange of meaning (Halliday in Halliday and Hasan 1985/89: 11). It is a
product of its environment - of the total environment in which it unfolds (Halliday in Halliday and
Hasan 1985/89: 5).

LANGUAGE, CULTURE, IDEOLOGY AND TEXT

As seen from the above discussion of language, culture, and ideology, the mechanisms that link
language and social processes and meanings are very complex and subtle. FG provides the tools to
unravel the realization of meanings, the mapping of meanings onto the lexico-grammatical system of a
language.
We all make lexical and grammatical choices in our daily language use. Our utterances are influenced
not only by our views and perceptions (our ideologies), but also by factors in the context of situation,
for example by our understanding of the culture of our interlocutors - our addressees. Other choices are
made accounting to the social activity taking place - sermons, lessons, after-dinner chat, etc.
Furthermore, all speakers of the same community share a knowledge of their language system and the
set of unmarked (typical) forms used in certain contexts. Thus a marked form is recognized in that
speech community as a way to emphasize a particular meaning.
Example: (from Lee 1992: 12)
Place: a board meeting of American businessmen and businesswomen. After Ken presents his point of
view, another person comments:
1) A problem with Kens argument is...
2) The problem with Kens argument is
The two statements begin exactly the same way, except for the different Deictic element. Is there a
difference in meaning?
In both texts, explains Lee, the speaker comments on a problem with Ken's argument. In the first text
there is no indication that anyone else sees the problem, while in the second text, the use of the definite
article communicates an assumption on the part of the speaker that everyone at the meeting knows there
is a problem.
One's perception of situations is mapped onto formal structure in language: lexically and
grammatically. Communication, then, is often a site of contestation where participants attempt to
9

impose their own modes of interpretation on others or leave space for interlocutors to negotiate
meanings. (whether we are dealing with written texts or spontaneous speech). Functional Grammar
addresses itself precisely to this issue: how meaning is mapped onto the lexico-grammatical system of a
language (see Figure 1).
Ideologies and Texts

Social beliefs
and value
systems, world
views,
ideologies

TEXTS

Fig.1 from D.R. Miller, English Linguistics lecture notes: AA 2000-01

SUMMARY
1. Language is conditioned by the context of culture and the context of situation. Every text unfolds
in some context of use. (Halliday 1994: xiii)
2. In the SFL approach language is considered a social semiotic; social because it has meaning in a
cultural and social context; semiotic because it is a way/mode of meaning. It is important to
consider a language as simultaneously a social act.
3. Grammar is the site where ideology is embedded. Text analysis cannot be carried out seriously
without analyzing grammar. Otherwise the analysis can be subjective and even trivial. A text is a
semantic unit, but meanings are realized through wordings, and grammar, a theory of wordings,
is the site for analysis. (Halliday 1994: xvii)

3.3 Context of Culture and Context of Situation

Language, as you know, is produced within a culture and in a situation. Culture is


important in order to understand the history behind a speech event, and as seen from the above
discussion, it relates to the values and norms of a speech community. Context of situation is the
particular context in which a text is produced. Halliday has defined it as the immediate environment in
which a text is actually functioning (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989: 46) . The context of situation
consists of three variables: Field, Tenor, and Mode. This notion of the context of situation, explains
Halliday, helps us understand why certain things have been said or written on this particular occasion,
and what else might have been said or written that was not.
Three sets of meanings are activated by these variables, Field, the Tenor and the Mode respectively:
that is to say, in Hallidays words, the Field is expressed through the experiential function in the
10

semantics, the Tenor is expressed through the interpersonal function in the semantics and the Mode is
expressed through the textual function in the semantics (Halliday in Halliday and Hasan 1985/89: 25).

FIELD, TENOR AND MODE:


IDEATIONAL, INTERPERSONAL AND TEXTUAL MEANINGS

As Halliday himself explains in Language in a Social Perspective (in Coupland and Jaworski 1997:
36):
The essential feature of a functional theory is not that it enables us to enumerate and classify
the functions of speech acts, but that it provides a basis for explaining the nature of the
language system, since the system itself reflects the functions that it has evolved to serve.

He points out that:


the notion of functions of language is not to be equated merely with a theory of
language use, but expresses the principle behind the organization of the linguistic
system.
The options in the grammar of a language derive from and are relatable to three
very generalized functions of language which we have referred to as the ideational,
the interpersonal and the textual. The specific options in meaning that are
characteristic of particular social context and settings are expressed through the
medium of grammatical and lexical selections that trace back to one or other of these
three sources.
The ideational meanings (also referred to as representational or experiential meanings) are those
concerned with the encoding of our experiences in the external and in our internal world; the
interpersonal set of meanings concern our social role, our personalities and feelings and forms of
interaction with other participants in the communication situation; the third set, textual meanings,
enables us to create a text which means that our speech is organized in a way that it makes sense in the
contexts and satisfies its function as a message (Halliday in Coupland and Jaworski 1997: 36).
TASK 1. The Field is concerned with what is going or the subject matter. In the text below, what is the
subject matter? Chicago? Singapore? Singapore airlines? What lexical items suggest the Field?
Chicago, a cultural city of distinguished architecture, celebrated cuisine and
legendary blues is home to a diverse mix of 3 million people. From 1 August,
Singapore Airlines inaugurates the only same-plane service from Singapore
to Chicago, home of the Blues. This service will operate on the new Jubilee
777ER aircraft with improved comfort in Raffles and Economy Class. Raffles
Class passengers can now experience DVD quality movies for the first time in
the sky! Come on board and experience inflight service even other airlines
talk about. (Time Intl magazine)

One's choices in lexis and structure are not affected just by the topic, but also by the kinds of social
relationships, attitudes, social roles and discourse roles present in the situation. Tenor is associated with
these features of the communication situation.
11

TASK 2. What kinds of social relationships, attitudes, social roles and/or discourse roles are suggested
by the lexico-grammar in this text?
Mode, the third situational variable, refers to the means adopted for communication and the role
language is playing in the interaction.
TASK 3. What do you think was the channel of communication of this text?
In conclusion, language has three metafunctions: language constructs an action, event or state in the
real world (its experiential function, or meaning); language is an exchange and assigns roles to
participants (its interpersonal function, or meaning); and language is a message, having a structure and
contributing to a larger textual unit (its textual function, or meaning). We can say that these 3 levels of
meaning are mapped onto any same clause in its lexico-grammatical structure. What is important is to
understand that in every clause, all three sets of meanings are present.
N.B. There are other meanings that, together with experiential meanings, is a sub-category of ideational
meanings: logical meanings. These are the meanings realized by the logico-semantic relationships that
are constructed between the clauses, the connections between the messages (Thompson, 1996, pg 35).
See Functional Grammar: An Introduction for the EFL Student, (Maria Freddi 2004) and chapter 10 in
Introducing Functional Grammar (G. Thompson 1996)

SUMMARY
Within the Functional Grammar perspective of language, context and language are interdependent
(Thompson 1996: 9). Below are three figures illustrating the process of text creation.

Fig.2 from M. Lipson, Exploring Functional Grammar lecture notes: AA 2002-03. Adapted from Butt et. al. 2000: 4

12

M eanings and W ordings

W ORDING S

M EA NINGS
-----------------------

-----------------------

SEM AN TICS

LEX ICOG RAM M A R

Fig. 3 from D. R. Miller, English Linguistics lecture notes: AA 2002-03

The relations among the Situation of Context and the levels of semantics and lexico-grammar are
illustrated in the table below.

T he process of text creation


activates
C ontex t of Situa tion

Is realized in + b y
Sem an tics
(m eanings)

I F ield

Ideational

W hats goin g on?

Sp eak er as O bserver
E p eriential m ean in gs
L ogical m eanin gs

II T enor

Interpersonal

W ho is tak in g p art?

Sp eak er as Participant ,
In trud er

III M ode
H ow are th e
m eanin gs b ein g
exchan ged?

L ex icogra m m ar
(w ordin gs)

C lause as
R epresentation
T ransitivity Stru cture
C lause Interd ep enden cy(taxis)

C lause as E xchange
M O O D , M O D A L IT Y ,
AP P R A IS A L SY S T EM S

C lause as M essage

T extual
Sp eak er as T ext-m aker

T hem atic + In fo Structure,


gram m atical parallelism ,
n on-structural coh esive
devices,discourse stru cture

Fig. 4 The Process of Text Creation based on D. R. Miller English Linguistics lecture notes: AA 2002-03

Keys:
13

TASK 1: The lexis suggests the subject matter of advertising Singapore Airlines: Singapore Airlines,
same-plane service, service, new Jubilee 777ER aircraft, Economy Class, Raffles Class, passengers, in
the sky, on board, inflight, airlines.
TASK 2: There is no linguistic evidence of familiarity between the writer and the reader (e.g., no
vocatives indicating contact, affection, or intimacy, such as first or last names; impersonal reference to
Raffle Class passengers). The discourse role of the writer is one of giving information (e.g.
declaratives).
TASK 3: This text is an example of a written text to be read (e.g. big NGs). The channel of
communication will be discussed in greater detail in Ch. 9 of this course-book.

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp. 26-35 for an overview of FG and the three metafunctions; or in Thompson 2004,
pp. 28-34.

Notes
Key Points

Questions for Class

14

CHAPTER 4
The Rank System: words, groups and clauses
it takes a clause to represent experience (Halliday 1989: 82).

In this chapter we will address the important concepts of stratification, rank,


and embedding, which were introduced in the first year course-book, Functional Grammar: an
introduction for the EFL student (Freddi 2004). However, first we should also remind ourselves
of the fundamental role of the clause in the FG model of analysis. The clause is generally
recognized to be the pivotal unit of grammatical meaning (Eggins 1994: 139). As Halliday
clearly tells us (1994: 19), in a functional perspective:
Grammatical structure is explained by reference to the meaning; and there is a general
principle in language whereby it is the larger units that function more directly in the
realization of higher-level patterns if we want to explore how semantic features are
represented in the grammar, we look primarily at the clause.

We have said in Section 3.3 that the Context of Situation is the particular context in which a text
is produced and that it consists of three variables: Field, Tenor, Mode. As you recall, the meanings
activated by these variables - the experiential, interpersonal and textual meanings are realized in
the clause in/by three respective lexico-grammatical systems: the TRANSITIVITY, MOOD and THEME
SYSTEMS. The basic site of the analysis of these systems is the analysis of the clause.
Eggins and Slade (1997) argue how the analysis of the clause helps us to understand many socialcontextual factors regarding those participating in an exchange. Grammatical patterns are revealed
by studying the types of clause structures chosen by interactants and are displayed within each
speakers turns pattern choices are part of what indicates the different social roles being
played by the interactants and how such roles are constructed in our culture. (72 my
emphasis). Students are advised to review clause types and relationships in the course-book of
Lingua Inglese 1, Functional Grammar: an introduction for the EFL student (Freddi 2004).

STRATIFICATION: A REVIEW

The concept of constituency can be helpful in understanding the organization of language as a


resource for making and expressing meanings, not only in terms of grammatical units. Language, in
the perspective of Functional Grammar, is made up of strata in which one moves from soundings to
wordings to meanings. Any piece of interaction can be considered simultaneously meaning,
wording and sounding and this is called the stratification of language. Stratification refers to the
resources for wording and meaning. The resources for wording and meaning (i.e. for
constructing meaning in wording) are the resources of lexico-grammar (Matthiessen 1995, 2).
The figure below illustrates the system of stratification. The context of situation ACTIVATES
the semantics which are REALIZED, or become accessible to us, in and by the lexico-grammar,
which is REALIZED in and by graphology and/or phonology. As Matthiessen explains,
semantics, grammar and phonology are the linguistic subsystems of meaning, wording, and
15

sounding. In grammar we study the system of wording. The lexico-grammatical level is located
between semantics and phonology, whereas the semantic level relates upwards to other aspects of
the cultural system of which language forms one part. The phonological level relates downwards to
the phonetics of articulation(Matthiessen 1995, 6)

Stratification

Fig.1: Stratification, based on Matthiessen 1995: 6

This figure shows that for any given level, the higher one provides the environment for the
lower level. Stratification concerns a system of abstraction and, along with rank (see Freddi, 2004:
slides 36-37), defines hierarchies of increasingly comprehensive layers.

4.1 The Rank Scale

As pointed out in Freddi (2004), morphemes combine into words and words into
structures and these produce meanings. This is the hierarchy of constituency, in ascending order, or
what defines a scale of rank a rank scale. As already explained, the whole functional approach is
built on this concept of constituency, which Halliday defines as this kind of layered part-whole
relationship which occurs among the units each unit consists of one or more of the next
smaller... (1994: 3). The rank scale is thus a hierarchy of grammatical units. From the smaller
unit to the larger unit: from the morpheme (the minimal unit of written language), to the clause
complex, the highest level for our purposes, which could of course be extended to the text.
Smaller units come together to form a bigger unit in the rank scale. For instance, a word consists of
one or more morphemes, a group of one or more words, a clause of one or more groups, and a
clause complex of one or more clauses. As you will remember, the clause complex is a language
structure that consists of at least 2 clauses that work together through some kind of interdependency
(taxis) and logical relationship (see Figure 2).

16

The English class is big and so it is held in a cinema.

CLAUSE

CLAUSE

CLAUSE COMPLEX
Fig 2 Interdependency of clauses in a clause complex

In conclusion, the rank scale refers to levels of organization. What is important to remember is
that units may be given new locations in the system through rankshift. In this case, rankshifted
items do not function as constituents of higher units. A clause, for example, may be rankshifted to
serve as if it were a group, as is illustrated in the example below. You will notice that the clause I
usually attend becomes part of the NG The English class I usually attend. We can say that the
clause has been rankshifted.
Example of rankshifting
Clause 1: I usually attend. (independent clause)
Clause 2: The English class I usually attend is big.
NG
We will look more carefully at rankshifting in the section on Embedding, another word for this
phenomenon. (For more on rankshift, see Matthiessen 1995: 99).

TASK 1: In the clause complex The English class is big and so it is held in a cinema, what is the
interdependency (taxis) and logical relationship between the two clauses?
TASK 2: Identify the units (morpheme, nominal group, verbal group, adverbial group and
prepositional phrase) in the following: Many people drive too fast on Italian highways.
In the following section we are going to take a closer look at groups and clauses and rankshifting
in longer stretches of texts. In particular, we will be looking at the process of the embedding of
nominal groups (NG) and prepositional phrases (PP). PPs should be seen as minor clauses, being
more clause-like that group-like because they consist of a preposition and a nominal group and
the preposition can be thought of as a minor verb, or Process (Halliday 1994: 213). As we will be
seeing in the next section, they function as either circumstantial Adjuncts in clauses or Qualifiers in
NGs (see the two examples below).

The digital camera is on the table. (circumstantial Adjunct)


The digital camera on the table is mine. (PP as qualifier)

NOTE: Verbal groups will be referred to as VG and Adverbial groups as AG

17

4.2 Embedding
As already pointed out in Functional Grammar: an introduction for the EFL student (Freddi
2004), NGs construct grammatical participants in the transitivity structure of clauses from the
point of view of experiential meanings. In example (1) below, the NGs a novelist and song (Actor
and Goal) can be expanded with single words, as illustrated in Example (2), each having its own
function. In fact, the NGs in Example (2) consist of a Non-Specific Deictic, Epithet, Classifier and
Thing.
The NGs novelist and song could be expanded not only with single words, but also with PPs, as
shown in Example (3). In Example (3), the PP from Nice is an integral part of the entire NG and
functions as its Qualifier.
Compare Examples (3) and (4). In Example (3), the PP from Nice is part of the NG an old French
novelist from Nice; thus, it is an embedded PP. In Example (4), while the PP from Nice is, again,
an embedded PP, the PP in 5 minutes, is not embedded; the PP in 5 minutes is a separate
constituent of the clause functioning as circumstance of Location: Time. It is not always simple to
distinguish between embedded PPs and PPs which are constituents functioning as Circumstance.
TASK 3: In examples (5) and (6) below there are PPs that are parts of NGs. Which are they?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

A novelist wrote a song.


An old French novelist wrote a terrible love song.
An old French novelist from Nice wrote a terrible love song.
An old French novelist from Nice wrote a terrible love song in 5 minutes.
On the occasion of her 40th birthday, she bought herself the ring with the biggest diamond.
The cat with black and red spots ran into the house.

If a PP, as in Example (3), or even a clause, is being made to function as part of a larger group, it
is called an embedded PP or embedded clause. What is the relationship between embedding and
the rank system? First of all, we must keep in mind how groups function in a clause as constituents
in the Transitivity system: VGs form the Process, NGs are the typical grammatical participants
inherently involved in the Process and AGs, PPs, and sometimes NGs to a lesser degree, form
Circumstances. PPs that are embedded in NGs are at a rank below those PPs which are constituents
of a clause functioning as Circumstance (again see examples of an embedded PP and a PP as a
circumstantial Adjunct on page 20 ); and embedded clauses are below the rank of dependent and
independent clauses. When we talk about embedded phrases, groups and clauses, it means that
those phrases, groups and clauses function within the structure of the same or lower ranking unit,
rather than as constituents of higher units, as ranking units. In other words, a PP or clause can be
rankshifted to become part of a NG, as we have just seen. The NG in Example (6) above could
also be expanded with an embedded clause as in Example (7) below.
7. The cat [with black and red spots] [[that ran into the house]] is mine.
In Example (8) below, we have a clause (who answered the question) as part of a NG and also a
PP (from France) as part of another NG. We will see how rankshift/embedding can contribute to
construing elements in experiential meanings in different ways, and, at times, in ways that are
highly complex. Compare the meanings expressed by Examples (8) and (9) below:
(N.B. Single square brackets are used to mark embedded PPs and double square brackets for
embedded clauses)
8. The student [[who answered the question]] is an Erasmus student [from France].
9. An Erasmus student [from France] answered the question.
18

In Example (8) we have a participant as a Carrier in a Relational Process, while in Example (9)
the participant is a Sayer. This is an illustration of how different lexico-grammatical structures
express different meanings.
As you should already know, the typical embedded expansion is the defining relative clause as
that ran into the house in Example (7) or who answered the question in Example (8).
Below are further examples of EMBEDDING:
a. The man [with blonde hair and green eyes] smiled at the photographers. - embedded PP.
b. The man [[smiling at the photographers]] is a movie star. - embedded (defining relative) nonfinite clause.
c. The blonde man [[who is smiling at the photographers]] is a movie star. embedded (defining
relative) finite clause
d. The smile [[he gave the photographers]] seemed sincere. embedded (defining relative) finite
clause
TASK 4: Identify the grammatical Subject and Finite in the statements (a) (d) above.
One NG can have more than one embedded PP, or clause, as illustrated by the examples (10) and
(11) below:
10. The government has not yet raised taxes in the hope [of signs [of recovery [in the American
economy]]].
11. The book [[that you bought at the store [next to the shoe shop [[that sells those sandals [[which
you adore]]]]]]] isnt the one [[I wanted]].
In addition to this function as post-modifier of a NG, embedded clauses can also function as
HEAD of a NG (i.e., as a nominalization, see Halliday 1994: 242 and Section 7.2 in this coursebook), as in the following examples of relational clauses:
12. [[What you see]] is [[what you get]]. (in computer jargon: Wysiwyg)
13. [[The time to leave]] is [[when people yawn]]. (Halliday 1994: 242)
14. [[What your mother has]] at the very least is [[what we call borderline personality disorder.]]
(from the television series The Sopranos, 1st season (1999, episode13)
To conclude: embedding enables the grammatical system to create new potential at lower ranks
in the system by making it available from higher ranks and allows one to construe elements of
considerable experiential complexity (Matthiessen 1995, 100) as in Example (15).
15. The operator [of the Kazaa music-swapping service [[who is now under investigation]]]
announced a part-time partnership Monday with Tiscali SpA, one of the major Internet access
providers in Europe, in a deal [[that underscores their mutual benefit [from a method of exchanging
songs [[that has angered record companies worldwide]]]]]. (International Herald Tribune 2002)

Tips
How can we tell if a PP is embedded in a NG or not? If it is NOT embedded, it can usually be
moved.
a) There is a boy in the corner. (single clause, no embedding)
In the corner there is a boy.
b) The boy in the corner is my nephew. (single clause, with embedded PP)
NOT In the corner the boy is my nephew.
19

NOT The boy is my nephew in the corner.


In sentence (a) the PP is a constituent in the transitivity structure, functioning as Circumstance, and
can be moved. In sentence (b) the PP is embedded in the NG and cannot be moved.
How can we tell if a clause is embedded in a NG or not? As explained in the first year coursebook, punctuation is an important clue. If it is between commas, it is NOT embedded and thus it
is a non-defining clause.

The car which is in the parking lot is very expensive. (embedded, defining, clause)
The car, which is in the parking lot, is very expensive. (non-embedded, non-defining,
clause)

The relative pronouns, which, that, or who, in an embedded clause may be omitted. For
example: The book that you bought near the bookshop can be The book you bought near
the bookshop. The relative pronoun has been omitted also in Example (d) above: The smile
[[he gave the photographers]] seemed sincere.
TASK 5: Identify embedded PP or embedded clauses in the following examples.
1. The quiet child in the corner has not said a word all day.
2. The child who is sitting in the corner has been absent for a long time.
3. He bought the book before he went home.
4. The person I talked to first was Jane.
5. People who exercise regularly are usually more healthy than those who have sedentary
lifestyles.
TASK 6:
1. Which of the following is an example of embedding?
A. The book on the table is very expensive
B. The book, which is on the table, is expensive.

C. The new history book is very expensive


D. The book is on the table

2. Identify embedded PPs and clauses and non-embedded PPs and clauses. Not all examples include
embedding.
a) Clean air and effective ventilation are extremely important. Many people virtually seal
themselves into their houses in the cold winter months.
b) Evidence suggests that non-smokers sharing a home with a smoker can have a 30 per cent
greater risk of developing lung cancer.
c) Three million non-fatal accidents happen at home every year and nearly 6,000 people die.
d) Advances in surgical techniques and in the technology used in medical equipment have been
extremely beneficial.
TASK 7: Identify embedded PPs and embedded clauses in the following examples.
a) A cabinet shuffle and new board appointments at RAI may help keep the peace in Mr.
Berlusconis coalition. (International Herald Tribune, hereafter IHT January 12-13, 2002)
b) Yahoo Inc. introduced a fee-based video-game service for US customers with high-speed
Internet connections. (IHT September 24, 2002)
c) That the opposition would not vote in favor of the Governments proposal didnt surprise anyone.
d) Over half of the Fortune 100 worlds largest corporations now turn to Orange for their business
communication. (Orange advertisement in Time Intl Sept. 23, 2002)
e) In airport boardrooms and galleries, the unique IBM Embedded Security Subsystem offers the
user an even higher level of protection by encrypting e-mail and data. (IBM advertisement in
20

Time Intl, Sept. 23, 2002)

SUMMARY

1. Language is a complex semiotic system composed of multiple levels/strata. The central level
is grammar lexico-grammar. The higher level is semantics (Halliday 1994: 15), the lower
level is phonology.
2. Rank refers to a system of levels of organization concerning grammatical units;
3. Rankshifting is a mechanism whereby a unit of one rank is used as a constituent within
another unit at the same or lower rank. (Matthiessen 1995: 21. See also 99-100 for more on
Rankshift (embedding));
4. Rankshift refers to a clause or phrase that comes to function within the structure of a group
(Halliday 1994: 242). Example: The man who came to dinner was Sidney Poitier.
Embedding can be used as an alternative term synonymous with rankshifted (Halliday 1994:
188).
5. Embedded elements can act as Postmodfier (or as Qualifier in terms of Experiential
meanings) in a NG, as in the example above, The man who came to dinner, or as Head of a
NG, as in the following example: That the dinner guest was Sidney Poitier surprised
everybody.

Keys
TASK 1: parataxis and enhancement
TASK 2: Many is a morpheme and a word; Many people - two words making up a nominal group;
drive is one word making up a verbal group; too fast - adverbial group; on Italian highways prepositional phrase (as circumstance: Location: Space)
TASK 3:
(5) On the occasion of her 40th birthday = PP as circumstance of Location: Time; with the biggest
diamond = embedded PP.
(6) with black and red spots = embedded PP; into the house = PP as circumstance of Location:
Place or Space.
TASK 4:
The grammatical Subject is the entire NG, which includes the embedded PP or embedded clause.
(a) S = The man with blonde hair and green eyes; F = ed (past tense of smiled)
(b) S = The man smiling at the photographers; F = is
(c) S = The blonde man who is smiling at the photographers; F = is
(d) S= The smile he gave the photographers; F = ed (past tense of seemed)
TASK 5:
1. in the corner
2. who is sitting in the corner
3. no embedding
4. I talked to first.
5. who exercise regularly and who have sedentary lifestyles.
TASK 6:
1. A
2. Identify embedded and non embedded PPs and clauses
21

a) into their houses and in the cold winter months are circumstance of Location, the first of Place,
the second of Time (Extent).
b) sharing a home with a smoker embedded non-finite clause and embedded PP; of developing
lung cancer embedded PP.
c) no embedding; at home = PP functioning as circumstance Location: Space
d) in surgical techniques, in the technology, used in medical equipment 2 embedded PPs and
embedded clause
TASK 7
a) At Rai is embedded; in Mr. Berlusconis coalition is circumstance Location: Place
b) for US customers - PP as circumstance of Behalf. It can be moved to the beginning of the
clause and can thus be considered a Circumstance, with high-speed Internet connections Embedded PP
c) That the opposition would not vote in favor of the Governments proposal - Embedded clause
as Head
d) of the Fortune 100 worlds largest corporations - Embedded PP; for their business
communication Circumstance of purpose
e) In airports boardrooms and galleries circumstance Location: Place, of protection
embedded PP

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp. 188-189, Sections 9.1.3 and 9.2 for adverbial and adjectival groups and
prepositional phrases; or Thompson 2004, pp. 14-20 recognizing groups.
Thompson 1996, pp. 20-22, Section. 2.2 for Rank Scale; or in Thompson 2004, pp. 21-23.
Thompson 1996, pg. 23 embedding; or Thompson 2004, pp. 24-25

Notes
Key Points

Questions for Class

22

CHAPTER 5
Tenor: MOOD SYSTEM and Interaction in the Clause
Mood has evolved out of the requirement that language should serve as a means of
action, a way of exchanging goods-and-services and information. (Halliday 1989: 68)
By looking at the mood structure, clause by clause, we can see the way the dialogue
proceeds as a series of exchanges.
(Halliday 1994: 102)

Why study the MOOD SYSTEM? How does the study of the MOOD SYSTEM and Modality help us
understand language use or improve our language skills? These are quite valid questions. Halliday
interprets dialogue as the expression of interpersonal relations (1994: 68-71) and the major
grammatical resource in English to construct/construe interpersonal meanings is the clause systems
of MOOD. The choice of clause types in MOOD is important if we want to understand how
participants construct their identity and their relations with others in interaction. Dialogue is where
the role of mood in constructing identity is best illustrated; however, all texts can be analyzed for
interpersonal meanings, whether written or spoken.
As Eggins and Slade illustrate in their analysis of conversation, (1997: chapter 3), this
grammatical analysis can help us to relate linguistic behaviour to certain social roles and to
understand the choices people make in order to position themselves and their fellow interactants .
Their study shows the differences in social roles in parent-son talk through the analysis of clause
type choice in the MOOD SYSTEM:
The most significant example of the unevenness of the talk is found in the choice of
clause types. While the parents produce a large number of interrogative clauses, the son
produces an overwhelming number of declarative clauses (making statements). (Eggins
and Slade 1997: 72)
So then, different roles and role relations are expressed through
continue:

MOOD

choices. The authors

only on the basis of accurate identification of clause selections can we move on to


consider the conversational implications: what it means when different speakers choose
different clause types. (Eggins and Slade 1997: 72).
There are, as repeatedly said, many constraints on ones linguistic behaviour arising from the
context of culture and the context of situation. For example, in one culture, a particular institutional
role may not give a speaker access to all linguistic choices, while in another culture, that same role
might do so. Therefore, linguistic choices reveal therefore also cultural patterns. Thus, by studying
MOOD we can gather what Eggins and Slade call hard evidence of the role grammatical choices
play in constructing social identities. (113).
TASKS FOR DISCUSSION:What are some institutional roles in your country that might
condition or constrain the speakers linguistic choices?
In what situations has your language been conditioned or constrained? What was it in that
particular context of situation that conditioned or constrained your language?
23

5.1 Interpersonal Meanings and the Clause as Exchange


Interpersonal meanings include all that may be understood by the expression of our own
personalities and personal feelings on the one hand, and forms of interaction and social interplay
with other participants in the communication situation on the other hand (Halliday 1997: 36). As
you know, within the situation of context the variable that determines such meanings is the Tenor,
which is concerned with the kind of exchange taking place, the animate participants involved in
the communication event and their relationships, attitudes and personalities, social and discourse
roles. In the same way as certain lexico-grammatical features (in the system of Transitivity) are
particularly the result of the Field, so other lexico-grammatical features (in the MOOD SYSTEM) are
particularly activated by the Tenor too. How language is structured to enact interpersonal meanings
and especially to express opinions, values and judgements is the focus of this chapter.

THE CLAUSE AS EXCHANGE

As you have studied in the course Introduction to Functional Grammar A.A.


2003-04, when we analyze a text for interpersonal meanings, we study the clause in its function at
the site of exchange, and in particular in terms of:
a) the kind of exchange taking place
b) participant relationships and discourse roles
c) the assessment of the speaker about the validity or truth of the statement being made
(modality)
d) attitudes, values, and judgements
We will now look at each of these in turn.
a) kind of exchange
In speaking or writing we engage in an exchange in which we take on speech roles. The
fundamental speech roles we can take on are giving and demanding. In these exchanges, we give
and/or demand commodities, which are either (a) goods-&-services or (b) information (Halliday
1984: 68). Exchanges are thus (a) the giving of goods-&-services or information and/or (b) the
demanding of goods-&-services or information. The exchange of information gives us
propositions, while the exchange of goods/services gives us proposals. Within the category of
propositions we can have the speech functions of statement and question; within the category of
proposals we have the speech functions of offer and command. Each function elicits a preferred
(or dispreferred) response. (See Halliday 1984: 69 and the review slides in Freddi Functional
grammar: an introduction for the EFL student). Speech functions are linked to the situation of
context,; the social role of participants in an interaction will constrain their choice of speech
functions and, contemporaneously, of Mood choice as well. See Table 1 at the end of this section
24

illustrating the overlapping combination of speech functions with their characteristic (more
congruent) Mood realizations in the clause.
Compare these utterances:
1. I'll open the door.
2. Open the door, please.
3. Open the door!
In (1), someone is offering a service; in (2) someone is requesting a service ; and in (3) someone is
giving an order. How we formulate a request, a command or an offer of services will depend on the
relationships of the participants, on the cultural norms governing these relationships, and on
whether or not the speaker is working within or against those norms.
TASK 1: In what situations would the three utterances above be used? No key for this task.
b) participants: relationships
TASK 2: Where do you think the following conversation takes place? How do the choices in
the lexico-grammar of the two adjacency pairs reveal information about the participants and their
relationship? The conversation is taken from Hartley 1993: 23. The discussion of this conversation
is included in the Keys to the Tasks at the end of the chapter:
A.
B.
A.
B.

Whats your name, boy?


Dr. Poussaint. Im a physician.
Whats your first name, boy?
Alvin.

c) the assessment of the speaker about the validity of the statement (modality)
Example (4) below expresses the text makers non-negotiable certainty of the validity of the
proposition, while in Example (5) the Modal Operator may expresses only the possibility of the
validity of the proposition, acknowledging other opinions.
4. Alvin is a physician.
5. Alvin may be a physician.
d) attitudes, values and judgements
In Example (6) below, by using the Epithets terrific and kind, the writer communicates his/her
opinions; in this case s/he appraises Alvin as both a physician and a man. Attitudes, values and
judgements are discussed in further detail in chapter 8 on APPRAISAL SYSTEMS.
6. Alvin is a terrific physician and a kind man.

25

Speech Function
Command
Offer

Congruent clause mood Incongruent clause mood


Imperative
Modulated interrogative, declarative
Modulated interrogative (Shall I? Shall we?)
Imperative, declarative

Statement
Question

Declarative
Interrogative

Table: 1

Tagged declarative
Modulated declarative

congruent and incongruent realizations of speech functions (Eggins and Slade 1997: 184).

N.B. It is important to keep in mind that, while for statements and questions there are clear patterns
of Mood choices in the clause, for offers and commands the patterns are not so clear. Especially for
the case of offers, there is not really any clearly identifiable congruent form (Halliday 1994: 95)

5.2 Mood Elements


MOOD BLOCK: SUBJECT AND FINITE

Let us review briefly the clause in terms of the mood block. The mood block can
be divided into two parts: the Mood and the Residue. The elements that belong to the Mood are
Subject (S) and Finite (F). Subject in the MOOD SYSTEM corresponds to the Subject in traditional
grammar - and is also referred to as the Grammatical Subject. The Finite is the part of the verbal
group that encodes primary tense (Verbal Operator) and POLARITY. It can also express the
speakers opinion in terms of modality (in this case through a Modal Operator or Adjunct, see
page 29 below).
The most important constituents of the clause as exchange are the Subject and Finite:
The Subject and Finite constitute the nub of the proposition: in order to interact we
need both something to argue about, and some way in which to argue (Eggins and Slade
1997:78) .

The second part of the VG is, recall, the Predicator. For example: in He has gone has is the
Finite; gone is the Predicator. Other examples: He arrived, ed, or past tense, is the Finite.
He arrives at noon, s is the Finite. Recall too, that in Imperatives, for example, Get Out!, there
is no finite only Predicator. Finites expressing opinion are discussed under the section Modal
Finites. You can identify the Subject and Finite in the clause by forming a tag question.
1.
2.
3.
4.

The workers protested against the government reform yesterday, didnt they?
The workers protest against the government reform was held yesterday, wasnt it?
Riot police shot and killed 11 African demonstrators, didn't they?
Eleven Africans were shot dead by police, weren't they?

We will now look further at how meanings are mapped onto the lexico-grammar of the
SYSTEM.

Signalling speech functions with S - F MOOD BLOCK elements


26

MOOD

The Subject-Finite (S-F) positioning in a clause indicates whether the speaker is giving or
demanding information or demanding goods and services. In short, the order of the S and F
indicates whether the clause is declarative, interrogative or imperative.

Organizing argumentation and signalling who or what is responsible for the validity of
the proposition;

The S-F are essential elements in a clause in dialogue. Below are two examples of dialogue.
Dialogue (1) is a conversation between a father (D for Dad) and his two children Samantha (S) and
Morgana (M). It illustrates how argument is set up through the mood block, or how one argues
using the S -F in the mood block. The verbal event is an argument centering around who did or did
not break the vase. Transitivity tells us the subject focus - the event (the broken vase); Mood tells
us it is an argument. The analysis of Mood also gives us the speakers' discourse roles, and thus an
insight into their relationships.
Dialogue (1)
D: Who broke the vase?
S I didn't.
D Who did then?
S I dunno. Maybe Fufi did.
D Nah, He's been out all day. So?
M I didn't. Sammy did.
S did not.
Dialogue (2) A patient is arguing with his psychotherapist about paying for an appointment he
could not keep. (dialogue from the television series The Sopranos, episode #8, season 1, 1999)
Tony: What if I got hit by a car?
Psychotherapist: But you weren't.
Tony: I know, but what if?
Psychotherapist: But you weren't.
Tony: I, I know that, but what if?
Psychotherapist: You weren't.
Tony: Why don't you answer my f question?
Psychotherapist: I will not.
Tony: You won't? Alright fine.
27

As illustrated in both these examples, the Mood choice a speaker makes is thus important in
argumentation. The S and F signal what is arguable; it signals what response is preferred. Its a
hot day = Its a hot day, isnt it - either you agree it is a hot day or you don't agree. The same
for Examples (1) and (2) on the previous page, The workers protested against the government
reform yesterday, didnt they? and The workers protest against the government reform was held
yesterday, wasnt it?. In Example (1), The workers is Subject and what we can argue about is
only what the workers did or did not do, while in (2) the Subject is protest and we can only argue
about the protest itself.
Also in Example (3), Riot police shot and killed 11 African demonstrators, didn't they? and
Example (4), Eleven Africans were shot dead by police, weren't they?, the addressee has 2
options available. We can see that in (3), Riot Police is Subject and thus we can argue only about
what the Police did or did not do; while in (4) the action of the participant, Riot Police, is
significantly not what you, the reader or listener, are asked to agree or disagree with. The validity or
lack of validity of the statement regards what was done to the passive participant (as Grammatical
Subject) Eleven Africans.
The Mood, as you know, signals what response is preferred and what kind. By choosing an
inanimate Grammatical Subject in the headline in Example (5) below, the writer does not lay
responsibility for the validity of the proposition on human participants; while the choice of the
writer of the headline in Example (6), does. The implications of these kinds of choices are
discussed in Section 7.2 Nominalization.
5. Israeli raids leave 13 dead in Gaza
6. Gunmen kill Marine in Kuwait
MOOD BLOCK: MODAL OPERATORS AND
ADJUNCTS

Signalling speaker's opinion: Finite Modal Operators

The Finite, as already explained, encodes the primary tense and polarity. However, as has also
been said, it can also encode the speaker's opinion. In this case the Finite is called a Modal
Operator and its function is to express the speaker's opinion regarding the probability or certainty
of the proposition being made or the degree of obligation or necessity of a proposal. Modal
Operators are modal verbs such as may, might, could, etc..
A speaker's opinion regarding the certainty or credibility of the proposition made may be mapped
onto the lexico-grammar of the clause in other ways besides through the use of modal oprators. A
speaker may use Modal Adjuncts to do this as well: either Mood Adjuncts (MA) or Comment
Adjuncts (CA) .

Signalling speaker's opinion: Mood Adjuncts

Mood Adjuncts (MA) carry interpersonal meanings and express probability (perhaps, maybe, or
probably), intensification or minimization (really, absolutely, just), obligation, and inclinations
(happily, willingly). MAs also express usuality, for example sometimes or usually. In the
conversation between Dad and Samantha and Morgana, Samantha uses a MA, maybe, to signal
her uncertainty about the proposition she made. These Adjuncts are included in the Mood Block but
are not part of the Finite. MAs are usually located in the middle of the clause, as illustrated below
in table (A). However, they can also occur at the beginning. When they appear at the beginning
they are not, however, followed by a comma. In table (B) we have the MA at the beginning of the
clause.
28

A)
Fufi
Subject
MOOD

Probably
Mood Adjunct

did.
Finite

Maybe
MA
MOOD

Fufi
Subject

did.
Finite

B)

Signalling speaker's opinion: Comment Adjuncts

As Halliday says There is no very clear line between these [Comment Adjuncts] and the Mood
Adjuncts. (1994: 83). Comment Adjuncts (CA) are added comments expressing the speaker's
attitude to the proposition as a whole, such as unfortunately, hopefully, and surprisingly, broadly
speaking, etc.. Comment Adjuncts, differently from the MAs, do usually occur at the beginning of a
clause, but they can also be in the middle or in a final position. They are, however, usually set off
by a comma.
a) Unfortunately, he has already left.
b) He has, unfortunately, already left.
c) He has already left, unfortunately.
TASK 3: Identify Mood Elements S and F and MAs in the following conversation.
A: Perhaps the Rolling Stones wrote Yesterday, but I may have made a mistake.
B: Regrettably, you did. They absolutely did not write Yesterday.
A: Well, honey, who did?
NB: Comment Adjuncts are at the borderline between the textual and the interpersonal. While
Halliday includes them in the mood block, you will find that some other scholars do not. In this
course, Comment Adjuncts are considered to be a part of the mood block.
Partial list of Modal/Mood Adjuncts: (for a more complete list but still not exhaustive - see
Halliday 1994: 49 and 82-83)
Polarity and Modality
Polarity
Probability
Usuality
Inclination
(willingness,readiness)
Obligation
Adjuncts of
temporality

not, yes, no, so


probably, possibly, certainly, perhaps maybe, definitely
usually, sometimes, always, never, ever, seldom, rarely
willingly, readily, gladly, certainly, easily
definitely, absolutely, possibly, at all cost

29

Time
Typicality
Adjuncts of Mood
Obviousness
Intensity
Degree

yet, still, already, once, soon, just


occasionally, generally, regularly, mainly
of course, surely, obviously, clearly, evidently, apparently
just, simply, merely, only, even, actually, really
quite, almost, nearly, scarcely, hardly, absolutely, totally, utterly, entirely,
completely

Table:2 based on Halliday 1994: 82-83

ADJUNCTS OUTSIDE THE MOOD SYSTEM

In addition to those covered above, there are also other kinds of Adjuncts which are not part of the
MOOD SYSTEM.
Conjunctive Adjuncts - These have textual rather than interpersonal functions. They include
connectors such as however and moreover. They construct a relationship with some other piece of
the text, usually a portion preceding it (See Halliday 1994: 84).
Continuity Adjuncts Continuity Adjuncts (Eggins 1994: 170-171 ) are continuatives (Halliday
1994: 53) or continuity items, and include words such as well, yea, oh, found essentially in
conversation. Even Yes and No can be considered to be Continuity Adjuncts when they contribute
to the textual organization of the clause. In this case, they would be signalling a turn in
conversation, not expressing polarity, as in their interpersonal Mood function. Yes, or the common
yeah, is used frequently during a conversation to signal a hearers continued listening; also in this
case it is functioning as a textual Adjunct.
Vocative Adjuncts (Eggins 1994: 169) Vocatives are considered interpersonal elements in the
clause as they add information regarding attitude and relationships, but are not part of the MOOD
or RESIDUE (See analysis of the last line in the previous conversation). These Adjuncts are so
called address terms, they are used to directly address a person (for ex. Mr. Smithers, sir, or
Diana).

SUMMARY TABLES FOR MOOD


ELEMENTS AND RESIDUE

Mark
Subject
MOOD

hasnt
Finite

got
a copy of Hamlet
Predicator Complement
RESIDUE

30

Do
Finite
MOOD

you
Subject

have
Predicator
RESIDUE

Who
has
Wh/Subject Finite

a copy of Hamlet?
Complement

MOOD

RESIDUE

When

did

Wh/Adjunct) Finite
RESIDUE

Oh,

a copy?
Complement

you

read

Subject

Predicator Complement

MOOD

Hamlet?

RESIDUE

amazingly, they

Adjunct: Adjunct:
Subject
Continuity Comment
MOOD

talked
Finite

Predicator

about Hamlet
Adjunct:
Circumstance

RESIDUE

See Freddi, Functional Grammar: an introduction for the EFL student, Sec. 3.1, for a review of
mood block and the realizations of the mood block in different Mood types.

5.3 Modality
As Systemic Functional Linguistics repeatedly makes clear, language is never neutral. When
we construct a text we always take into consideration, at least unconsciously and to some degree,
the person/s we are interacting with. Power, contact, social status and social roles are some of the
factors that influence how we interact with others. Our choices in the lexico-grammar of English
can construe deference, respect, solidarity or distance; they can save face, minimize conflict, or
signal uncertainty. Modality is the system that allows us to signal some kind of doubt, uncertainty,
necessity or willingness for various motives.

Who are the participants in this conversation?

Morgana: Which dress do you think I look better in honey?


Dave: You might look better in that red one, dear. Why don't you try it on again?
31

The use of vocatives honey and dear signal intimacy and so the participants are probably
girlfriend and boyfriend or husband and wife. Most would find the usage rather strange if the
interactants were brother and sister or father and daughter. Why did Dave answer might look
better...? Either he is sincerely uncertain about the proposition or he is trying to be polite, trying
to minimize conflict in case his wife really prefers the other dress or doesnt want to offend her by
implying she doesnt look great in both! Also the wording of the proposal (request) is polite. He
could have simply said: Try it on again.

5.3.1 Modalization and Modulation


As Halliday explains (1994: 356), Modality refers to the area of meaning that lies
between yes and no the intermediate ground between positive and negative polarity. In an
exchange of information (a proposition, realized in its congruent Mood choice of the indicative),
this means either (i) either yes or no, i.e. maybe; or (ii) both yes and no, i.e. sometimes; in
other words, some degree of probability or of usuality. In an exchange of goods-&-services (a
proposal, which by default will be characterized by the imperative), it means either (i) is wanted
to, related to a command, or (ii) wants to, related to an offer; in other words, some degree of
obligation or of inclination (my bold). The type of modality in the clause as an exchange of
information (probability or usuality) is referred to as modalization; the type of modality in the
clause as an exchange of goods-&-services (obligation or inclination) is referred to as modulation.
Modality is used to temper, to qualify in some way, our propositions (modalization or epistemic
modality) or proposals (modulation or deontic modality). What motivates one's use of modality
in an utterance is not often clear; every instance is more or less appropriate to its own cultural and
situational context. For now we need to recognize modality, understand how to encode it and to
appreciate the varied functions it has in communication.
Modalization (epistemic modality) and modulation (deontic modality) can also be used as
important politeness strategies. Politeness is a system of interpersonal relations to facilitate
interaction by minimizing the potential for conflict and confrontation inherent in all human
interchange (Lakoff 1990: 34). Although there may be cross- and intercultural agreement on the
appropriacy of politeness, cultures and groups within them may differ regarding which situations
require politeness strategies. Compare these three statements expressing condolences. (Examples
adapted from Gerot 1995: 2-3)
1. Dave and I are so sorry to hear about your dad.
2. Our most sincere condolences to you and your family.
3. Well, it's about time that ol' creep kicked the bucket!
As Gerot explains, cultural beliefs and norms of social behavior condition how we speak about
death and how speakers/writers offer comfort (1995: 3). Death, in western culture, is considered a
loss, reason for grief and necessitating offers to provide comfort. (1995: 3). While the first two
statements above could be considered acceptable offers of comfort, the third one would not in most
situations. Example (1) is appropriate if the participants in the exchange share some degree of
familiarity; the reference to Dave and the use of dad, rather than father, signal some social
contact between the speaker-writer and the hearer-reader. Example (2), with wording that is typical
of most sympathy cards, has more features of written-ness and reveals a more distant relationship
between the participants. The third statement, which is worded in a much more spoken and
colloquial style (note the continuative Well and the colloquial expressions ol creep and
kicked the bucket), would require close contact and shared knowledge among the participants in
the exchange; otherwise it would probably be considered insensitive and inappropriate.
Modalization: epistemic modality
32

As we have seen above, modalization communicates any degree of probability (might, may,
could) or usuality (sometimes, usually, always. Recall also that probability and usuality can be
realized in the following ways :
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

with a finite Modal Operator in a verbal group (He may be at home)


with a Mood Adjunct (He is possibly at home)
with a Modal Operator and a Mood Adjunct (He may possibly be at home)
with a PP (In all probability, he is at home)
with interpersonal metaphors (I think he is at home.) See Metaphors of Modality Sec. 5.

The use of modalization, as Halliday reminds us (1994: 362-63), always indicates doubt to some
degree, at least it implies more uncertainty than not using any expression of modality at all.
Morgana always gets good marks in English is LESS certain as a proposition than Morgana gets
good marks in English; the proposition The song Imagine was definitely written by John Lennon
is LESS certain than The song Imagine was written by John Lennon.

Modulation: deontic modality

Modulation (deontic modality), as you know, regards degrees of obligation (necessity) in


propositions and inclination (or, as Halliday 1994: 359 suggests, readiness, which could be seen as
including willingness and also ability.) in proposals.
In the exchange of goods-&-services (offers and commands), modality regards the degree of
obligation or readiness (inclination) to do or give. We have said that the imperative is the
characteristic form of commands. Thus modality of this type Try it on is not modulated; You
must try it on is modulated, as is Why don't you try it on?.
Modulation too can be an important strategy for politeness and on some occasions we all use
modulation when formulating our requests. To what degree we do so will depend on the familiarity
we have with the person with whom we are interacting. Thus, commands may be given with the
default structure of the imperative (Take off that dress!) or, for example, with an interrogative
(Would you take off that dress?) or declarative (That dress looks awful.). It goes without
saying that the use of modulation, as that of modalization, is closely connected to social systems
and cultural norms. Modality in proposals, and in propositions, is related to a type of Grammatical
Metaphor, Metaphors of Mood, which are those choices in the MOOD SYSTEM in which the MOOD
type (declarative, interrogative, imperative) is not used for its congruent speech function. See
section 5.4. for a discussion of Metaphors of Mood.

SUMMARY MODALIZATION / MODULATION

As we have seen, the two types of modality (modalization and modulation) depend on the
function of the clause. Modalization (epistemic modality) regards the clause as an exchange of
information (propositions) and modulation (deontic modality) regards the clause as an exchange of
goods and services (proposals). In information clauses, modalization communicates a degree of
probability or usuality, while in goods and services clauses, modulation communicates degrees of
obligation or inclination. See Thompson 1996: 58-59 for types of modality.

33

Modalization
(indicative type)

probability
(may be)
usuality
(sometimes)

Modulation
(imperative type)

obligation
(is wanted to)
inclination
(wants to)

MODALITY
TYPE

Table: 3 Halliday 1994: 357.

Examples (1) to (4) illustrate each of the four types.


(1) [probability] There cant be a flaw in our Windows XP software, says Bill Gates.
(2) [usuality] Running our Xpdite program works every time, said Steve Gibson.
(3) [obligation] If you dont have it, you should get it right away, added Gibson.
(4) [inclination] Many people wont install the service pack anymore until the problems are solved!
As these 4 examples illustrate, Modal Operators can be used in all these ways. How these types
of modality differ in their realization is according to what is called their orientation.

5.3.2 Orientation of Modality

SUBJECTIVE/OBJECTIVE AND
EXPLICIT/IMPLICT FORMS OF MODALITY
Orientation refers to the strategies of expressing modality, or to the extent to which a
speaker accepts responsibility for what s/he is saying. These strategies are illustrated in the table
and Examples below.
subjective
objective
ORIENTATION
explicit
implicit
Table :4 Halliday 1994: 358.

(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

There cant be a flaw in our software.


You should buy our software.
There is certainly no flaw in our software.
I believe there is no flaw in our software.
34

(5) It is certain that there is no flaw in our software.


(6) It is advisable/it is required that you buy our software
We will now proceed to the discussion of the strategies through an analysis of the examples.
1. Orientation: subjective and objective implicit forms
Subjective implicit and objective implicit categories are those in which modality is expressed in
the same clause as the proposition. Examples (1), (2), and (3) above are expressing implicit forms
of modality. In these cases, modality is expressed within the one clause: There cant be a flaw in
our software.
In Examples (1) and (2), modality is expressed through Modal Operators (can and should). The
realization of modality through the use of Modal Operators is considered subjective implicit forms.
Mood Adjuncts, such as probably, possibly, certainly, perhaps maybe, definitely, etc., express
objective implicit modality. In Example (3), the speaker uses a MA (certainly) and is thus
expressing objective implicit modality. Other examples of subjective and objective implicit
modality are:

Maryll know the answer. (subjective implicit)


The red one may be better. (subjective implicit)
Maria probably knows the answer. (objective implicit)
The red dress is possibly better. (objective implicit)
2. Orientation: subjective and objective explicit forms

Examples (4), (5) and (6) on page 36 illustrate explicit forms of modality. In Example (4), the
speaker is producing an expression of explicit modality of probability. In other words, the speaker
is explicitly expressing the probability of there being a flaw in the software because the modality is
expressed in a separate clause: I believe. In explicit forms of modality, the speakers opinion is
realized as a separate projecting clause which, as we will see, is the incongruent form.
In Example (4), the speaker uses the personal pronoun I, and consequently, the expression of
modality is considered subjective. Also in Example (5), the speaker is expressing modality
explicitly, by using the separate projecting clause It is certain. However, in this case, the speaker
does not use the personal pronoun I; in this example, the expression of modality is considered
objective (notice the It clause, not I believe). In these two examples, we have seen the two
cases of the explicit category: Example (1) encoding the subjectivity as I believe and Example
(4) encoding the objectivity as It is certain. Thus we have illustrated two categories: subjective
explicit and objective explicit regarding probability.
Example (6) is an illustration of objective explicit modality regarding obligation. Other examples
of explicit orientation are:

I think Maria is going to Milan. (subjective explicit)


Its likely Maria is going to Milan. (objective explicit)
Besides implicit and explicit forms, a speaker has a third choice: to choose a prepositional phrase
(for ex. in my opinion), rather than a clause or MA or modal operator. Halliday (1994: 355)
considers this mid-way between the explicit and implicit categories.
In my opinion, Maria is going to Milan. PP, subjective, mid-way position, a little less
explicit
35

In all probability, Maria is going to Milan. PP, objective, mid-way position, a little less
explicit
In conclusion, what are the differences between explicit and implicit strategies/ and subjective and
objective forms?
Explicit forms are expressed in clauses projecting a proposition, while implicit forms are
constructed with either Modal Operators or MAs, that are part of the mood block of a single
clause containing the proposition.
Subjective explicit orientation has I as Subject of the clause, as in I think, I want, I believe;
while the objective explicit has It clauses, such as It is likely that.
Subjective implicit orientation has modality expressed through a Modal Operator, such as can or
must; while objective implicit orientation has modality expressed with Mood Adjuncts.
The table below illustrates the intersection of subjective/objective and explicit/implicit modality
(Orientation and Manifestation).

Subjective
Objective

modaliz.
modul.
modaliz.
modul.

Explicit
I think Marias here.
I want her to be here.
Its likely shell be here.
Its expected of her to be here.

Implicit
Mariall be here.
She should be here.
Shes probably here.
Shes supposed to be here.

Table:5 adapted from Matthiessen 1995: 505.

TASK 4: What is the modality type (modalization/modulation and specific category probability,
usuality, inclination, obligation) and the orientation of the following Examples? (Examples based
on Matthiessen 1995: 508).
1) It is likely that you know the procedures for running this program.
2) I actually dont. I think Ill ask my colleague.
3) Well, you probably know the manuals we have here.
4) No, but Ill ask for them, even though its very difficult to learn with a manual.
TASK 5: What category of modality is construed by the speaker in the following examples? Use
both labels for the two categories, i.e. epistemic and modalization, and deontic and modulation, and
specify the orientation.
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)

I think I might read it tomorrow.


Dave should read Hamlet.
Jane is keen to help students.
I'll lend him my copy of the book.
I want Dave to read Hamlet.
It is expected that you read Hamlet.
Dave is supposed to read Hamlet.
Dave usually reads Hamlet before going to bed.

SUMMARY ORIENTATION

36

Orientation is the distinction between subjective and objective modality, and the explicit
and implicit variants (Halliday 1994, 357). Halliday states that The explicitly subjective and
explicitly objective forms of modality are all strictly speaking metaphorical (1994: 362). These
forms of implicit/explicit and subjective/objective modality will be discussed in Section 5.3.4
Interpersonal Metaphors: Metaphors of Modality.

5.3.3. Value
We have discussed modality type (modalization and modulation) and the system
of orientation. There is another variable to be considered: the value of the modality, or the extent to
which a speaker commits him/herself to the validity of what s/he is saying. It is the value attached
to the modal judgment: high, median or low (Halliday 1994: 354-367). The value of the modality
runs parallel to, or can be likened to the scale of POLARITY (this brings us back to the fact that
modality refers to the area of meaning between yes and no. See Sec. 5.3.1) . There are 2 outer
values - HIGH and LOW with a third is in between MEDIAN.
Compare the following statements for obligation:
a. Maria must leave now if she wants to catch the 6:15 train.
b. Maria should leave now if she wants to catch the 6:15 train.
c. Maria may leave now if she wants to catch the 6:15 train.
Statement (a) expresses a higher degree of obligation than statement (b), because must has a high
value of obligation and should has a median value. Example (c), meaning Maria is allowed to
leave now, illustrates a low value of modality for obligation.
Compare the next statements for probability:
d. Maria might meet us at the train station.
e. Maria will meet us at the train station.
f. Maria is certainly meeting us at the station.
Statement (d) expresses a lower degree of probability than statement (e). The Modal Operator
might expresses a low value of modality, while will has a median value. In statement (f), certainly
is expresses a high value of modality.
The median is clearly set apart from the outer values by the system of polarity (Halliday
1994: 358): the negativity of the median value is transferable without a change in meaning: i.e.
it can be located either in the proposition or in the modality. For example:
(1) the direct negated proposition (a) Fred usually doesnt stay = (b) Fred doesnt usually stay
with the negative transferable between the proposition (1a) and the modality (1b);
(2) the direct negated proposition (a) I suppose she isnt coming = (b) I dont suppose shes
coming with negated modality transferred to the projecting clause (2b). (Halliday 1994: 358-59;
Matthiessen 1995: 506).
With the outer values (high and low), the value switches if the negative is transferred from
proposition to modality: Its certain she isnt coming (high value); It isnt certain that she is
coming (low value). (Halliday 1994: 358-9). (Example of negated modality in the projecting
clause with high value could be: It isnt possible that she is coming = Its certain she isnt
coming.)
37

Below is a summary table of modality value followed by one with more complete examples.

MODALIZATION
Probability
High
Median
Low

certain
probable
possible

MODULATION

Usuality
always
usually
sometimes

Oligation
required
supposed
allowed

Inclination
determined
keen
willing

Table: 6 Halliday 1994: 358.

OUTER
LOW

HIGH

MEDIAN

Modaliz. prob. Shell be home now. Shes


probably home now.
usual. Shell be at home on
Wednesdays. Shes usually at
home on Wednesdays.

She may be there. She She must be there. She is


is perhaps there.
certainly there.
She can be there on
She must be there on
Wednesdays. Shes
Wednesdays. She is always
sometimes there on
there on Wednesdays.
Wednesdays.
You must go home now. You
Modul. oblig. You should go home. Youre You may go now.
supposed to go home.
Youre allowed to go are required to go home now.
now.
inclin. Ill go home now. Im keen I can go home now. Im I will go home now. Im
to go home now.
willing to go now.
determined to go home now.
Table: 7 based on Matthiessen 1995: 506.

TASK 6: What is the value of modality in Examples (1) (4) in Task 4 in Sec. 5.3.2?

5.4 Grammatical Metaphor: Interpersonal Metaphors

WHAT IS METAPHOR

In The Language of Metaphors, Goatly defines metaphor as follows (1997: 8):


Metaphor occurs when a unit of discourse is used to refer unconventionally to an
object, process or concept, or colligates in an unconventional way.
38

Fiske explains how metaphor works in the Introduction to Communication Studies (1996: 92):
Metaphor expresses the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar it exploits
simultaneous similarity and difference. The two units must have enough
similarity to place them in the same paradigm, but enough difference for the
comparison to have this necessary element of contrast.
Halliday in The Introduction of Functional Grammar (1994: 340) defines metaphor as
a word used for something resembling that which it usually refers to.
In other words, metaphor works by referring to something else. He continues to define
metaphor, but moving into the perspective of Functional Grammar:
Metaphor is usually described as variation in the use of words: a word is said to
be used with a transferred meaning. Here, however, we are looking at it from the
other end, asking not how is this word used? but how is this meaning
expressed? A meaning may be realized by a selection of words that is different
from that which is in some sense more typical or unmarked. From this end,
metaphor is variation in the expression of meanings. (1994: 341)
Most examples of what are traditionally called metaphor, as Halliday says, move from a concrete
to an abstract sense. This would be the case of those material Processes moving to mental Processes,
as in the metaphorical it escapes me (1994: 340). In fact, Halliday argues, most abstract
vocabulary was originally concrete.
Halliday uses two terms to refer to the metaphorical and non-metaphorical meanings of a word:
the term incongruent for the metaphorical meaning and congruent for the more literal meaning.
Since metaphorical always means there is grammatical variation in the expression of meaning,
congruent would mean that there is less variation in the expression of the meaning. Since meanings
are expressed in and by wording (semantics is realized in and by lexico-grammar), we need to talk
about grammatical metaphor when we analyze metaphorical wording. What is important to keep
in mind is that neither form the congruent or incongruent - is better, and that metaphor is a feature
of both written-ness and spoken-ness.
We have previously discussed features of language which carry interpersonal meanings regarding
(inter) subjective relationships, for example vocatives (address terms), and investigated how
attitudes and judgements are construed through degrees of probability and obligation, by looking at
the MOOD SYSTEM. This section will discuss how the grammar also realizes metaphors with
interpersonal meanings. Metaphors with experiential meanings (Ideational Metaphors) will be
discussed in Chapter 7. It is advisable to review the discussion of ideational metaphors in the first
year course-book , Functional Grammar: an introduction for the EFL Student (Freddi 2004). In
Chapter 9 textual metaphors will be mentioned as well.

5.4.1 Metaphors of Modality


In Section 5.3.2., we have seen how modality can be realized through subjective and objective I
implicit and explicit forms . The examples (2) and (3), You should buy our software and There is
certainly no flaw in our software, are instances of implicit forms of modality. Speakers, as you
also know, have many ways to express opinions, and thus, speaker modality can also be realized as
39

a separate clause, separate from the clause containing the proposition which is technically being
modalized: (e.g. I think that, Im certain that, its likely that, it is expected that etc.). These
projecting clauses are examples of explicit forms of modality, as seen in Section 5.3.2. and are
forms of interpersonal grammatical metaphors. In explicit forms of modality, the speakers
opinion is not realized as a modal element within the clause - which would be its more congruent
realization - but is realized as a separate projecting clause the less congruent form.
The use of Modal Operators are thus congruent forms of modality, while forms such as I dont
think, I believe, or It is certain that are considered to be less congruent forms, and are examples of
interpersonal metaphors. One might ask, however, why the expressions I think or I believe
are considered metaphors. Halliday argues that these expressions are regarded as metaphorical in
that I think or I believe are not, in fact, mental Processes which are projecting ideas, as they
typically do, but rather are a variant of in my opinion or it is so (1994: 354). Likewise for
expressions such as It is certain that, it is obvious that.
The following example can clarify this point. In the conversation between Morgana and Dave in
the previous section, Dave answered Morganas question about how she looked in the dress by
saying, You might look better in that red one, dear. In this statement, Dave construed the
probability as subjective and implicit (might is a Modal Operator), congruent form of modality.
However, if Dave had said: I think you would look better in that red one, dear, he would have
encoded modality separately, less congruently, than a one clause modalized proposition. The
proposition I think is not, in fact, what the modalized proposition (i.e. that you would look better
in that red one) is about. Rather, the clause I think is a variant of an expression of probability
regarding that proposition. This is shown by the fact that if we construct a tag clause, for Daves
answer, we would not construct it using I think as Subject-Finite: e.g., I think you would look
better in that red one, dont I? Rather it would read: I think you would look better in that red one,
wouldnt you? This is demonstrated further if we substitute, I think you would look better with
You would probably look better and tag it. The tag question would represent the actual
proposition: You would probably look better in that red one, wouldnt you? Another example could
be: I think the red dress is gorgeous. The tag question would probably be isnt it, NOT dont I.
As Halliday points out (1994: 355), the metaphorical process also takes place when negative
polarity is a feature of the primary clause: e.g., I dont think you look very good in that red dress.
In this example, it should be clear that it is not the thinking that is being negated. As Halliday says
(1994: 355) regarding this type of example (e.g., I dont think, it isnt likely), On the face of it,
these are nonsensical: it is not the thinking that is being negated. To sum up, interpersonal
metaphors are considered such because the modality has been dressed up as a proposition
(Halliday 1994:355).

5.4.2 Metaphors of Mood


Besides interpersonal metaphors of Modality, interpersonal metaphors can also be a question of
Mood choices: i.e., those expressions when Mood choices and communicative functions do not
coincide. The 4 primary speech functions (offer, command, statement and question) are connected
to the basic speech roles of giving and demanding information or goods-&-services. As you have
already studied, there are congruent and incongruent realizations of speech functions (see page 34);
for example, statements and questions have what Halliday calls (1994: 74) characteristic
grammatical categories (e.g. the declarative for giving information or the interrogative for
demanding information.) However, speakers have a wide choice of wordings to construe offers,
commands, requests and statements. As can be said of all grammatical metaphor, Mood metaphors
are fairly common. We can speak of metaphors of Mood when we use, for example, an
interrogative not to demand information, but rather to demand goods-&-services, as in Example (7).
40

(7) How could you do that to your little brother?


(8) Boy, is it noisy in here!
(9) Dr. Melfi: I would need more information to answer that question.
In this example, the speaker is using the interrogative to demand goods-&-services: i.e. correct
behaviour. More congruent versions could use the declarative You shouldnt do that to your little
brother! or You mustnt do that to your little brother! or the most congruent Mood choice for a
command: the imperative, Dont do that to your little brother.
In Example (8) above, the speaker is probably construing a demand for goods-&-services with a
declarative, rather than with imperative Dont make so much noise.. In Example (9), Dr. Melfi is
probably asking for more information from her patient with a declarative.

TASK 7 Below are examples of marriage proposals. How do they differ in terms of Mood choice
and modality? .
Marry me.
Will you marry me? You must marry me.

I think you should marry me.

TASK 8. : Write out a request made in a formal institutional context of situation and in an
informal family context of situation. Identify differences in modality, orientation and/or value in
your examples. No key is given for this exercise.

SUMMARY

There are various ways to express modality The basic choice is between (i) using mood Adjuncts
and Modal Operators within the proposition or (ii) locating the modality outside the proposition in a
projecting clause. In the latter case, the modality is represented as a separate clause and the
proposition being modalized or modulated is projected by it. The first of these choices gives us
implicit orientation and the second, explicit. (Matthiessen 1995: 502); prepositional phrases are
mid-way between the explicit and implicit. The following table is a more complete presentation of
the various categories of orientation.

Modalization/
probability

Subj/explicit
Subj/implicit
I think Mary Maryll know
knows

Obj/explicit
Obj/implicit
Its likely that Mary
probably
Mary knows
knows

In-between explicit in my opinion


and implicit Forms
Subj/explicit
Modalizationusuality
Modulation:
obligation
Modulation:
inclination

in all probability
Subj/implicit

Obj/explicit

Obj/implicit

Maryll work out


daily.

Its usual for


Mary to work..

Mary usually
works out

I want John to John should go.


go.
Maryll help.
41

Its expected that Johns supposed


John goes.
to go
Marys keen to
help.

Table: 8 Halliday 1994: 358

SUMMARY OF MODALITY TYPES,


ORIENTATION AND VALUE

probability
modalization
usuality
MODALITY
TYPE

obligation
modulation

inclination

subjective
objective
ORIENTATION
explicit
implicit
median
VALUE
outer

high
low

Table: 9 Halliday 1994: 360

Keys
TASK 2: Discussion of the conversation from Hartley 1993.
Whats your name boy leads one to think that speaker A is addressing a child. However, we soon
discover that speaker B is an adult a physician, in fact. Despite the fact that speaker B is a doctor,
speaker A insists on using the vocative boy again. This leads one to hypothesize a situation in
which either speaker A is very old or speaker A is in a position of much greater power, in a
situation in which social relations are governed by a strict hierarchy. Also to be noted in this brief
exchange is the lack of reciprocity that is typical of casual conversation, as in the example below:
Whats your name?
My name is Alvin. Whats yours?
42

The lack of reciprocity supports the hypothesis of an imbalance of power in the relationship
between the two speakers.
This conversation actually did take place in the United States in 1967. Speaker A was a white
policeman and Speaker B was an Afro-American doctor. The vocative boy not only signals the
power the white establishment wielded at that time, but, at the same time, the use of the vocative
boy creates and maintains power. The example cited in Hartley was thoroughly analyzed by Susan
Ervin-Tripp 1972.
TASK 3:
Perhaps
MA

the Rolling Stones


S

wrote
F- [past]

Yesterday

Predicator

Complement

MOOD
but

may

have made

a mistake.

Conjunctive

Predictor

Complement

RESIDUE

adjunct
MOOD
Regrettably,
CA
MOOD
They
absolutely
S
MA

RESIDUE
you
S

did.
F

did not
F

MOOD
Well, honey,

who

did?

S
MOOD

write
Yesterday
Predicat Complement
or
RESIDUE

TASK 4:
1) it is likely that modality type: modalization/probability. Orientation: objective explicit
2) I think: modality type: modalization and probabitity. Orientation: and subjective and explicit
3) probably modality type: modalization and probability. Orientation: objective implicit
4) Ill modality type: modulation and inclination. Orientation: subjective implicit
TASK 5:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)

subjective, explicit (modalization/ epistemic - probability)


subjective, implicit (modulation/ deontic - obligation)
objective implicit (modulation/ deontic - inclination)
subjective implicit (modulation/ deontic - inclination)
43

(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)

subjective explicit (modulation/ deontic - obligation)


objective explicit (modulation/ deontic - obligation)
objective implicit (modulation/ deontic - obligation)
objective implicit (modalization/ epistemic - usuality)

TASK 6 :
1. it is likely- median 2. I think median 3. probably median 4. ll - high
TASK 7 :
Marry me imperative (command), no modality
Will you marry me interrogative (requesting goods-&-services)
You should marry me declarative (command) with subjective implicit modulation of median
value
I think you should marry me declarative (giving information) with subjective explicit modality
(interpersonal metaphor) of median value

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp.38-50 Interpersonal Metafunction and Mood (Subject-Finite), pp. 52-55 Modal
Adjuncts and Conjunctive Adjuncts, 57-58 Types of Modality (modalization and modulation); or
Thompson 2004, pp.45-57, 63-65 and 67-68.
Thompson 1996, pp. 59 60 modal commitment (value of modalization and modulation) and 60-62
modal responsibility (explicit and implicit, subjective and objective modality); or in Thompson
2004, pp. 69 (modal commitment) and 69-72 (modal responsibility).

Notes
Key Points

44

Questions for Class

CHAPTER 6
Field: The TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM and Representing the World
THE TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM
The focus of this chapter is on the organization of the clause to realize the
experiential meaning component of ideational meanings (the other component logical meanings
is covered in a good deal of detail in the first year course-book Functional Grammar: an
introduction for the EFL student (Freddi 2004). In investigating experiential meaning, we are
studying its realization at the level of the clause as representation. Language in the experiential
function imposes an order on the flow of events. As Halliday says (1994: xxxiv), it is postulated
that in all languages the content systems are organized into ideational, interpersonal and textual
components. However, he also points out that the descriptive categories are particular and not all
languages realize these components in the same way. The transitivity system is that system of
grammar in and by which speakers/writers in English realize experiential meanings, in and by
which they encode their experiences of the world around them. As you know, in the experiential
function every clause in English can be seen to be made up of combinations of participants and
45

circumstances revolving around the obligatory Process. But there are almost endless possibilities as
to how we encode our experience(s) in this transitivity structure. Moreover, just what part of our
experience goes into which constituent part of this structure is by no means fixed and will vary
widely from speaker to speaker, situation to situation.
Transitivity, then, is the name for that part of the grammar in and by which speakers to realize
ideational meanings in the clause; and speakers encode their experiential reality by their choice in
wording, by their choice of Process type (the Process, as you know, is the core of the Transitivity
system) and their choice of participant roles and circumstances. Thus, when we analyze the clause
as representation, it is not enough to describe only the Process types, but we must also take note of
the participant roles associated with the Process and the possible selection of circumstances.
We will now discuss the system of Transitivity in greater detail (definitions and many examples
have been taken from M.A.K. Halliday 1994, Eggins 1994, and Gerot and Wignell 1994, ad
Thompson 1996).
The external world experiences are made up of actions, events, things happening with people or
things (participants) involved. Sometimes the participants do things to make things happen (they are
Actors in this case) or the participants may just bear the brunt of the actions (They are Goals in this
case), or they initiate an action which is taken by another participant (in this case they are Agents).
There may be only one participant, as in the example I know, or there may be a number of
participants, as in the example I made her take a train, which consists of three participants
(Agent, Actor, and Goal). After some exercises reviewing the 7 Processes (material, mental,
verbal, behavioral, relational, existential and causative), we will explore the analysis of Processes
and participants in more detail.

6.1 Material Processes


MATERIAL PROCESSES AND
PARTICIPANTS

Material Processes and Participants Actor and Goal

TASK 1: Which of the following examples would you consider material Processes? What
participant roles do you identify? (Examples adapted from Eggins 1998)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Diana went to New York.


There were huge lines of people at the Red Cross center.
Diana donated blood.
Her blood was tested immediately.
Diana was one of thousands of donors.
46

Tip
One way to decide if a Process is a material one or not is to ask the question: What did X do?
A way to decide if a participant is a Goal is to ask the questions: What did X do to Y ? or What
happened to Y?

Material Processes and Participant Range

There is a third type of participant role in material Processes that has a more distant relationship to
the Process than do the roles of Actor and Goal. Halliday classifies this participant as Range
because the participant role is less directly related to the Process; it is not who is doing something or
what is being acted upon, but rather its scope. For example, in He climbed Mt. Everest twice, the
mountain exists independently of the Process. Mountain specifies the range, or scope, of the
mans climb. The same is true for Morgana played the piano.
Another type of Range may be actually another name for the Process, such as sing a song. In this
case, the participant song is not really an entity that exists independently of the Process; it is part of
the Process itself. To sing a song should be considered the Process. Thus, song would be labelled
Range.
Many examples of Range participants are those that occur in expressions with verbs such as do,
have, give, take, make, e.g. the common expressions and idioms, take or have a bath, give a hand,
take a photo, take a nap, take a walk, etc.. Halliday argues that these constructions (NG-as-Rangeas-Process) have most likely developed due to the verbal forms being de-lexicalized (i.e., lexically
empty or so called dummy verbs) and to the greater potential that there is for the modification of
the noun, such as have a hot bath, do a little work (Halliday 1994, 147).
Compare the following pairs of Range/Goal:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Make a mistake/ make a sandwich


Kick a habit/ kick a ball
Serve dinner/ serve the ball
Give a smile/ give a present

TASK 2: Identify the participants in the following examples: key is provided in the discussion.
1. They built a bridge.
2. They were playing.
3. They played bridge.

Tip
Ask the following questions for examples (1), (2) and (3) above.

1) Ask: Who did what to whom/what? Who did something and Who or What had something done to
it? What did they do to the bridge? Answer: They built it. We have They as Actor and bridge as
Goal.
2) Ask: Who did what to whom/what? What were they doing? Answer: They were playing.
Here we have They as Actor. There is only one participant.

47

3) Ask: Who did what to whom/what? If you ask What did they do to the bridge? The answer,
They played it is nonsensical. You could ask, however: What did they play? and the answer
would be: They played bridge because bridge is a card game; it is the scope of the playing, it is
another name for the Process. in Example (3), the participant role of bridge is labelled Range
rather than Goal.

Other tips for Range:


A Range cannot be a personal pronoun; it also cannot usually be modified by a possessive (ex.
That's my bridge makes no sense in example (3) above, but it can be in example (1), if the
speaker is the engineer or construction worker who helped build it.
Ranges cannot be followed by attributes of result, as can be seen in the following examples (see
Halliday 1994: 148):

a) They beat the fields flat.


Example (a) means that They beat the fields until they were flat. In this example, we have an
Actor as participant (They) and a material Process (beat), a Goal as participant (fields) and a
resultative attribute (flat).
b) She crossed the fields.
In Example (b), we have an Actor (She) and a material Process (crossed), but fields has the
participant role of Range. In fact, we cannot say: She crossed the fields flat.

Material Processes and Participant Beneficiary

Keeping in mind that the labelling of participants signals the relationship between the participant
and the Process, we need to take into consideration a further participant role. In this case the
participant is not created by or resulting from the Process, but the participant benefits from the
Process (examples from Eggins 1994):
1. Diana gave them her blood in the Red Cross Center.
2. They gave her blood to one of the survivors.
In the examples above, Example (1) Diana is an Actor and her blood is Goal; in example (2),
They is Actor and her blood is Goal. We can say that participants them in 1) and one of the
survivors in 2) benefit from the Process of giving. This kind of participant role is called
Beneficiary. In both examples there are three participants, each having a different role in the
action: Actor, Goal and Beneficiary.
Actually, the role of Beneficiary can be further analyzed as regards the manner in
which the participants benefit. In other words, they can either (a) receive goods or (b) services are
done for them. In case (a), they would be called Recipients and in case (b), Clients. The
preposition to is used with Recipients and the preposition for is used with Clients. In Examples (1)
and (2) above, both Beneficiaries are Recipients. In material Processes, the Recipient usually occurs
only if there is a Goal, as in Examples (1) and (2). In Example (3) below, the participant her
brother who was seriously injured is Client.
3. Diana gave her blood for her brother who was seriously injured.
48

Clients, as Halliday points out (1994: 145), are more restricted than Recipients and the semantics
of the Beneficiary can be at times realized as a circumstance of Behalf, as in Example (4) below.
4. Jane is giving the lecture for Dave.
You will recall that expressions of Behalf typically represent a person, on whose behalf an action
is undertaken who it is for (Halliday 1994: 155). While Clients can occur without prepositions
without a change in meaning, the circumstance cannot: we could say, Diana gave her brother who
was seriously injured her blood, but Jane is giving the lecture for Dave does not mean Jane is
giving Dave the lecture..
TASK 3: Identify participants.
1. George Orwell wrote Animal Farm.
2. The teacher tripped in the corridor.
3. The Medici dismissed Michelangelo.
4. He made a mistake.
5. The gun discharged.
6. I posted a letter to a friend.
7. Rooney scored a goal.
8. Two fatal shots were fired.
9. Dave threw a party for Morgana.
10. I dropped the pen.
11. Jack climbed the fence in a hurry.
TASK 4: Notice the different constructions/representations of events through the choice of
Processes and participants in the following 4 examples.
1. Police shoot 11 dead in Salisbury riot2 (from The Guardian)
Riot police shot and killed 11 African demonstrators and wounded 15 others here today in the
Highfield African township on the outskirts of Salisbury.
2. Rioting blacks shot dead by police as ANC leaders meet (from The Times)
Eleven Africans were shot dead and 15 wounded when Rhodesian police opened fire on a rioting
crowd of about 2,000 in the African Highfield township of Salisbury this afternoon.
3. The riots in Salisbury (editorial after the event, from The Times)
The rioting and sad loss of life in Salisbury are a warning that tension in that country is rising as
decisive moves about its future seem to be in the offing. The leaders of the African National
Council have blamed the police, but deplore the factionalism that is really responsible.
4.3

Texts in Examples (1) (3) are taken from Lee 1992. For a very thorough and interesting analysis of the complete
excerpts, read 91-108.

49

.
Because he's been fishing for sticklebacks.
Because he makes choccy cornflake cakes.
Because he runs miles with the dog through the mud.
Because he can't wait to hold his little sister
Because you care.
CAREX
Antibacterial Moisturising Handwash, Hand Lotion and Hand Gel
NB. 'sticklebacks' is a small fish with spikes along its back.

MATERIAL PROCESSES AND


CIRCUMSTANCES

The Process types tell us what kind of action is going on or if any 'action' is going
on at all. Circumstances tell about the Extent, Location, Manner, Cause, Contingency,
Accompaniment, Role, Matter, and Angle of the action going on. In other words, they answer the
questions, how long, how far (Extent), when and where (Location:Time/Space), how or
with what or what like (Manner), why (Cause), under what conditions (Contingency), with
whom (Accompaniment), what as (Role), what about (Matter), and says who (Angle)
(Halliday 1994: 151). See Gerot and Wignell 1994: 52-53 for simple examples.
As you have already studied, Circumstances are realized by AGs, PPs and, to a lesser degree, also
by NGs. (For more on groups and phrases see Chapter 4 in this course-book and chapter 9 in
Thompson 1996). Circumstances realized as PPs can include a nominal element which introduces a
3

This advertisement was part of a corpus collected for a dissertation entitled, Pubblicit femminile contemporanea
sulla rivista Good Housekeeping: unanalisi funzionale, presented by Jenny Bellini, thesis supervisor D.R. Miller,
co-advisor, M. Lipson, A.A. 1999-2000.

50

minor participant. Halliday refers to these participants as indirect participants in the main
Process. (Halliday 1994: 158.)
TASK 5: Review of circumstances. Identify the type of circumstances in the following examples.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Police shoot 11 dead in Salisbury riot.


The USA, unlike Italy, is a federation of states.
Many people survived thanks to the courage of the faceless fire-fighters.
Morgana waited on line with Dave for hours.
She was travelling as a tourist.
Rooney scored a goal in both games.

SUMMARY
In this section, material Processes and the participants involved have been reviewed.
A
distinction has been made between Goal and Range (the latter is a participant involved but not
directly affected by the action) and two new participant roles have been introduced: Recipients and
Clients, two kinds of Beneficiaries (Beneficiary is the participant that benefits from the action).
The labels of participants reflect the relationships they have with the Process.

6.2 Mental Processes


While material Processes construct what is happening or being done in the
external world, mental Processes construct what take place in the inner world (for ex. She cares).
Halliday calls mental Processes those which encode meanings of thinking or feeling. Examples: to
think, to hope, to like, to dislike. You would do well to review the comparison of the grammar of
material and mental Processes in the first year course-book Functional Grammar: an introduction
for the EFL student, Freddi 2004. As with all Processes, the labels of the participants in a clause
with mental Processes reflect the function these elements have in the mental Process: the
participants are Senser and Phenomenon (what is Sensed). As you know, the Senser has
consciousness in order to think, feel, and perceive The second participant is the Phenomenon,
what is perceived by the conscious Senser. With these clauses the question Who did what is no
longer applicable. You ask different questions, questions not about actions, but about thoughts,
feelings, and perceptions. What did X think or feel?. While with material Processes one can say
He resigned, with mental Processes utterances with only one participant, such as He thought or I
like, make no sense. Mental Processes involve at least potentially two participants: a human
conscious participant, the Senser (the active participant) and the second participant, though not
necessarily explicit, the Phenomenon (the non-active participant). The Phenomenon may be only
potential or understood from the context; it could also be a grammatical Fact.
Recall too that mental Process verbs are divided into three classes: cognitive (thinking) and
affective (liking) and perceptive (feeling).
Examples of mental Processes:

51

hate

spinaci.

Senser

mental: affective

Phenomenon

Her question
Phenomenon
They
Senser

baffles

me

Pr.: mental: cognitive


heard
Pr.:mental: perceptive

Senser
the sirens.
Phenomenon

The positions of Senser and Phenomenon can be reversed (what the first year course-book talked
about in terms of bidirectional semantics):

enjoy

sci fi movies.

Senser

Pr.: mental: affective

Phenomenon

Sci fi movies

please/delight

me.

Phenomenon

Pr.: mental:affective

Senser

In mental Processes, there is ALWAYS one participant who is HUMAN, but at times one may
want to give human characteristics to inanimate objects, such as in the statement: My car hates
winter! (see table below). Examples without an explicit Phenomenon or explicit Senser are also
illustrated in the table below.

My car
Senser
The truth
Phenomenon
I
Senser

hates
Pr.: mental: affect
hurts.
Pr.: mental: affect
understood!
Pr.: mental: cognitive

winter.
Phenomenon

TASK 6: Identify the class of the following mental Processes: cognitive, affective, perceptive.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

We don't know what they want.


They wonder why it all happened.
I wanted to donate my blood.
They don't give a damn about us.
I felt the heat on my neck from far away.
They all appreciated the endless efforts of volunteer rescue teams .
I saw the firemen run up the stairs while we were running out.
52

8. We all need a little help from our friends.

MENTAL PROCESSES AND PROJECTION

Mental Processes differ from material ones in that cognitive mental Processes can
project: I think he's really helpful.
We must keep in mind, however, that there is a difference between projected thought with mental
Processes and embedded facts (Halliday 1994: 264- 8). For purposes of review, lets look at the
following two examples.
1. Maria thought that the train was going to Milan. (projection)
2. Maria realized that the train was going to Milan. (embedded Fact)
In Example (1), the participant Maria is a Senser and the Process is a projecting mental Process
(cognitive); In Example (2), Maria is Senser and the Process is again a mental Process (cognitive),
but it is not projecting Marias subjective thought, it is not projecting a subjectively thought idea.
In this example, Maria is merely recognizing, or acknowledging, or taking cognizance of what is
being grammatically represented as a Meta-Phenomenon, or a Fact: that the train was going to
Milan. In Example (1) there is a participant who is thinking and projecting a subjectively thought,
or conceived, idea. In contrast, in Example (2), the Fact that the train was going to Milan is not
considered to be projected by the mental Process. In short, in the second clause, we are not dealing
with an idea, but with a Fact.
As Halliday says (1994: 267), it is possible for a fact to enter into a mental Process without
being projected by it; the Fact enters into the environment of the mental Process clause but is
considered to be pre-packaged, and thus embedded within the clause. The meaning of the clause
in Example (2) is that the train was going to Milan and Maria realized this (fact). The Fact is
mentally processed and the participant is made to recognize or acknowledge it; With projection,
conversely, it is the animate participant who has opinions that s/he projects, as in Example (1).
Other examples of embedded facts are
3. Maria regrets [[that the train is going to Milan]].
4. It worries Maria [[that the train is going to Milan]].
In Examples (3) and (4), we have a Fact, That the train is going to Milan as a Meta-Phenomenon
that Maria regrets, or that worries her.
Tip
How to distinguish a projected idea from an embedded fact?
Try to insert the fact that or the case that into the clauses as below. A projected idea would be a
separate hypotactic clause and cannot therefore be preceded by the fact (Halliday, 1994, 267):
1.
2.
3.
4.

Maria thought (the fact that) the train was going to Milan NO
Maria realized (it was the case) that the train was going to Milan.
Maria regrets (the fact) that the train is going to Milan.
(The fact) that the train is going to Milan worries Maria.
53

5. Maria admitted (the fact) that she had made a mistake.


Of the 5 examples, only statement (1) is a projected idea. The others are examples of Facts as
Phenomenon within the mental Process clause (Halliday, 1994: 267).

SUMMARY
Two important ways in which mental Processes differ from material ones are that they can
have facts as participants: The fact that he's always late really bothers us.
project ideas: I'll go and give blood, she thought.

6.3 Verbal Processes


VERBAL PROCESSES AND PARTICIPANTS

Some verbal Processes are immediately recognizable such as, say, tell, remark,
observe, point out, report, announce, shout, cry, ask, demand, inquire, query, interrupt, reply,
explain, protest, warn, insist. Other verbal Processes, such as insinuate, imply, remind, hypothesize,
deny, make out, claim, pretend, maintain are less easily recognizable but also fall within this
category.
As youll remember, the active participant in verbal Processes is a Sayer, which need not be a
conscious being: My recipe says red wine! The other participants include the Receiver and
Verbiage. The Receiver is the one to whom the verbal Process is directed (the Beneficiary of a
verbal message). The Verbiage is what was said: it can be (a) the content of what is said or (b) the
name or label of saying (Halliday 1994: 141). Examples of Verbiage for these two cases are:
(a) Can you describe the man you saw or what he was wearing?
(b) Can you tell me his height?
As we can see from the definition and from the examples above, Verbiage, refers to what is said,
but is a participant in the verbal Process clause itself; it does not refer to what is said in a separate
clause that is projected - as in the case of a quoted or reported locution. Compare Examples (a) and
(b) above to the quoted and reported locutions in Examples (c) and (d) below.
(c) She said, He was wearing a black trousers and a grey shirt. No tie.. (quoted locution)
(d) She also said he was about six feet tall. (reported locution)
More examples of Verbiage:
I
Sayer

asked
her
verbal Process Receiver

her age
Verbiage
54

She
Sayer

told
them
verbal Process Receiver

a dirty joke!
Verbiage

Examples of quoted and reported locutions:


I
asked
her,
how old are you?
Sayer
verbal Process Receiver Quoted locution
I
asked
her
if she was really 21.
Sayer
verbal Process Receiver Reported locution

WARNING: Do not confuse Verbiage with Circumstances


They

're talking

about the news

Sayer

verbal Process

Circ. Matter

There is also another participant involved in verbal Processes called the Target. The Target is the
object of the verbiage. The relation between the Target-verbal Process is similar to the relation
between Goal-material Process. We can consider the Target a participant that has been acted upon
verbally. Lets take the example: The reporters attacked the President. If by attack we mean a
physical assault, then the President is a Goal, but if by attack, we mean a verbal assault, then the
President is a Target.
Compare Examples (1) and (2) below.
She told him a joke

2. He insulted Beverly

In example (1) joke is the Verbiage, the NG which is the name or label of what was said. The
participant him is the Receiver, the addressee of the message. In example (2), Beverly is not the
person who the message was directed; she might not even have been present. She is not the
addressee, nor the Verbiage. She is the Target. There are not many verbs that can take a Target;
Halliday lists the following as examples of those that can (1994: 141): to praise, to insult, to abuse,
to slander, to flatter, to blame, and to criticize.

VERBAL PROCESSES AND PROJECTION

Like mental Processes, also verbal Processes can be projecting Processes and in
that case can be followed by other clauses. They can project direct speech, as in Examples (1) and
(2) below, or report speech, as in Examples (3) and (4). In Examples (1) and (2) the projected
clauses, Fiat will be a priority and At Ferrari our motto is: Cry and despair over mistakes or
problems only the night after they occur are independent clauses that are paratactically related to
the projecting clause. In Examples (3) and (4), the projected clauses, that Fiat would be a priority
and that at Ferrari their motto is: Cry and despair over mistakes or problems only the night after
they occur are dependent clauses and are hypotactically related to the projecting clause.
55

1. Fiat will be a priority, Prodi says. (International Herald Tribune,, hereafter IHT,
Oct. 15, 2002)
2. At Ferrari our motto is: Cry and despair over mistakes or problems only the night
after they occur, said Rubens Barrichello. (IHT, Oct. 15, 2002)
3. Prodi said that Fiat would be a priority.
4. Rubens Barrichello said that at Ferrari their motto is: Cry and despair over mistakes
or problems only the night after they occur.
The analysis of clause complexes with projecting verbal and mental Processes is illustrated below:
They

Said

he

would come

Sayer

Verbal Process

Actor

material Process

They

think
mental Process
(cognitive)

he

will come

Actor

material Process

Senser

with Mary
Circum.
(Accomp)

with Mary
Circum.
(Accomp)

NOTE: Although the verbs ask and demand are verbal Processes, in the case of asking or
demanding someone to do something, we are dealing with a request for goods-&-services and thus
with reported proposals. The discussion of these will be discussed in Section 6.7
WARNING: Do not confuse embedded facts with projection. Examples (8) and (9) are examples of
embedding, not of projection:
Examples of Embedding:
8. I understand [[how you feel]]
9. I know [[what you are thinking.]]
TASK: 7 Identify participants (Verbiage, Receiver and Target)..
1. I discussed the novel.
2. I asked a question.
3. Please describe to the court the scene of
the accident.

4. He never explained the mystery to the


audience.
5. Dont insult my intelligence.
6. Dont praise me.

6.4 Behavioral Processes


BEHAVIORAL PROCESSES AND
PARTICIPANTS

56

Besides those Processes which relate to actions and happenings going on in the
external world (e.g. material Processes) and those which relate to ones internal world (e.g. mental
Processes), there are those which border between the two: behavioral Processes. These Processes,
as you know, are physiological actions , such as breathing, sneezing or coughing, and relate to
those Processes which are at the borderline between the two areas of external and internal
happenings and feelings, such as smiling. Examples of behavioral Processes that are semantically
near material ones include: sing, dance, lie down, sit up. Examples of psychological behavior are
smile, frown, scowl, grimace, yawn, sigh, sniff, and cry.
Since behavioral Processes share characteristics of material and mental Processes, it is not always
a simple matter to distinguish behavioral from material or mental Processes. Some of these
behavioral Process verbs also come very close to verbal Processes, such as grumble and chatter
(Halliday 1994: 139). The distinction is that the behavioral Processes are linked to a state of mind.
The close relationship between mental and behavioral Processes can be illustrated with the example
of the verbs look at and see. Look at is considered behavioral, but see is considered mental:
perception. Another example of this semantic distinction can be listen to (behavioral) and hear
(mental: perception).
Review of features of behavioral Processes:

The majority have only one Participant, the Behaver and the Process.
The Behaver is typically a conscious being, but unlike the Senser in mental Processes, it
is unable to project.
Unlike mental Processes, the unmarked present tense for behaviorals is the present
continuous (as it is for materials).

TASK 8: Identify Processes


1. What do you think of his proposal? I think
it is a stupid idea.
2. What are you doing? Im thinking.

3. He cried her name in the dark.


4. He cried alone in the dark.

6.5 Relational Processes


Up to now we have looked at the structure of the Processes that involve some kind
of doing. There are those Processes that do not encode action meanings at all, but rather meanings
of being. They are relational Processes and existential Processes. This section will review relational
Processes, but students are urged to read Thompson 1994: 86-96 on relationals for further
explanations and illustrations.
Relational Processes are those used when we identify experiences or relate pieces of experiences
to each other. We classify our world with relational Processes, giving things attributes and names:
She's my best friend, He's tall and bald, The traffic is heavy at 5:00, That's John.
Relational Processes have been divided into two classes: identifying or attributive, that is either
x = y or x has y. In other words, they either identify something (The woman in the corner is the
dean of the Faculty = The dean of the Faculty is the woman in the corner) or they attribute a quality
(The dean of the faculty is a fabulous piano player). The identifying relationals are reversible; x = y
57

and y = x, as in the case The woman in the corner is the dean of the faculty = The dean of the
faculty is the woman in the corner. In the case of attributive relationals, it is not true that all
fabulous piano players = the dean of the Faculty. We can only say that the dean of the Faculty
belongs to the class of fabulous piano players. Thus, one way to distinguish between identifying
and attributive relational Processes is to see if the x = y and y = x holds true.
The most frequent verbs that fall into the category of relational Processes are to be and to
have. However, relational Processes can be realized with many other verbs, such as become,
appear, seem, consist of, represent, constitute, mean, stand for, etc. See the Appendix A for a more
complete list of other common attributive and identifying relational Processes.
The following excerpt exemplifies types of relational Processes which will be discussed in this
section:
Hotel Meurice is an exceptional hotel and has an excellent reputation for its
exceptional services. It is located right opposite the Louvre. Its only a short
walk from the Champs Elyses. The place is also known as the Hotel des Rois.
The hotel is surrounded by vineyards, and inside the hotel, the Caudalie
Wellness Center offers a series of treatments based on the therapeutic properties
of grapes. (adapted from Air Dolomiti in-flight magazine January 2004: 10)

intensive, possessive and circumstantial Processes

There are 3 kinds of attributive and identifying Processes: intensive, possessive and
circumstantial. The intensive type is when you assign a quality or classification or descriptive
Epithet to a participant as in Hotel Meurice is an exceptional hotel. The possessive is when you
describe something in terms of ownership or possession as in (a) It has an excellent reputation
and in (b) the Caudalie Wellness Center offers a series of treatments based on the therapeutic
properties of grapes. In the latter case, offers can be considered the possessive type of relational
Process because the series of treatments can be considered a feature of the Center, something it
has, necessarily if it is able to offer it; if a Beneficiary (a Recipient, in this case) were present in the
clause, i.e., a person receiving the treatment, then offer would be considered a material Process
and a series of treatments, a Goal.
The third type of relational Processes is circumstantial: when you define something in terms of
Location, Manner, Cause, Role, Accompaniment or Angle, etc., as in It is located right opposite
the Louvre.. However, we need to distinguish between relational Processes with Circumstance
expressed as a participant and relational Processes with Circumstance expressed as Process
(Halliday 1994: 130-131). The distinction is illustrated in Examples (1) and (2) below: Example
(1) is a circumstantial attributive: intensive Process with the Circumstance expressed as an
Attribute (in a PP, as is typical); Example (2) is a circumstantial attributive Process with
Circumstance expressed as Process and the Attribute is a NG.
(1)
The movie
Carrier

is
Pr. rel: intensive

about a boy growing up in the countryside.


the Attribute is Circumstance

(2)
The movie
Carrier

concerns
Pr. rel: circumstantial

a boy growing up in the countryside..


Attribute
58

Now, lets consider the identifying type. Compare the identifying relational Processes in
Examples (3) and (4) below:
(3) Tomorrow is Jan.1, 2005.
(4) In the heart of Sabina, the restored villa of 410 m. is surrounded by a park of 13,000 m.
Example (3) is an identifying: intensive Process with the Identifier, Jan.1, 2005, a
Circumstance of time;
Example (4) is an identifying: circumstantial Process with the
Circumstantial Process is surrounded expressing Circumstance of Location: Place (be + extent
space) with the Identifier, a park.
Both Examples (3) and (4) are identifying relational Processes because they are reversible; and in
identifying relational Processes of the circumstantial type, there are two types. In one type,
illustrated in Example (3), the Identified and Identifier are both elements of circumstance
(Tomorrow and Jan.1, 2005 are both Circumstance of Time); in the other, illustrated in Example
(4), the circumstantial Process (is surrounded) encodes circumstance. Examples (5) and (6)
below are two more illustrations of what Halliday calls circumstantial verbs (1994: 131).
5. The walk from the hotel to Champs Elyses takes only a few minutes. (encoding time)
6. The porter will accompany you to your room. (encoding accompaniment)
As Halliday points out (1994: 132), these examples of circumstantial verbs (the identifying
relational Process with circumstance as Process) are, indeed, examples of grammatical metaphor.
Grammatical metaphor of this kind will be discussed in Sec 7.1 of this course-book.
TASK 9: Identify the type of relational Process in the following:
1. That was a really great game.
2. It lasted over 2 hours!
3. The ancient borgo located in Casterlnovetto comprises 6 independent buildings.

Tips to recognize relationals


A quick summary:
-

Intensive you are given an attribute e.g. Youre great!


Possessive - ownership and possession are implied e.g. This is yours.
Circumstantial- description in terms of where, when, how long, etc. e.g. The train is on
Track 5.

RELATIONAL PROCESSES AND


PARTICIPANTS

In attributive relational Processes, Carrier is what is described or classified. Attribute is what


is attributed to or classifies or describes the Carrier. In identifying Processes, Identified will be
59

used for what is identified and Identifier for what identifies it. Identified is also referred to as Token
and Identifier as Value. See Thompson1996: pages 91-92 for Token and Value.

Tiger Woods
Carrier
Tiger Woods
Identified

is
attributive: intensive
is
identifying: intensive

very young
Attribute
the best golfer in the world.
Identifier

TASK 10: Identify types of relational Processes: attributive or identifying? Intensive, possessive or
circumstantial?
6. A solid phase could be represented by
condensates of the nuclear fluid.
7. Patsy's the best pizza place in
Brooklyn.
8. The villa features a 2000 acre park and
large swimming pool.
9. It was Ferraris 15th victory of the
season.

1.
2.
3.
4.

Morgana is a teacher.
That must be Morgana.
Tomorrow is the 24th.
Those missiles constitute the biggest
threat to our security right now.
5. My story is about a young black
woman from the ghetto.

TASK 11: Identify Processes: material, mental , relational (and the kind of mental and relational)
1. Morgana was frightened by the snake.
2. Morgana is afraid of snakes.
3. Morgana's story is the most stupid one
Ive ever heard.
4. Morgana's sorry.
5. She felt a presence in the room.
6. We hold these truths to be selfevident.

7. He held the knife in his left hand.


8. She felt the material and knew it was
synthetic.
9. Windows XPs Service Pack Turns
Out to Be a Headache (IHT, Oct. 14,
2002)
10. Over 250 people turned out for the
concert.

TASK 12: Identify participants and Processes in example 11, page 19 in the Section on Embedding.
TASK 13: This text from the web (www.italian-network.it) presents a variety of relational
Processes. Which kinds can you identify?

60

Palazzetto a Carsoli

Description:
The palazzetto dating from the mid-eighteenth century, was formerly the property of the
prestigious Boncompagni Ludovisi family. Its four floors are pleasingly divided and the
elegant view from the palace window offers a sweeping panorama spanning the
luxuriant greenery of the surrounding valley. Nestled on 1.700 sq.m. of terraced
vegetable garden and woodlands, this exclusive property also discloses a little private
church, which houses the remains of the Princess Chigi.
Location:
This historic noble palazzetto is perched on a lovely hilltop in the historic centre of
Oricola, a quaint village roughly thirty miles from Rome, and is well connected by the
motorway Rome-L'Aquila.

Relational Processes are not only present in descriptions such as in this internet text advertising a
villa for sale, but are also typical in subjects such as science, geography, mathematics and
economics. It is through these Processes that these subjects create an ordered technical vocabulary
and a way of classifying the world. They are fundamental in how the above mentioned subjects
construct the world. Nominalization is also a feature of these text varieties and frequently occur as
participants in relational Processes. See Section 7.2 for more on Nominalization.

61

6.6 Existential Processes

Existential Processes communicate the existence of something, for example:


There's a candy machine on the third floor.
Compare the following examples (1) and (2):
1. There's a candy machine on the third floor.
2. There's the candy machine.
Do not confuse the word there in (1) and there in (2). In statement (1) the word There' s a
dummy Subject, it has no representational function, while in (2) There is circumstance of
location. Example (1) communicates the existence of a candy machine on the 3rd floor, while (2)
communicates a relation between the candy machine and its location. Statement (2) encodes a
relational Process (attrib: circumstance of location). Existential Processes are expressed by a limited
number of verbs: to be is typically employed. Besides the verb to be, Halliday cites other verbs
such as exist, erupt, arise, occur, come about, happen, emerge (1994: 142) that can be included in
this category of Processes. Existential Processes are usually accompanied by circumstantial
elements of place or time.
The dummy Subject there is not always necessary, as in Example (3) below. There can be
omitted when a circumstantial element of time or place is Theme (Halliday 1994:142). The
newspaper article below illustrates this point very well.
3. In the middle of the hall is a candy machine.

A dazzling show captures the spirit of Gianni Versace


By Suzy Menkes

To the left, beneath flashing showbiz lights, is Diana, Princess of Wales, at her
most voluptuous and womanly; to her right, Liz Hurley in the black dress held
together with safety pins that propelled her to celebrity fame in the 1990s on the
arm of Hugh Grant.
Opposite these images, at the entrance to the Victoria & Alberts
fashion exhibition, are the dresses themselves: one black with rhinestone punk
pins, the other a powder blue column with hefty gold studs. Background music
beats out a rock soundtrack.
Versace at the V & A, a retrospective of Gianni Versace (19461997) at the London museum from Thursday to Jan. 12, is as effervescent and
colourful as the personality of the designer himself. (IHT, 2002)

EXISTENTIAL PROCESSES AND


PARTICIPANTS

62

The Participant is labelled the Existent and can be any kind of phenomenon: either an entity (e.g.,
a thing, such as a person or object) or an event or an action. In Example (1) below, the Existent, a
yellow Ferrari, is an entity. In Example (2), the Existent, a huge roar of an engine, is an event.

There was
a yellow Ferrari
Existential Process Existent: entity

in the parking lot.


circumstance: Location: Space

There was

A huge roar of an engine in the parking lot.


circumstance:
Existential Process Existent: event or action
Space

Location:

meteorological Processes

There is a category of Processes that describe the weather that are called meteorological
Processes. These Processes border the categories of the existential and the material Processes.
There is a variety of ways in which meteorological Processes construe the weather: some with It +
a verb in the present continuous (Example 4), some existentially (Example 5), some as a material
happening (Example 6), and some as an Attribute (Example 7):
4. It was raining very hard yesterday.
5. There was a big rainstorm yesterday.
6. The rain came down very hard yesterday.
7. It is very rainy today.
The It in the type illustrated in Example (4) it was raining - is a dummy Subject, like
There in Example (5), while the It in Example (7) could be considered a Carrier. (Halliday 1994:
143)

6.7
Projecting Propositions and Proposals and Verbal Group
Complexes
QUOTED AND REPORTED LOCUTIONS,
IDEAS, AND PROPOSALS

Before discussing the projection of propositions and proposals, we will review the differences
between quoted and reported locutions & ideas (propositions) and quoted and reported proposals.

63

1. We have quoted or reported locutions when we have verbal Processes; we


have quoted or reported ideas when we have mental Processes. Examples:
o I said I was hungry (reported locution verbal Process said)
o I thought , I am hungry. (quoted idea mental Process thought)
2. We have quoted or reported locutions and ideas when we have two clauses, the projecting or
reporting clauses and the reported-projected one. Examples:
o [I said,] [I am hungry.]
o [I said ] [I was hungry.]
o [I thought,] [I am hungry..]
o [I thought] [I was hungry.]
3. Differently from quoted or reported locutions and ideas, reported proposals
have either (a) one non-finite clause: He told her to get a sandwich or (b) a finite clause with
modulation: He told her she should get a sandwich.
4. While reported and quoted locutions are propositions (either statements or questions), reported
proposals are commands or offers.
A. Reported locution: The policeman said it was time to leave the building. (proposition)
B. Reported idea: The policeman thought it was time to leave the building. (proposition)
C. Proposal: The policeman urged us to leave the building. (command)
Tip : By looking at what would be the direct speech in Examples (A) (C), one can see more
clearly that Example (A) is a reported locution and (B) is a reported idea. The direct speech in
both these 2 examples is a proposition (a statement in these examples): It is time to leave the
building, the policeman said/thought; while Example (C) is a reported proposal because the
direct speech is a command (Leave the building or Please leave the building.).
TASK 14: Try to retrieve the direct speech from these two examples. Is it a proposition (question
or statement) or a proposal (command or offer)?
A. I said I was going home.

B. He begged her to go home.

TASK 15: Identify reported and quoted locutions/ ideas and reported proposals..
1. AS Roma fans urged Totti to publish a second book.
2. Officials warn that oil prices might rise.
3. The meteorologists thought it would rain.
4. They said we should expect rain.
5. Please relax, the dentist told me for the fifth time.
6. The dentist suggested I relax.
7. When will this end?, I thought.
8. Eisenhower remarked it was a great and noble day.

PROJECTING PROPOSITIONS AND


PROPOSALS
64

Halliday gives three kinds of interdependencies in projection (1994: 255-257):


parataxis, hypotaxis and embedding. We will now look at these three kinds in relation to projection
of propositions and proposals.

projection of propositions (locutions and ideas)


1. The projection of direct speech or thought, constructs, as you know, a paratactic
relationship between the projecting and projected clauses. Below is an example of
projection of a quoted locution:
I said,
projecting clause

Im hungry
projected clause

2. Projecting reported speech or thought (reported locutions or ideas) constructs, as


you know, a hypotactic relationship between the projecting and projected clause.
Below is an example of projection of a reported idea:
I thought
projecting clause

I was hungry
projected clause

projection of proposals

The previous examples of projection regarded propositions, either statements or questions, which
are related to the speech function of giving or demanding information.
The projection of proposals regards the projection of orders and commands, which are related
to the commodity of goods-&-services. With the projection of proposals, we can have both
paratactic and hypotactic relationships between the projecting and the projected clauses, as
illustrated in the next examples.
3.

Projecting a direct proposal: quoting a proposal constructs a paratactic relationship


between the projecting and projected clauses:
I said,
projecting clause

Get me a sandwich.
projected clause

4. Projecting a reported proposal constructs a hypotactic relationship between the


projecting and projected clause:
I told her
projecting clause

to get me a sandwich.
projected clause

65

While with reporting propositions (ideas and locutions), the reported clause is almost in all
cases finite (She said she was hungry), in reporting proposals, it may be finite (I told her that
she should get me a sandwich) or non-finite (I told her to get me a sandwich).

Embedded projections

Besides these cases of projection with hypotactic and paratactic relationships between the
projecting and projected clauses, there is also a fourth case of projection: nominal groups with
embedded projections (Halliday 1994: 263-264). Not only can locutions and ideas and proposals
be projected by projecting clauses, but locutions and ideas can also be embedded and function as
Qualifiers in a NG (Halliday 1994: 263), as in the assertion [[that she was hungry]]..
Embedded projections means that projection is made by nouns which are usually derived from
mental or verbal Processes. The nouns projecting propositions can be, for example, assertion,
belief, and argument, which are derived from the verbs to assert, to believe, and to argue.
Below are examples of NGs with embedded projections of propositions:
1. The argument [[that the world is a better place]] doesnt seem to hold water.
2. The belief [[that the world is a better place]] seems to be an illusion.
Nouns projecting proposals are similarly derived from verb forms: for example, suggestion,
proposal, and order, are derived from to suggest, to propose, and to order. Examples (3)
and (4) illustrate NGs with embedded projections of proposals.
3. The suggestion [[to make the world a better place]] was applauded.
4. The order [[to get her a sandwich]] was ignored.

THE VERBAL GROUP COMPLEX

Having studied the projection of quoted and reported propositions and proposals,
we come now to a similar structure: the Verbal Group Complex, a paratactically or hypotactically
related group of verbs that can be said to form one complex (VGC hereafter). VGCs are
paratactically linked when both groups in the complex are of equal status (Thompson 1996: 190),
for example: They [shouted\ and screamed] when they saw the fire. VGCs are hypotactically linked
when one of the verbs is dependent on the other, or has secondary status, for example: They began\
to shout when they saw the fire. In this example, shout has a secondary status. While in
paratactically linked VGCs there are two happenings (They yelled\and shouted when they saw the
fire.), in hypotactically linked VGCs there is only one happening (Halliday 1994: 282).
The discussion of VGC hereafter will basically concern hypotactically linked VGCs. Lets look at
Examples (1), (2), and (3) below.
1. He asked Morgana if she would get him a sandwich.
2. He asked Morgana to get him a sandwich.
3. He asked to have a sandwich.
As you should be able to recognize, Example (1) is a reported locution and Example (2) is a
reported proposal. Example (3), as we have already said, is an example of a VGC.
66

The VGC, such as like to go, in the statement, I like to go to the movies, is an example, again, of a
hypotactically linked VGC; in this kind, there is one participant (I) and two Processes like, the
primary verb (also called the alpha, ()- verb ), followed by a secondary one (also called the
beta, -verb), to go, which is non-finite and which has secondary status. The sequence of the group
is always the alpha verb followed by the beta (^ ); the ()- verb may be finite or non-finite, but
the secondary one, (), is always non-finite. It is important to analyze both the primary verb ()
and the secondary non-finite verb (): the ()- verb is analyzed for the tense of the finite or Modal
Operator in the MOOD SYSTEM; and the ()- verb is analyzed for the Process type in the
TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM. In the example above (I like to go to the movies), like tells you the Finite is
the present tense and go tells you the Process type is material and the participant role of I is Actor.
Other examples of VGCs: He loves to tell jokes, He kept on telling jokes, We hated listening to his
jokes.
We have made the distinction between paratactically and hypotactically linked VGCs; now we
will make a further distinction between the logical relations within the hypotactically linked VGCs:
projection and expansion. Projection, explains Halliday (1994:290), is a relationship between
Processes between a mental or verbal Process on the one hand, and another Process that is
mentalized or verbalized (projected) by it. A projection of do it, says Halliday (1994: 289 our
emphasis), as in wants to do it does not imply does it whereas an expansion, such as tries to
do it or starts to do it, does imply does it, even though the doing may be partial or unsuccessful.
We will now look at these two types of logical relations within VGCs: projection and expansion

VGC of projection:

As we have said, both mental and verbal Processes can project. Thus, if the ()- verb in a VGC
is a mental or a verbal Process, we have a VGC of projection. In the example I like to go to the
movies, the ()- verb, like, is a mental Process, and thus we have a VGC of projection. Other
examples of projection in the VGC are:
a.
b.
c.
d.

I hope to go to the movies.


I want to go to the movies.
I demanded to go to the movies.
I promised to see that movie.

TASK 16: Which of the above examples (a) (d) have a mental Process as the ()- verb and which
a verbal Process?
TASK 17: In the transitivity system, what is the Process type of the ()-verb and the participant
role of I in these same examples?

Summary for the category of VGC of projection:

A projected VGC means there is a projected locution or projected idea expressed in the VGC,
that is, the primary verb is either a verbal or mental Process. The Process in the non-finite clause
may or may not actually take place; it is mentalized or verbalized only.

67

VGC of expansion:

If the primary VG () is not a mental or verbal Process, the VGC is one of expansion. Examples
of this type of VGC (in italics) are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Morgana began to study Japanese last year.


Morgana seemed to understand Japanese.
Morgana managed to speak a little Japanese after a few months.
Morgana tried speaking Japanese in Tokyo, but had a few problems.

As with the VGC of projection, also with the VGC of expansion, the ()- verb carries the Mood
and the ()-verb is analyzed for Transitivity. For instance, in Example (3) above, tried carries the
Mood (Past Finite ed); speak would be a verbal Process in the TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM for
experiential meanings and the participant role of Morgana would be Sayer.
As with the VGC of projection, these VGCs are hypotactically connected because the ()- verb is
dependent on the ()-verb. The two verbs form one happening and they have a relationship in
which the ()-verb expresses an event in terms of transitivity and the ()-verb modifies that event in
some way. There are three categories of VGC of expansion according to the semantic relation
between the primary and secondary verbs. These categories of expansion are discussed with an
analysis of Examples (1) (4) above.
1. Expansion: elaboration. In this category we have those VGC in which the semantic relation
between the primary verb and the secondary verb is one of PHASE, either time phase or
reality phase.
a. Time phase here we have a relationship of the initiating or the ending or the
duration an action, as in Example (1) above: Morgana began to study Japanese last
year. Other examples of verbs expressing time phase are continue, stop, start, end,
and cease.
b. Reality phase here we have a semantic relation expressing the potential or actual
dimension of an action. The primary VG expresses the contrast between apparent
and real (Halliday, 1984: 279), as in Example (2): Morgana seemed to understand
Japanese. Other examples of verbs expressing reality phase are appear and turn
out.
2. Expansion: extension. In this category we have those VGCs in which the semantic relation
between the primary and the secondary verb is said to be one of CONATION, expressing
the attempt to do something and the succeeding or failing to do it. Example (3) illustrates
this category: Morgana managed to speak a little Japanese after a few months. Other
examples of verbs expressing this semantic relationship of trying to do something and the
success and failure of doing it are succeed in, fail in or fail to, try, avoid, attempt, and learn
to.
3. Expansion: enhancement In this category we have those VGCs in which the semantic
relation between the primary and the secondary verb is said to be one of MODULATION
(not to be confused with deontic modality). The primary verb expresses circumstantial
information: as Halliday says, the verbal group is representing a circumstance and not some
aspect of a Process. (1994: 285). The circumstantial element expressed in the ()-verb can
regard the usuality or frequency of the action expressed in the ()- verb; it can regard the
typical circumstantial categories (Time, Manner, Reason, Purpose, Accompaniment, etc.).
In Example (4), Morgana tried speaking Japanese in Tokyo, but had a few problems, the
primary verb tried (+ ing), expresses the fact that she tried more than once, the frequency
of the action, how often she spoke Japanese. Other examples of verbs that fall into this
category are insist on doing, venture to do, hesitate to do, and happen to do.
68

Below are further examples of VCG of expansion and projection. For more on these
hypotactic relations, students are encouraged to read Thompson 1996: 190 - 192; Halliday,
1994: 278 - 282.
1. European Union ambassadors appear to have overcome one of the main obstacles
delaying the passage of an EU-wide savings tax law. (IHT, May 14, 2004)
(communicating reality phase - elaboration)
2. Totti started collecting his jokes and published them in a book that became an
instant best-seller (IHT June 2, 2004). (communicating time phase - elaboration)
3. Flights to NY tend to be cheaper in February, especially if you buy your tickets
online. (communicating modulation: usuality/typicality)
4. Reporters attempted to speak to the Roma captain, Francesco Totti, but were
unsuccessful. (communicating trying and succeeding/failing, conation - extension)
5. Reporters asked to speak to Francesco Totti. (projection: locution)
6. Reporters hoped to interview Totti. (projection: idea)
TASK 18: Identify the category of VGC in the examples below:
1. Italian rapper Frankie Hi-Nrg MCs concert at Milans Alcatraz club didnt seem to
differ much from its American counterparts. (IHT May 4, 2004)
2. Totti is trying to spin his popularity into a television career. (IHT June 2, 2004)
3. Christian Vieri regretted to say whether he will be sold to another soccer team.
4. Fans hope to see Totti play for AS Roma again next year.
TASK 19: What is the participant role of Morgana and the ()-verb Process type of the VG in
these statements?
1. Morgana seemed to understand Japanese.
2. Morgana managed to speak a little Japanese after a few months .
Tip
How can we distinguish between VGCs of projection and VGCs of expansion ? Is the ()-verb
a mental or verbal Process? If so, it is a VGC of projection. The Process expressed in the second
VG is mentalized or verbalized. If the primary VG is not a mental or verbal Process we have a
VGC of expansion.
Below are some examples of VGC, projection of reported proposals, reported locutions, and
reported ideas:

He demanded to go home. VGC (projection: locution)


He begged to go home. VGC (projection: locution)
He intended to go home. VGC (projection: idea)
He hoped to go home. VGC (projection: idea)
The three Italian attackers continued to create chances. VGC (expansion: time phase)
They succeeded in scoring a goal in the last few minutes of the game. VGC (expansion:
extension)
He demanded that they go home. Reported proposal
I suggest you go home. Reported proposal
I hoped I would win the lottery. Reported idea
I said I had won the lottery. Reported locution
I thought, I had better go home.. Quoted idea
69

6.8 Causality
CAUSATIVE PROCESSES: X MAKES Y DO
SOMETHING

In this section we will look at another type of VGC, the causative one. As you recall, causative
constructions are those in which a Participant called Initiator/Agent brings about the action
performed by the Actor (Halliday, 1994: 286, our emphasis. See also slides 152-153 in Freddi
2004). A typical structure would be He made me do it. Compare Examples (1) and (2) below.
Example (1) is a hypotactically linked VGC (projection: idea) and Example (2) is a causative VGC.
(1) Maria decided to take nap.
(2) Maria made Morgana take a nap.
Causatives are VGCs which have 2 or 3 participants, but which can potentially have an unlimited
number of participants. Causative VGCs are usually those with someone (Agent) making, getting,
having and letting someone do something. Lets look at the analysis of the causative VGC in more
detail.
Maria
Actor

took
material Process

She
made
Morgana
INITIA
causative Process Actor
TOR/
VGC
AGENT

a nap.
Range

Take

a nap.

(Pr: material)

Range

NOTE: made Morgana take = causative VGC

Causative constructions are possible also with relational Processes: an Agent (in
this case - Attributor or Assigner) causes the Carrier to have an attribute ascribed to it, as in:
Living abroad made Morgana become more mature.
Compare:
Morgana
Carrier
Living abroad
Agent/Attributor

became
relational Process
made
Morgana
Carrier
causative

70

more mature
Attribute
become
VGC

more mature
Attribute

Even if we omit the verb become in the example, Living abroad made Diana become more mature,
we would have a causative Process with an Attributor and Carrier and Attribute:
Living abroad
Attributor

made
Pr: causative

Morgana
Carrier

more mature
Attribute

In the next example, He called the ghost Casper is considered to be a causative VGC as well and
the Agent is an Assigner. The Assigner is s/he who gives an identity to the Participant the monster:
He
Assigner

called
Pr: causative

the ghost
Identified

Casper
Identifier

Other examples with Assigner as Participant (Assigner in bold): He nominated her as


Chairperson; They appointed Dave Winter the new principal.

Degree of modulation in causative VGC

In the set of causatives where the meaning is clearly that of agency (make, force, let, allow, etc.),
there are degrees of modulation: high, median and low. (We have already seen degrees of
modulation and modalization in Section 5.5 , Value.). We need to keep in mind that there is
sometimes a degree of fuzziness in language and thus, divisions into these categories are
sometimes debatable.

High, Median and Low Causatives

High: make, force someone do something


Median: have, get, oblige someone to do something
Low: let, allow, permit someone to do something
The same three degrees can also be found in the modulation in the VGC through the modal
operator in the Mood Block (see Chapter 5 for modal operators).
High: He must resign.
Median: He should resign.
Low: He may resign.
The forms of the causative VGC may also be passive:
High: He was made to resign.
Median: He was obliged to resign.
Low: He was allowed to resign.
There are other types of causative VGCs, however, such as those which help or enable someone
to do something, as in the example, Camomile tea may help you to sleep..

71

TASK 20: Analyze the transitivity structure in the following:


1. She made me take an umbrella.
2. The high score made her happy.
3. The creators of Slashdot, an online site for advertising, let pictures substitute a thousand words.
(IHT Oct 15, 2002)

6.9 Summary and Exercises


PROCESSES AND PARTICIPANTS

As you can see from this section regarding Transitivity, the labelling of Processes enables you to
understand how speakers and writers represent and classify their world. Participants have labels
according to their relationship to the Process; labelling these participants force you to think about
the participant roles involved in the Process. Labelling provides a means of interpreting
grammatical structure in such a way as to relate any given instance to the system of the language as
a whole. Furthermore, certain Processes may be more frequent in certain text varieties and thus are
central to the issue of register, which you will be studying in depth in your third year course.

REVIEW TASKS
TASK 21: Label the participants and Processes in the following examples (do not analyze
Processes in embedded clauses):
1. Security Subsystem offers the user an even higher level of protection. (IBM advertisement
in Time Intl, Sept. 23, 2002)
2. I liked the man who came to dinner.
3. The sign says no smoking.
4. I sold the book to a student who will be taking the course next year.
5. I threw a party.
6. My car needs new tires and a tune-up.
7. The sudden noise made me drop the dish.
8. Can you please answer the telephone?
9. Vieri wont play because he has a bad ankle today. (IHT Oct 11, 2002)

TASK 22: Label Processes and participants in the following newspaper headlines.
Stressed-out women say: We want to quit our jobs
Mother thrown off bus as she struggles with disabled baby
Mum-To-Be Madonna Looking Swell at Her Big Movie Premiere
Don't Wed, say 70% in our poll.
She's clever, she's funny, But she's not great with kids.
72

Christina Aguilera: The Hottest Thing Around.

Keys
TASK 1:
There are material Processes in Examples (1), (3), and (4)
1. material Process: one participant - Diana, Actor. (to New York is circumstance of Location:
Place or Space)
3. material Process: two participants - Diana, Actor; blood, Goal
4. material Process: one participant - her blood, Goal
NB. Example 2 is an existential Process and Example 5 is a relational Process.
TASK 3: Identify Participants
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm. Actor and Goal
The teacher tripped in the corridor. Actor
The Medici dismissed Michelangelo. Actor and Goal
He made a mistake. Actor and Range
The gun discharged. Actor
I posted a letter to a friend. Actor, Goal, Beneficiary (Recipient)
Rooney scored a goal. Actor and Range
Two fatal shots were fired. Goal
Dave threw a party for Morgana Actor Range and Beneficiary (Client)
I dropped the pen. Actor and Goal
Jack climbed the fence in a hurry. Actor and Range
TASK 4: Texts and Processes.
Text 1 (The Guardian).
Police (Actor ) shoot (material) 11 (Goal)
Riot police (Actor) shot and killed (both material Processes)
and wounded (material Process) 15 others (Goal)

11 African demonstrators (Goal)

Text 2 (The Times)


Rioting blacks (Goal) shot (material Process) police (Actor ) ANC leaders (Actor ) meet
(material Process)
Eleven Africans (Goal) were shot (material Process) and 15 (Goal) wounded (material Process)
Rhodesian police (Actor) opened fire (material Process) on a rioting crowd of about 2,000.
It is interesting in this text that the PP on a rioting crowd of about 2,000 is on the surface level
functioning as Circumstance of Location: Space, but with an inherent minor Participant role of
Goal
Text 3. Editorial
The riots in Salisbury - no material Process
No material Process- we have relational, verbal. (The only material Process is in the embedded
clause warning [[that tension in that country is rising]])
Text 4. An advertisement
he's (Actor) been fishing for sticklebacks.
he (Actor) makes choccy cornflake cakes (Goal).
he runs (Actor) miles with the dog through the mud.
he (Actor) can't wait to hold* his little sister (Goal).
73

you (Senser) care.


*In this case cant wait to hold is a Verbal Group Complex (VGC), with a material Process
hold. For further information on VGCs, see Thompson 1996, pages 92-94 and its treatment in
Section 6.7 in this course-book.
In texts 1 and 2, who are Actors and who are Goals? The differences might imply different
ideological stances when reporting the same event. The lack of material Processes in text 3 (except
in an embedded clause) could be linked to the text function (of analysis and opinion, rather than
reporting) or to the span of time between the action and its publication. In text 4, an advertisement,
the child is attributed active doings in the external world, he is an Actor; while the mother, the
target reader who should buy Carex for the health of her child, is not a Doer, she cares she is a
Senser (cares = mental Process affective). We will discuss the three different kinds of mental
Processes - affective, perceptive and cognitive - in the next section.
TASK 5: Circumstances:
1. Police shoot 11 dead in Salisbury riot - Location (can be temporal or spatial; in other words
where or When)
2. The USA, unlike Italy, is a federation of states. - ( Manner/Comparison)
3. Many people survived thanks to the courage of the faceless fire-fighters. (Cause)
4. Morgana waited on line with Dave for hours. - (Location, Accompaniment, Extent)
5. She was travelling as a tourist.(Role)
6. Rooney scored a goal in both games.-(Location)

TASK 6
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

We don't know what they want.


cognitive
They wonder why it all happened. cognitive
I wanted to donate my blood. affective
They don't give a damn about us. affective
I felt the heat on my neck from far away. perceptive
They all appreciated the endless efforts of volunteer rescue teams. affective
I saw the firemen run up the stairs while we were running out. perceptive
We all need a little help from our friends. affective

TASK 7 : Identifying participants Target, Receiver and Verbiage


1. I discussed the novel - novel is verbiage
2. I asked a question - question is verbiage
3. Please describe to the court the scene of the accident - court is receiver; scene of the accident is
Verbiage
4. He never explained the mystery to the audience. - audience is Receiver and mystery is Verbiage
5. Dont insult my intelligence - my intelligence is target
6. Dont praise me - me is Target
TASK:8 Identifying Processes
1. mental cognitive, I think in the reply should be considered an Interpersonal Metaphor (See
Chaptaer 5).
2. material, behavioral
3. verbal
4. behavioral

74

TASK 9: Identify the type of relational Processes: attributive: intensive, attributive: circ: extent,
identifying: possessive

TASK 10
TASK 11
1. attributive: intensive
2. identifying: intensive
3. identifying: circumstantial (circ as
participant)
4. identifying: intensive
5. attributive : cir (circ as attribute)
6. identifying : intensive
7. identifying : intensive
8. attributive: possessive
9. identifying: intensive

1. mental:affective
2. relational/attributive: intensive
3. relational/ identifying : intensive
4. relational /attributive: intensive
5. mental: perceptive
6. mental: cognitive
7. material
8. felt -material and knew mental:cogntive
9. relational/ attributive:intensive
10. material

TASK 12: The book that you bought at the store next to the shoe shop that sells those sandals you
adore = Identified; is = Relational Process: identifying: int; the one I wanted = Identifier
TASK 13 : was-id:int, are-att:int, offers- att:int (or poss), discloses/att:int, or material in the
sense that it reveals or exposes to view, houses/ id: poss, is perched/att: circ, is well
connected/att: int
TASK 14:
A. I am going home. - proposition;
B. Go home! (or Please go home.) - command
TASK 15
1. urged Totti to publish a second book reported proposal
2. That oil prices might rise - reported locution
3. It would rain reported idea.
4. We should expect rain reported locution
5. Please relax - quoted locution
6. I relax- reported proposal
7. When will this end? quoted idea
8. It was a great and noble day reported locution
TASK 16. hope and intend are mental Processes; demand and promise are verbal Processes
TASK 17. In the transitivity system, the first three examples have material Processes and the
participant role of I is Actor. In example (d), the Process is a mental one and the participant role is
one of Senser.
TASK 18.
Example (1), didnt seem to differ expresses expansion: elaboration: reality-phase
Example (2), trying to spin expresses expansion: conation
Example (3), regretted to say communicates circumstantial information, it shows sadness on the
part of the Sayer. This is an example of expansion: modulation
Example (4) is a VGC of projection: the ()-verb is a mental Process (hope); it is a projected idea.
75

TASK 19. Morgana seemed to understand - Morgana is Senser (understand is mental: cognitive);
Morgana managed to speak - Morgana is Sayer (speak is verbal Process)
TASK 20
She
Agent

made
Pr: caus

me
Actor

The high score


Attributor

made
Pr: caus

her
Carrier (pr: relational)

The creators of Slashdot let


Initiator - Agent
causative
Low
degree

take
an umbrella.
(pr: material) Goal

pictures
Actor

substitute
Pr. material

happy.
Attribute
a thousand words
Goal

N.B. Note what happens to the analysis of the above example if we change the wording of the
sentence to: The creators of Slashdot let pictures represent a thousand words.
The creators of Slashdot let
Initiator Agent
causative
Low
degree

pictures
Identified

represent
Pr: relational
identifying

a thousand words
Identifier

TASK 21:
1.material Process; the unique IBM Embedded Security Subsystem is Actor and the user is
Beneficiary; an even higher level of protectionis Goal (We have seen that the verb offer can be
considered a relational Process without a Beneficiary)
2. mental: affective Process I is Senser, the man is Phenomenon.
3. verbal Process and sign is Sayer and no smoking is Verbiage
4. material Process; I is Actor ; book is goal; a student is Beneficiary
5. material Process; I is Actor and a party is Range
6. (modulated) relational Process attributive possessive; car is Carrier; new tires and a tune-up is
Attribute
7. causative VGC; The sudden noise is Agent, me is Actor, (drop is material Process), the dish
is Goal
8. material Process; You is Actor and telephone is Goal (answering the phone here means the
physical activity, not speaking on the phone)
9. Independent clause: material Process and Vieri is Actor; dependent clause: relational:
possessive Process; he is Carrier; bad ankle is Attribute
TASK 22:
Stressed-out Women is Sayer and We is Senser ('want' is mental Process)
Mother is Goal first and then Actor
Mum-To-Be is Carrier ('is looking swell')
76

Material (imperative) and in second clause 70% is Sayer


She is Carrier
Christina Aguilera is Identified; Hottest Thing Around is Attribute

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp. 82 86 on mental Processes; or in Thompson 2004, pp. 92-96
Thompson 1996, pp. 98-9 on Target and Verbiage; or in Thompson 2004, pp. 101-102
Thompson 1996, bottom of page 99 -100 on behavioral Processes; or in Thompson 2004, pp. 103104

Notes
Key Points

Questions for Class

77

CHAPTER 7
Grammatical Metaphor: Ideational Metaphor
Having studied grammatical metaphor expressing interpersonal meanings (see
Chapter 5: Metaphor of Modality and Metaphor of Mood), but grammatical metaphor includes
ideational metaphor (metaphor of Transitivity). In this chapter, we will look at two ways of
creating ideational metaphor: (a) by using Processes metaphorically and (b) by using NG to
represent Processes (nominalization). In an example cited by Halliday, a flood of protests, the
congruent meaning (i.e., the one with less variation in the expression of the meaning) for They
received a flood of protests would be that They received a large quantity of protests (1994: 342).
Thompson (1996: 163) gives the example, The north is crippled with the burden of the industrial
revolution. In this case crippled with the burden is seen as the incongruent expression, while
in a difficult situation because of the effects of the industrial revolution would be an example of a
more congruent way of expressing this meaning. These two examples illustrate metaphorical
experiential meaning. We will now look at the second type of ideational metaphor: nominalization.
In traditional grammar we can say that nouns represent things, adjectives the properties of things
and verbs realize states and processes, adverbs the properties of processes etc. (Goatly 1997: 83). In
FG, NG usually encode things, VG usually encode happenings. If we use NGs to encode
happenings and/or VGs to encode things we are creating and using grammatical metaphor.
There are several reasons why nouns referring to things can more directly evoke images than other
parts of speech; however, also metaphorically used verbs can indirectly evoke imagery, as Goatly
illustrates (1997: 86). Those students interested in exploring metaphor could read The Language of
Metaphors by Goatly Chapter 3, and, for further reading on grammatical metaphor proper, SimonVandenberg et. al. Grammatical metaphor includes also textual metaphor, which is discussed in
Thompson 1996: pages 175-176 and briefly mentioned in Chapter 9 in this course-book.
As explained in Chapter 5, neither form the congruent or the incongruent is to be considered
as better; neither is one or the other more frequent or even more typical. Actually, in some cases
it is the incongruent way of saying that has become the norm. It is also true, however, that the two
forms are not completely synonymous. As Halliday says regarding congruent and incongruent
wordings, These are plausible representations of one and the same non-linguistic state of
affairsthe different encodings all contribute something different to the total meaning. (1994:
344). Grammatical metaphor is a feature of both written-ness and spoken-ness, although one
important feature of grammatical metaphor, i.e., nominalization, which will be discussed in Section
7.2, is much more typical of written-ness than of spoken-ness (for more on written-ness and spokenness, see chapter 9 in this course-book).

7.1 Ideational Metaphor and Process Types


Material Processes more easily provoke imagery and they are often used as metaphors of mental
Processes (perception, feeling and cognition). For example, in They were basking in the
triumphant take-over of the economy., basking, which is defined as to relax and enjoy yourself by
lying in the sun (Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners of American English,
2002), provokes more imagery than the more congruent form were enjoying would. Further
examples of metaphorical wordings are discussed below.

78

Examples4:
1. Bush pins hopes on China (IHT, 2002)
2. US puts heat on UN for a tough resolution (Washington Post, reported in IHT, Oct 15, 2002)
3. Pierce ignites French passion (The Independent, June 9, 2000)
4. Queen Mary keeps her head to seize throne from Martinez (Sunday Express Sport, June 11,
2000)
5. Tempers burn over exact meaning of labor pact (IHT Italy Daily July 10)
Discussion:
In Example (1) the metaphorical/ incongruent use of a material Process in this newspaper headline
certainly provokes more imagery than its more congruent expression would: Bush is hoping very
much that China will do something. On the surface, in the incongruent form, we have a material
Process (pins) with Bush as Actor. However, Bush cannot really physically pin hope on something
or someone. Hopes are abstract, but in this headline they take on materiality. In the more congruent
form, the participant role of Bush changes from Actor to Senser.
In Example (2) we can see how puts heat on is more effective than its more congruent form which
would be putting pressure on, still incongruent however. More congruently would be tyring to
convince. Trying to convince, as we have seen in Section 6.7, is an extending VGC of conation
whose -verb would be considered a mental Process. The incongruent form construes the efforts of
the US as greater, more intense, changes the participant role and certainly brings with it greater
imagery of fire.
Examples (3) and (4) both refer to Mary Pierce who won the French Open Tennis tournament in
2002, defeating 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez. In Example (3), the congruent
meaning could be interpreted as the causative: Pierce makes the French people (become) passionate
(or excited). In this case Pierce would be an Initiator/Attributor in a VGC and the French people
Carrier. In the incongruent wording, the one chosen as the headline of the article, the choice of verb
ignites surely evokes greater imagery than the congruent form; to ignite brings the implicit
imagery of fire - to set on fire - which we have seen in Example 2, and which can be seen again in
Example (5). In Example (4), the authors choice of expression, keeps her head, enriches the
metaphor already established with Queen and seize throne more than a congruent form would,
which could be stays calm.
TASK 1. What is the participant role of tempers in the following variations of the wording in
headline (5) as shown in (a), (b) and (c) below?
a) Tempers burn
b) Tempers get hot
c) People lose their tempers
In conclusion, when analysing the transitivity structure of metaphorical forms, we first analyse the
surface, what is there. A second parallel analysis, however, is necessary in search of the more
congruent representation. Both analyses are necessary to give one an understanding of the full
meaning of the wording. Examples (6) and (7) below, provided by Halliday (1994: 347), illustrate
the transitivity analysis of congruent and incongruent forms:
(6)
In the evening the guests
ate
Circ.: Time
Actor
Pr.: mat.

ice cream and then


swam
Goal
Circ. Time Pr.: mat

gently.
Circ.:Manner

Examples (3) and (4) were part of a corpus collected for the dissertation entitled, Il Gruppo Nominale nelle testate
giornalistiche: un approccio funzionale, presented by Elisa Donati, thesis supervisor D.R. Miller, co-advisor, M.
Lipson, A.A. 1999-2000.

79

(7)
The guests supper of ice cream was followed
NG
Pr.: rel

by

a gentle swim.
NG

In Example (7), we have a NG encoding a happening, which allows for the information originally
expressed in two clauses to be expressed in one; we can say the information has been packaged
into a single clause: the two clauses have been transformed into a relational Process with
circumstance as Process. These are some of the changes that have taken place as a result of the
packaging of information: the Processes have been transformed into things (i) swam gently becomes
a gentle swim and (ii) the happening of eating and the time, in the evening, have become
nominalized as supper; the participants (the guests and ice cream) have become (i) a
Modifier/Deictic: Possessive (the guests) and (ii) a Modifier/Qualifier (of icecream); the
circumstance gently has become an Epithet, gentle, in the NG and the circumstance of Location:
Time, then, has become the process, was followed. This Example of a Metaphor of Transitivity and
its analysis by Halliday (1994: 344) illustrates two different ways of saying. Neither of the two
seem completely natural. In fact a totally congruent form can seem too simplistic and a totally
incongruent form can seem unnatural. As Halliday says, we tend to operate somewhere in
between these two extremes. (1994: 344). Examples (6) and (7) above illustrate the topic of the
next section, nominalization, which is the use of NGs to refer to processes.

7.2 Ideational Metaphor: Nominalization


Nominalization is one of the most powerful resources for creating grammatical metaphor. As we
have seen above, it typically consists in the use of a nominal form to express the meaning of a
process. Processes and properties are reworded metaphorically as nouns as Things. For example:
Low installment and maintenance costs and affordable monthly rates with no interest
makes our product the most advantageous.
In this example above, processes have become nouns: installing it and maintaining it, which cost
very little, and paying monthly sums which are affordable, and not paying interest. Also the
following text illustrates the use of nominalization:
Worries that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later have distracted
investors from profit reports this earnings season. (IHT April 21, 2004)
In the text, there is no mention of who is worrying. The NG which would typically represent the
participant involved in the mental Process - who is worrying about the interest rates is missing
and the process, worrying, has been transformed into a NG representing the worries themselves
(that is, the product of the process). Worries (that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later )
becomes the participant which has an effect on the other participant, investors. The original things
(in this case the humans who were worrying) get displaced by metaphoric things (the worries
themselves). Nominalization realigns the elements of a message, and the participants often become
attributes in the sense of Epithets and Classifiers, or even Deictics as we have just seen in Section
7.1. See Examples (1) and (2) below (taken from Halliday 1994: 349).
1. If someone who has had little experience is also impaired by alcohol, something disastrous
may happen. (more congruent)
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2. To add alcohol impairment to the problem of inexperience is an invitation to disaster. (more


incongruent)
In the more congruent Example, (1), there are two clauses (dependent and independent,
hypotactically linked in a relation of cause): the first clause is a passive material Process, with the
participant role of someone who has had little experience as Goal and with the participant role of
alcohol as Actor; in the second clause the participant role of the inanimate participant, something
disastrous, is Actor.
In the more incongruent Example, (2), there is one clause with a relational Process and 2 NGs.
While in Example (1) alcohol has the participant role of Actor, in Example (2) alcohol is a
Classifier modifying impairment, which is a much lower ranking unit than participant.
Furthermore, the encoding of the happening, which is Actor in Example (2), is encoded in
Example (2) as a circumstance of Location: Place, an invitation to disaster. Something disastrous
has also been rankshifted to a lower unit.
Nominalization therefore, not only takes away a happening or action to be substituted by
events or things, but it allows for the realignment of elements and thus a rankshifting of pieces of
information. The two examples below will further illustrate this point.
Headline 1: UN representatives found no evidence of arms in Iraq
Headline 2: No evidence of Iraqi arms has been found
In the first headline, there is a participant, UN representatives, as Actor, a material Process
(found), a Goal (no evidence of arms ) and a Circumstance (in Iraq). In the second headline, not
only is there no explicit Actor, thus no one explicitly doing anything, but Iraq has been rankshifted
from its position in a PP as circumstance of Location: Place (in Iraq) to a possessive deictic in an
embedded PP in the nominal group No evidence of Iraqi arms.
Nominalization is, as mentioned at the beginning of this section, a powerful resource. Why?
It allows for the masking of agency, in that nothing really happens, there is only an event, without
specifying the perpetrator of the event. In this way we can say that nominalization suppresses part
of reality; besides the examples of the headlines above, also Examples (3) and (4) below illustrate
this.
3. The workers protested against the government reform yesterday.
4. The workers protest against the government reform was held yesterday.
Furthermore, by masking agency, writers using nominalization can also avoid providing a human
Grammatical Subject (the Subject in Mood) who would be responsible for the validity or veracity of
the proposition (see Mood Elements in Section 5.2 or Chapter 4.3 in Thompson 1996). In this way
the proposition is non-negotiable. For this reason, nominalization is frequently used in persuasive
texts (e.g. advertisements, political speeches). But avoiding a human Grammatical Subject may
also be a choice of a speaker who wishes to deliberately avoid placing responsibility/blame on
another person. For example, (a) has an embedded fact as Subject, while statement (b) has the
personal pronoun You as Subject (a human Grammatical Subject). As a result, (a) is a bit more
indirect and perhaps less offensive than statement (b). As Halliday says (1994: 266), a fact can
appear as a nominalization on its own.
a. That you have difficulties in establishing relations with others worries me.
b. You have difficulties in establishing relations with others. This worries me.

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Underline the Logical Subject in Examples (3) and (4) above and (5) and (6) below (Answers are
immediately below):
5. Israeli raids leave 13 dead in Gaza (The Washington Post, Oct. 8, 2002)
6. Gunmen kill Marine in Kuwait (The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2002)
Answers: Logical Subjects: The workers, The workers protest against the government reform,
Israeli raids, Gunmen
In Example (3) the workers actually did something. They are given the participant role of Actor,
while in (4) they do nothing. They are not even a participant or constituent of the Transitivity
system. Workers in (4) merely acts as a Classifier of the Thing in the NG protest against the
government reform. Also the government reform has been down-ranked from functioning in a
circumstance in (3) to an embedded post-modifying PP in (4).
In Example (5), there is no one responsible for the 13 dead in Gaza. There is no human
responsibility for the 13 victims. The inanimate participant, raids, is the Grammatical Subject
held responsible for the validity of the proposition. Very different is the participant in (6). The
difference between (5) and (6) is that (6) explicitly constructs the reality of responsible agency,
while (5) suppresses it, suppresses a part of reality.
TASK 2. Underline the NGs functioning as participants in the text below.5
A Russian journalist has uncovered evidence of another Soviet nuclear catastrophe,
which killed 10 sailors and contaminated an entire town.
Yelena Vazrshavskya is the first journalist to speak to people who witnessed the
explosion of a nuclear submarine at the naval base of Shkotovo22 near Vldivostock.
Residents were told that the explosion in the reactor of a Victor-class submarine during a
refit had been a thermal and not a nuclear explosion. And those involved in the cleanup operation to remove more than 600 tons of contaminated material were sworn to
secrecy.
A board of investigation was later to describe it as the worst accident in the history of the
Soviet Navy. (from Gerot an dWignell: 1994)

In the above TASK, you can see how nominalization enables the author to condense information
and efface human agency. Almost all human agency has been erased in this article, and only a town
not people was contaminated, residents classified institutionally rather than as people or
individuals are participants. Rather than individuals, people, being sworn to secrecy, the
participant becomes more impersonal as those involved in the clean-up operation to remove more
than 600 tons of contaminated material were then involved in the cleanup. As the authors Gerot
and Wignell point out, much of the mystification in the text is the result of removing identity. Can
you find any other examples of this strategy? Suggestions are in KEY.
Nominalization, can be referred to with the acronym ECO: encapsulation, condensation and
objectivization (see Thompson 1996: 170-171). Encapsulation is a phenomenon by which the
meanings of a previously introduced clause can be condensed and encapsulated into a NG. That
5

The text was taken from Gerot and Wignell, Making Sense of Functional Grammar, available in the
library of the Department of Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne. A full discussion of the text with an
analysis of the NGs is provided on pages 152 154.

82

NG can then serve as a starting point in the next clause. This is a useful tool in organizing a
message/text. Encapsulation can be used to condense the meanings of a previously introduced
clause into a nominalized encapsulation, which can function as a participant in another process and
can also function as Theme. See Example (7).
7. The researchers found that many of the children were coming down with infection. These
findings led them to halt further study.
Through nominalization, processes can be seen to be condensed and objectified. What is lost,
as Thompson points out, is a Doer of a process, as seen in previous Examples (3) and (4). This
point brings us back to the discussion of the text about a Soviet nuclear catastrophe. For further
examples of strategies used by the writer to remove the identity of Doers in that text see Key to
TASK 2. This also brings up the point that scientific and technical writing allows processes to be
objectified to be expressed without explicit Doers.
Nominalization, as you recall from the first year course, having begun with scientific and
technical writing, which is usually concerned with description and explanation and thus prefers the
objectification of a process and relational Processs, with time has became a sign of prestigious
writing.
TASK 3: How could you rewrite the words in bold below in a more congruent form?
Television at one time used to provide an education in cinema my teenage diaries
record BBC retrospectives of Welles, Renoir and Bergman. Nowadays, unless you are one
of the minority who has cable TV, only those who keep a firm eye on the daytime
schedules have a hope of seeing anything of high quality. (adapted from The Daily
Telegraph, September 3, 2003)
TASK 4: Carry out the transitivity analysis of Example (8) below. First analyze the incongruent
form and then attempt to rewrite the text in a more congruent form and analyze it. Your solution
may not necessarily be the same as the one offered in the Key; it would be enough for your analysis
to cover more or less some of the points made there. (Key is in Summary)
8. Corporate profit outlook shatters rebound hopes. (Headline of article from New York Times, in
IHT, October 15, 2002)

SUMMARY
Nominalization (ECO) packages or encapsulates or condenses information about Processes into
NGs and thus makes the propositions in the text more objectified and less arguable.

Keys
TASK 1:
a. tempers burn - Actor
b. tempers get hot - Carrier
c. people lose their temper Goal
Notice that the most congruent form would most likely not include temper!: people got very angry
and lost control of themselves.
TASK 2: Logical Subjects: A Russian journalist, evidence of another Soviet nuclear catastrophe,10
sailors an entire town, Yelena Vazrshavskya, the first journalist to speak to people who witnessed
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the explosion of a nuclear submarine at the naval base of Shkotovo22 near Vldivostock, Residents,
the explosion in the reactor of a Victor-class submarine during a refit, a thermal and not a nuclear
explosion, those involved in the clean-up operation to remove more than 600 tons of contaminated
material, A board of investigation
Here are further examples of strategies used by the writer to remove the identity of Doers in that
text: the victims are numbered, not named, ten sailors. The person/s who swore those involved
in the cleanup to secrecy are never identified. The board of investigation is also left
unidentified. There is nobody who is held accountable for the actions performed. The net effects of
nominalization and qualification in the text are to distance the reader from the actual event and the
people involved, obfuscation of information and the removal of any sense of or opportunity for
action on the part of the reader. (Commentary by M. Knobel, cited in Gerot and Wignell: 156). This
commentary captures quite well the power of nominalization in grammatical metaphor.
TASK 3: one possibility is: only those who closely look at (read) closely the daytime schedules.
TASK 4:
What is important is to arrive at the more congruent form in order to identify who is producing or
making predictions, forecasts, or outlooks. In the headline we have an outlook, (which in reality
has to be made by somebody) regarding the bad profits that will have a negative effect on hopes
(which people have) for an economic recovery/rebound. But who is making the outlook or
making the forecast? And whose hopes are being shattered?
In the nominalized form (the incongruent form, metaphorical form), agency is being masked.
Below is illustrated one possible step towards a congruent version.
incongruent Corporate profit outlook Shatters
Actor
Pr: material
Congruent Expectations/Forecasts for more corporate
(a)
profit
This is one Carrier
possible
version
hopes for rebound in the economy
Carrier

rebound hopes.
Goal
Are very low
Pr:
rel
Are
Pr:
rel

and
therefore

Attribute
Broken
Attribute

In the above version we have unpacked the NGs a bit, but we still have inanimate Carriers. One
further step is taken below in order to attempt to uncover human agency.
Congruent: Economists predict
(b)
Unmasking Senser
Pr: mental
Agency
People/economists
Senser

such little corporate profit

that

Phenomenon (fact)
doubt
that the economy will recover
Pr:
with projected clause
mental

In version (b) such little corporate profit may be considered a fact in that we could hypothesize
that the economists predict the fact that, or that it is the case that, there will be very little
corporate profit.

84

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp. 166-167 for a parallel transitivity analysis for metaphorical forms (congruent
and incongruent forms); or in Thompson 2004, pp. 224-225

Notes
Key Points

Questions for Class

85

CHAPTER 8
APPRAISAL SYSTEMS

Many words we choose to describe something or someone convey a positive or


negative attitude: a lousy movie or a great movie. We can say That was a lucky goal or That
was an incredible goal, according to our position towards the team who scored or to how we want
to position ourselves and also the listener or reader of our text. We have looked at Mood and
Modality and the systems of modalization and modulation. However, Mood and Modality, together
with attitudinal lexis have been recently remodelled in terms of what Martin (2000) calls APPRAISAL
SYSTEMS. Appraisal is a way speakers/writers express evaluation and also try to affect the reaction
of the listener/reader. The APPRAISAL SYSTEM is too vast for comprehensive treatment within this
course-book. However, they are not to be omitted as they are fundamental to the ways
speakers/writers color their texts, enriching them with emotions and evaluations about who or what
they are talking about.
The definition of Appraisal: Appraisal theory is concerned with the linguistic resources for and
by which a text/speakers come to express, negotiate and naturalise inter-subjective and ultimately
ideological position. Within this broad scope, the theory is concerned more particularly with the
language of evaluation, attitude and emotion, thus, is concerned with those meanings which vary
the terms of speakers engagement with their utterances. It is an area of research in progress and
students can consult the website by Peter White to learn more about this exciting new field of study
(White www.grammatics.com/appraisal).
TASK FOR DISCUSSION: Read the following short text, An Alternative to Plastic, and underline
words you think reveal attitudes and feelings. Further on in our study of appraisal systems we will
try to see which appraisal systems are at work in this text.

An Alternative to Plastic
Italians have managed to make a revolutionary new material that should replace plastic.
Environmentalists argue that we desperately need to find eco-friendly alternatives to
plastic packages. Every year we produce and throw away huge amounts of plastic
packaging. Greens despise plastic waste with particular passion.
Italian Daily Nov. 15, 2002

8.1 Attitude: Affect, Judgement and Appreciation


Appraisal, as you know, is concerned with evaluation, as said above: it is concerned with the
kinds of attitudes that are negotiated in a text and the strength of the feelings involved (Martin and
Rose 2003: 22). The APPRAISAL SYSTEM is divided into three systems: the main system, introduced
in the first year course-book, is Attitude, plus there are two attendant systems, Graduation, and
86

Engagement (for Graduation and Engagement See Sec. 8.2). Attitude concerns the values by
which speakers/writers evaluate human behavior and objects and associate emotional/affectual
responses with participants and processes. Attitudes have to do evaluating things, people's
character and their feelings (Martin and Rose 2003: 22). These evaluations can be intensified (see
Graduation) and they may be made, as the authors explain, directly in a text or only implicitly (see
explicit and implicit appraisal). They can also be negative or positive. Attitude is composed of
three systems: Affect, Judgement and Appreciation. The core system is Affect, which has to do with
the set of resources typically employed to construe the positive and negative emotional responses
and dispositions of human beings. Martin and Rose define Affect as resources for expressing
feelings, Judgement as resources for judging character, and Appreciation as resources for
valuing the worth of things (2003: 24).
Figure 1 illustrates Affect as the core system from which Judgement and Appreciation are
institutionalized, as it were.

E thics/m orality (ru les and regu lations)

Jud gem en t

A ffect
A p preciation
A esthetics/value (criteria an d assessm ent)

From M artin, 2000: 147

Fig .1. Affect, Judgement and Appreciation

The other systems involved, which will be discussed later, (Engagement and Graduation), regard
the positioning of the speaker/writer (Engagement) and the strengthening and weakening of
attitudes (Graduation). For now we will be looking at the system of Attitude: Affect, Judgement and
Appreciation. We must keep in mind that these systems (the three sub-categories of the ATTITUDE
SYSTEM, but also the attendant systems of Graduation and Engagement) can and often do work
simultaneously. When we express feelings and attitudes we often use more than one system. One
word may be part of more than one system and in a text various systems are often at work to create
general patterns of appraisal. Again, as explained by Martin and Rose, Appraisal resources are
used to establish the tone or mood of a passage of discourse (2003: 54). The choices made by the
speaker/writer form patterns running through the text and construct the stance or voice of the
appraiser (2003: 54). In this section, we will limit ourselves to the study of the systems, while
discourse semantic patterns of appraisal in a text will be dealt within the third year course.
Below is a figure illustrating the ATTITUDE SYSTEM and its three systems: Affect, Judgement and
Appreciation.

87

Peoples feelings
AFFECT

Peoples character and behavior


JUDGEMENT

Appraisal

ATTITUDE
APPRECIATION

Value of things and phenomena

Fig .2 Figure based on by Martin and Rose 2003: 54

AFFECT: RESOURCES FOR EXPRESSING


FEELINGS
Affect encompasses ways of construing emotions such as happiness, sadness,
fear, desire, confidence, and trust. This can be done with Epithets and Classifiers, such as happy,
glad, worried, etc.; with circumstances such as proudly, freely, passionately; with Processes, such
as vow, suspect, claim, etc., and with Things such as those denoting the categories themselves (e.g.,
happiness or fear).
Three main groups of emotions are accounted for by Affect, and they are described respectively by
the following three basic variables:
un/happiness (Ex. - They were happy/sad);
in/security (Ex. - They were sure/unsure);
dis/satisfaction (Ex. - They were interested/bored).
So, we can say that with Affect we are dealing with feelings. Speakers can have good feelings
or bad feelings , that is, ones feelings can be positive or negative.

Affect: Postitive/negative and grading

Construed feelings can be culturally positive, such as like, trust, adore, or negative, such as hate
or despise. Furthermore, feelings can be graded along a scale of intensity (Martin and Rose 2003:
37); that is, emotions are expressed in lexicalisations that run along a scale. We can feel strongly
about something and less strongly about something else. The resources available to speakers to
express the degree to which they feel about something or someone are referred to as GRADUATION
and will be discussed in further detail in Section 8.2 below. In Example (1) below, like, trust, and
adore are instances of positive Affect and hate is an instance of negative Affect. (Like would be
low grading and adore would be high grading.)
Example 1. We like and trust her; but I would hate her as a boss, though Dave adores her. (Affect)
Lets now look at the feelings expressed in the dialogue between Tony Soprano and his
psychotherapist during a therapy session (adapted from television series, episode 7 and episode 2
first season, 1999), in which Tony expresses his feelings about his mother and father.
88

TASK 1: Underline four words in this dialogue you think are indicative of his feelings and label
them as negative or positive.
Psychotherapist: How do you and your father get along?
Tony: Good, he was a good guy, my father. Everybody liked him. He loved shellfish, clams,
oysters took us to the best restaurants and taught us kids how to eat them
Psychotherapist: We were talking last time about how you felt when you became aware of your
father's criminal life. Do you have any more thoughts on that?
Tony: I was proud to be Johnny Soprano's kid. He was tough, a great man.. a great father. I really
loved him. Maybe a bit violent, a little wild sometimes. But everybody respected him.
Psychotherapist: And your mother?
Tony: She was high-strung, my mother, very moody.
Psychotherapist: Your mother is clearly someone who has great difficulty in maintaining a
relationship with anyone.
Tony: Hey, she's a good woman. She put food on the table everyday. I'm the ungrateful _ _ _
because I come here and complain about her.
TASK 2: Which of the following are examples of negative or positive Affect? To which category
of emotions do each of them belong?
Enjoy
Disappointed
Anxious
Miserable
Confident
Bored
TASK 3: For every word labelled in TASK 2 as positive Affect, give an example (with one or
more words) of what would be an example of negative Affect. For example. Happy - positive / Sad
- negative. For every word in TASK 2 labelled as negative Affect, give an example of positive
Affect.

JUDGEMENT: RESOURCES FOR EVALUATING


CHARACTER AND BEHAVIOR

Judgement is defined as the institutionalisation of feeling regarding norms about how people
should and shouldnt behave (Martin and Rose 2003: 62, my emphasis). Judgement regards
those attitudes or evaluations speakers make regarding character and human behavior. Also
Judgement too can be positive or negative and can be expressed explicitly or implicitly. By explicit
appraisal, we mean that there is something/someone in the text which is clearly being appraised
(the appraisee) and someone doing the appraising, the appraiser. Example (2) below is an
example of negative Judgement. He is the appraiser and the banks is the appraisee. Explicit
and implicit appraisal will be discussed in greater detail later in this section.
Example 2. He accused the banks of being a bit greedy. (Judgement)

89

Furthermore, judgements made about behavior have been divided into two groups: judgements
regarding social esteem (linked to admiration and criticism) and social sanction (linked to the
concept of legality and behavior that is culturally valued as proper or ethical). These two groups
(social esteem and social sanction) will also be discussed in further detail later.
TASK 4: Now, look again at the conversation between Tony and his psychotherapist above.
Identify instances of Judgement, evaluations about character and behavior. Label them as positive
or negative. Identify the appraisee.
TASK 5: Label each of the three words below as positive or negative Judgement. For every word
labelled as positive Judgement, give an example of negative Judgement. For every word labelled
as negative Judgement, give an example of positive Judgement.
a) liar
b) innocent c) crazy

Judgement: Social esteem and social sanction

Judgement, expressions of feelings regarding how people should and shouldn't behave,
falls into two categories: social esteem and social sanction.
Social esteem, according to Martin and Rose (2003), would include judgements of
normality (linked to usuality), capacity (linked to ability) and tenacity (linked to
inclination), for instance being lucky, capable, and dependable. It involves admiration and
criticism. But as with all meaning-making, these too depend on cultural beliefs and values.
For example, an unusual or bizarre behavior may be considered criticism, while an
unusual or bizarre designer may be considered admiration.
Social sanction has two categories: (i) ethics or propriety (linked to obligation), for
instance, integrity, and (ii) veracity or honesty (linked to probability). It involves praise
and condemnation; for example, a fair teacher could be considered an example of praise and
an insincere politician could be considered an example of condemnation.
As with all categories of appraisal, all word classes can construe evaluation. So then,
Judgement can be expressed with Epithets and Classifiers, such as proper, fair, just,
justified, etc., with Things, such as integrity, bigotry, racism, with Processes, such as to
safeguard, to look after, to terrorize, and with circumstances such as, rightly, fairly,
wrongly.
TASK 6: What categories of Judgement is construed by innocent and crazy?
Below is a summary table of the categories of Judgement with examples.
Social sanction
ethics (linked to obligation): The Supreme Court judges safeguard the peoples interests.
veracity (linked to probability): She is an honest woman and would never deceive us.
Social esteem
normality (linked to usuality): He is usually late.
capacity (linked to ability): He is incapable of being punctual.
Tenacity (linked to inclination): He refuses to buy a watch.

Tip:

90

Martin and Rose say that when we talk about social sanction, you might need to see a lawyer if
you have difficulties in this area, while if you have problems in the area of social esteem, you
may need a therapist (2003: 62)
TASK 7: Do Tony Sopranos judgements of his father and his mother involve social esteem or
social sanction? Why? How do you account for this? Think of the Context of Situation determining
the interpersonal meanings realized in the JUDGEMENT SYSTEM.
Before going on to the next system, Appreciation, another word should be spent on how culturebound speaker appraisal is. Being tough is interpreted as positive appraisal in Tony Sopranos
context of culture, but not necessarily positive in another culture. Another example of culturespecificity can be seen in AAVE (African American Vernacular English), where bad is often an
example of positive appraisal. It is defined as Good, excellent, great, fine and powerful, tough,
aggressive and fearless -- all positive appraisal in African American culture. (Smitherman 1994:
52)

APPRECIATION: RESOURCES FOR VALUING


THE WORTH OF THINGS AND PHENOMENA
Appreciation is the institutionalization of feelings about how things and phenomena (objects,
products, and performances) are valued according to social values and conventions, for example: a
high quality product, an elegant dress, an innovative program'. These evaluations involve also
assessments of states of affairs - in contrast with Judgement which involves human behavior. Once
again, Appreciation too can be expressed with Epithets and Classifiers, such as new and bestseller. As with all types of appraisal, we also have positive and negative Appreciation. Examples
(3) and (4) are examples of Appreciation.
Example 3. Each car is unique and perfect. (Appreciation: Positive).
Example 4. The film was boring and unimaginative. (Appreciation:: Negative).
Appreciation falls into three categories: reaction, composition and valuation. Reaction is
concerned with the kind of reaction the appraised activates; composition is concerned with how the
appraised is composed; and valuation is concerned with the social significance of the appraised
(White 2001: 2).
Reaction and composition are further divided into two types. First we will look at the two types
of reaction: (i) reaction: impact, which has to do with the attention the appraised captures and (ii)
reaction: quality, which has to do with the emotional impact the appraised has on us. Martin and
Rose (2003: 63) give some examples of these two types:

reaction: impact
[notability]
did it capture my
attention?
reaction: quality
[likeability] did I like it?

Positive
captivating, involving, engaging,
striking, interesting,
fascinating, exciting, moving,
remarkable, notable, dramatic,
intense
lovely, beautiful, splendid,
pleasing, delightful

Table 1: Reaction, based on Martin and Rose 2003: 63

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Negative
dull, boring, tedious
dry, uninviting,
unremarkable, monotonous
ugly, repulsive, revolting,
irritating, weird

Composition, which is concerned with the form of the appraised, is divided into the following
two types: (i) composition: balance, which has to do with our perceptions of proportionality and
(ii) composition: complexity, which has to do with detail (Martin and Rose 2003: 64). Examples
of these two types are illustrated in the table below.

composition: [balance]
composition:
[complexity]
valuation: [social
significance]

Positive
balanced, harmonious, unified

Negative
unbalanced, disorganized,
incomplete

intricate, rich, detailed, clear,


precise
significant, profound, innovative,
original, useful, fruitful,

extravagant, puzzling,
simplistic,,,
shallow, insignificant,
unsatisfying, useless

Table 2: Composition and Social Significance, based on Martin and Rose 2003: 63

Valuation, differently from reaction and composition, is more concerned more with social values
than with aesthetic principles. It has to do with our assessment of social significance (Martin and
Rose 2003: 64). In this course, we will refer to valuation as Social Significance, as the two terms,
in appraisal analysis, are considered synonymous. Examples of social significance are illustrated in
the table above.
TASK 8: In which of the categories (and their sub-categories) do the following belong to?
Reaction, composition, or valuation?
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)

Fine white sandy beaches await you in Sardinia.


A five-star hotel, first-class service, reliable car
Catastrophic changes came about due to the meteor.
This revolutionary material will cut down on pollution.
His victory was remarkable and impressive.
The cuisine in Altrani is plain and tasty.

TASK 9: Look again at the same dialogue between Tony and his psychotherapist (page 89) and
identify an example of Appreciation.
TASK 10: Appraisal analysis is not simply a question of identifying what appraisal system is being
construed by a word out of context. Nor is it a question of identifying positive or negative appraisal
without taking into consideration the co-text and context. In this exercise, write a sentence for each
word and on the basis of your text, decide if the word is negative or positive Appreciation. Then,
for every sentence you have written labelled as positive Appreciation: give an example of a word/s
that would be an example of negative Appreciation:. Example: polluted: The polluted river hasnt
got any more fish. polluted: negative Appreciation. Positive: clean, unpolluted.
worst
elegant

dull
original

Before concluding this section on Appreciation, it is important to keep in mind that more than one
can be at work at the same time. In fact, if we go back to the examples of
Judgement in the dialogue on page 87, we see that moody was included. However, moody
APPRAISAL SYSTEM

92

could also be considered an example of Appreciation: a negative quality: unlikeability. Overlaps


of Judgement with Appreciation is typical as a person can be objectified and be treated more like an
object than a behaving person. In this case, the assessment is not directly concerned with the
evaluation of the persons behavior, but with the reaction the behavior provokes.
TASK 11: Write about 4 lines describing a person you know and use examples of the three
systems of Attitude: Affect, Judgement and Appreciation. Label the kind of appraisal system used
and think about whether you used mainly positive or negative Attitude. (No key)

explicit /inscribed appraisal

As we have said in the introduction to APPRAISAL SYSTEMS, appraisal can be either explicit or
implicit in a text. Explicit, or inscribed, appraisal needs a clear, overt, or at least recoverable
appraiser (someone who does the appraising) and appraisee or appraised (someone or something
that is appraised). In the dialogue between Tony Soprano and his psychotherapist, page 87, we can
consider Everybody liked him and everybody respected him as examples of explicit appraisal.
With inscribed/explicit appraisal, things are being explicitly appraised and people are explicitly
doing the appraisal, as also illustrated in Example (5) below.
5. We are depressed that our friend is in the hospital.

implicit /evoked appraisal

Even when there is no clear appraiser and appraisee or explicit marker of appraisal in the text,
we can still reason in terms of evoked or implicit appraisal. This means that the ideational
meanings have an emotional/evaluative impact or raise an emotional/evaluative response without
having an explicit appraiser and appraisee (or explicit marker of appraisal in the text). In the
dialogue between Tony Soprano and his psychotherapist, page 89, we can consider the utterance,
She put food on the table everyday, an example of implicit, evoked appraisal. We can argue that the
culture attributes appraisal to the proposition Tony makes about his mother, as it means that she was
being a good homemaker; and his culture puts positive value on that kind of behavior. When we
have examples of implicit/evoked appraisal, we say that the proposition is a token of appraisal.
Of course the co-text contributes unmistakably to this reading as the preceding assertion was
explicit positive Judgement of his mother as a good woman and the following one was a negative
Judgement on himself for complaining about her. We can see from this example that implicit
appraisal arises from propositions, rather than from single words.
6. The women were rudely smoking in the library. (explicit)
7. The women were smoking in the library. (implicit)
Examples (6) and (7) above are further illustrations of these two kinds of appraisal: explicit
(inscribed) appraisal (through the word rudely) and implicit (evoked) appraisal (due to the cultural
negative view towards smoking in a library, which is not only inappropriate, but in many places
illegal). When a word or wordings do not directly construe appraisal, but imply, as in this case of
Affect, an emotional response on the part of the writer and/or make an emotional impact on the
reader, these words/wordings are tokens of appraisal.
NOTE: Summing up, we see that all the
realized explicitly or implicitly.

ATTITUDE SYSTEMS

93

can be positive or negative and be

8.2. Attendant APPRAISAL SYSTEMS


We will now look at the two other APPRAISAL SYSTEMS: GRADUATION and
ENGAGEMENT. They are called attendant, as they often co-occur with any of the subsystems of the
ATTITUDE SYSTEM.

GRADUATION: AMPLIFYING ATTITUDES

Let us return to Martin and Roses definition given in the preceding section: Attitudes have to
do with evaluating things, peoples character and their feelings (Martin and Rose: 22). Keep in
mind that these evaluations can be intensified: attitudes are often a question of degree: they can be
gradable, as can also be the worth attributed to things and judgements of character. GRADUATION
can be considered, therefore, a set of resources for the strengthening and weakening of feelings and
attitudes, the intensifying of attitudes we have about someone or something. Martin and Rose refer
to Graduation as resources for adjusting the volume of gradable items (2003: 41); authors Butt
et. al. say that perhaps the most accessible appraisal motifs are lexical systems of Graduation
(amplification), where the volume of a lexical item is turned up or down in positive or negative
appraisal (Butt et. al. 2000: 121). There are two kinds of amplifying: we can strengthen or
weaken the degree of evaluation (FORCE) or we can sharpen or soften a Thing or the quality of the
Thing we are talking about (FOCUS). Thus, we can think of Graduation as Force and Focus. We
will now look at these two kinds of amplification.

FORCE

Martin and Rose explain Graduation as the amplification of the force of attitudes (2003: 37-38).
We can amplify the force of attitudes with words such as really or very, as in the following example:
He was very tough. We can also minimize the intensity of attitudes with words such as merely or
slightly, as in the example: She is slightly high-strung. We can also raise
or lower the force
through lexical choices, as shown by the attitudinal lexis in italics in the following three examples:

1. Your essay was good.


fine, excellent, outstanding
2. It was an unhappy day when the news arrived. sad, sorrowful, wretched
3. Her dress was gorgeous. beautiful, attractive, nice
Besides the use of attitudinal lexis, such as adore in example (4) below, also comparison can be
used to amplify the force of attitudes: . i.e. we can refer to degrees of quality and of worth of things
by making comparisons using better, best, worse, worst etc.
4. I adore you sweetheart. Ill give you the best money can buy!
Recognizing intensifiers, such as very, really, extremely, and fairly, may not present too many
difficulties for students looking at appraisal in a text; but the resources of this system also require
94

the acquisition of a wide and rich vocabulary. Example (5) below (from Butt et.al. 2000:121)
illustrates not degrees of similar meanings, as in the three examples above, but how different values,
or connotations, are attached to the lexical choices we make.
5. He walked into the room./ He strolled into the room. / He shuffled into the room.
Walk is more neutral as regards the construing of values, while stroll has a connotation of a
relaxed way of walking, thus typically positive appraisal (unless in the context of situation or cotext there is reason to think that he should NOT have been so relaxed); shuffle , on the other hand,
has connotations of laziness, or slovenliness, and thus it is more negative than stroll.
TASK 12: Raise and lower the force of the following words.
funny
wonderful
a belief

FOCUS:

As already mentioned, Focus refers to the narrowing or broadening and/or sharpening or


blurring/softening of a Thing. In this case we are not turning up the volume (Martin and Rose
2003: 38). With the resources of Focus, we are dealing with non-gradable Things. We are, as
authors Butt et. al. explain, blurring the focus of the Thing we are talking about or sharpening it
(2000: 121) as in the following examples:
6. What do you do? Im sort of a consultant.
7. After reading that magazine, I know the real Brad Pitt!
Focus is, as said, not a question of grading, and therefore attempts to intensify these expressions
would be inappropriate: e.g. we dont say Im a very sort of a consultant. Other examples of
Focus are: a true friend , pure idiocy. Again, we dont say He is a very true friend or This
is very pure idiocy.

Examples of Graduation: Force and Focus

1. Our fuel significantly lessens CO2 emissions. (Graduation/Force)


2. Our research team is the key factor in our success. (Graduation/Focus)
TASK 13: In Example (6), I know the terribly real Brad Pitt would be inappropriate. In other
contexts terribly real might be used. Can you think of one?
TASK 14: Identify at least 3 instances of
Section 8.1.

GRADUATION

in the dialogue from The Sopranos in

ENGAGEMENT: POSITIONING SPEAKERS


VOICE

95

The ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM concerns speakers engagement with their utterances. Engagement
employs resources for positioning the speakers/authors voice with respect to the various
propositions and proposals conveyed by and invoked by a text (White 2001: 1). Here we are
concerned with who is making the evaluations; there may be many voices in a text or one single
voice, that of the author. In other words, the ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM can also be considered to
include resources for introducing other voices into the discourse. Two terms refer to ENGAGEMENT
and the stance of the writer/speaker: monogloss and heterogloss. The basic distinction between
these two is that monoglossic Engagement, as explained by White (2002: 2) is bare, undialogized
assertion; there is no acknowledgement of/engagement with alternative positions and voices. [It
is] typically associated with what is taken to be common/consensual knowledge or shared
belief/viewpoint thus occurs less frequently with attitudinal evaluation than with factual
descriptions (White P.P.R. 2002:2). Monogloss ignores diversity with other utterances, while
dialogic heterogloss does acknowledge in some way the diversity associated with other utterances
(Miller: 2004:44).

monogloss and heterogloss

By monogloss, then, we refer to monoglossic discourse, that is, when there is no


acknowledgement of/engagement with alternative positions and voices It is an unqualified
bare assertion (White P.P.R. 2002:2, my emphasis).
In heteroglossic discourse, the writer gives space for alternative standpoints. While the statement
Meteors destroyed the dinosaurs on earth is a bare assertion, and thus, an example of monogloss,
the statement, Some experts think that meteors destroyed the dinosaurs on earth acknowledges
other positions. In other words, some experts think that allows for the possibility that other
experts do not think so.
We will now look at heterogloss in more detail. White (2002: 3) distinguishes three levels of
analysis:
1. Who is the voice? Is the writer (the textual voice) the source of
the proposition or proposal or is the proposition/proposal
attributed to an external voice
2. Expansion/Contraction
a Expansion: to what degree are alternative positions and
voices entertained or considered
b Contraction: to what degree are alternative positions
and voices challenged or restricted
3. Alignment/Disalignment
a Alignment: the writer (the textual voice) agrees with or
supports an actual, potential or construed dialogic
partner
b Disalignment; the writer (the textual voice) disagrees
with or is at odds with an actual, potential or construed
dialogic partner
There are various forms in which Heteroglossic Engagement is expressed. For example,
in the following conversation between Tony and his psychotherapist, Dr. Melfi, we can
see an example of Expansion and Contraction.
Tony: I think my mother has problems relating to other people.
Dr. Melfi: Of course she has difficulty in maintaining relationships with others.
96

I think expresses the consideration of a possible alternative voice (Expansion) and Of


course expresses the rejection of other voices (Contraction).
The discussion that follows is concerned with Contraction and Expansion. Figure 3 illustrates the
resources of Engagement that will now be discussed. Students will be required to recognize
heteroglossic and monoglossic discourse, but the finer analysis of the sub-categories of Contraction
and Expansion are beyond the scope of this course and consequently will not be tested.

Dialogic Contraction includes resources for (i) disclaiming and (ii) proclaiming.

(i) Disclaiming means the writer introduces a position and then either rejects it, replaces it, or
dismisses it as irrelevant (White 2002:3). An example of disclaiming is: Hes a really nice
man, but hes a bit dull.. Disclaiming, as you can see from the figure above, includes (a)
denying (negation) and (b) countering.
(a) with denial, the writer introduces a position and then rejects it, as in this example:
There were many signs that inflation would decrease, but it failed to do so.
(b) with countering, the writer invokes an alternative proposition but then indicates that
it does not apply (White 2002: 4). This can be achieved by using a Comment Adjunct, such
as suprisingly in the above table. In the example, Surprisingly, all the students came to
class, the writer, with a Comment Adjunct, introduces an expected proposition, not all the
students would come to class, and then shows that it is untrue.
contract

disclaim

Deny: no, he failed to


Counter: yet, although, surprisingly,
Concur: of course, natually
Pronunce: I contend that, indeed
Endorse: experts have demonstrated
that

proclaim

This may/must, I think, perhaps,


probably, in my view, it appears ..

entertain

expand

Acknowledge: The author argues


that
attribute
Distance: The author claims to have
shown that

Figure 3: resources of Engagement, White 2002: 10

97

(ii) Proclaiming means the writer represents a proposition as valid or plausible, and rules out
alternative positions (White 2002: 2), using words such as:
(a) naturally, of course, and obviously ( to concur)
(b) there can be no doubt that and the truth of the matter is (to pronounce)
(c) Mr. X has demonstrated that (to endorse)

Dialogic Expansion includes those resources for (i) entertaining and (ii) attributing
a proposition.

(i) Entertaining means the writer represents the proposition as one of a range of possible
positions (White 2002: 2). White gives some examples of Entertaining words: it seems, the
evidence suggests, apparently, and I hear.
(ii) Attributing means the writer represents the proposition as one of a range of possible
positions but through an external voice, such as Mr. X said, Mr. X believes, according to Mr.
X, Mr. X claims, and it is rumoured that.
Tonys monologue below illustrates further examples of Expansion and Contraction. In this
monologue, Tony is thinking to himself about what his psychotherapist told him about his mother:
Hmm, Dr. Melfi says my mother has difficulties relating
to other people.(i) Indeed Mom always had problems
socially.(ii) My doctor is smart, of course.(iii) Well, I
think she must be right this time. too.(iv)

In (i) an external voice is expressed that of the therapist. In (ii) indeed expresses Contraction. In
(iii) of course expresses Contraction. In (iv) I think and must express Expansion. Tony begins his
thinking with a proposition that has an external source the therapists. Then he rejects or restricts
alternative voices and ends by considering, entertaining, the proposition, the doctor is right.
Note: If, in the above monologue, Tony thought, My doctor is smart, but shes not infallible., he
would be first introducing a proposition and then rejecting it with but. In this case, but shes not
infallible would be a further example of Contraction (disclaiming: denial)
Tip
Notice that Engagement can be realized with modality resources such as Modal Adjuncts, (of
course, naturally, clearly, only, etc.), Modal Finite Operators (must, may, etc.), and Interpersonal
Metaphors (I think, I guess etc.). It can be realized, as Martin and Rose point out, by expressing
degrees of obligation, probability, and by the choice speakers make from the cline of POLARITY
(2003: 48-50). For a fuller discussion of Engagement, see White 2003a. The complete lack of
these resources would suggest monoglossic Engagement.
Examples (7) and (8) below are illustrations of monoglossic and heteroglossic Engagement
respectively.
7. The Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, will raise rates at the next meeting on May 4
and rates will move higher by the end of the summer. (based on IHT April 2004)
98

8. Most economists claim the Fed will not raise rates at its next meeting on May 4, but many
believe rates will move higher by the end of the summer.
Example (7) presents the formulation as non-negotiable, unarguable. In Example (8), on the
other hand, the proposition is presented as only one of a range of possible positions. (It is an
example of heteroglossic Expansion, attributing alternative positions Most economists claim and
many believe) Basically every utterance is potentially heteroglossic. Some are so by explicitly
acknowledging other points of view. Indeed, Monoglossic bold and bare assertions are rare and
often hedged even in scientific writing.

Further examples of monoglossic and heteroglossic Engagement:

1. Malnutrition is an important global concern. (Monoglossic Engagement)


2. The so-called culprit was a virus called WSZbigbug. exe. (Heteroglossic Engagement)
TASK 15: Which of the following is monoglossic?
a. He allegedly killed them.
b. He killed them
TASK 16: Which of the following is true of statements (i) and (ii)?
(i) Technology has made it easy. Images of well-known attractions can be quickly downloaded and
sent with a message to multiple recipients.
(ii) I believe that writing postcards in a romantic Florentine caf or a Beijing teahouse is unbeatable,
but sending photos with your phone is certainly irresistible.
A) statement (i) is monoglossic and statement (ii) is heteroglossic
B) statement (i) is heteroglossic and statement (ii) is monoglossic
C) statement (i) and statement (ii) are both heteroglossic
D) statement (i) and statement (ii) are both monoglossic
TASK 17: Find instances of ENGAGEMENT in the dialogue from The Sopranos in Sec. 8.1?
TASK 18: Which Appraisal System/s is/are being construed in the word/s in italics in the
following examples?
1. I am grateful for the sense of unity shown in Congress.
A) Judgement B) Graduation
C) Appreciation
D)Affect
2. One of the best sites for film aficionados is www.imdb.com.
A) Appreciation & Graduation: Force C) Appreciation
B) Affect & Judgement
D) Judgement & Graduation: Force
TASK 19: read the text An Alternative to Plastic again and answer the questions below.
An Alternative to Plastic
Italians have managed to make a revolutionary new material that should replace plastic.
Environmentalists argue that we desperately need to find eco-friendly alternatives to
plastic packages. Every year we produce and throw away huge amounts of plastic
packaging. Greens despise plastic waste with particular passion.
Italian Daily Nov. 15, 2002

99

What APPRAISAL SYSTEM is being construed with the words revolutionary and new material?
A) Judgement B) Appreciation C) Engagement
What APPRAISAL SYSTEM/S is/are construed with the word despise?
A) Judgement
B) Graduation: Focus C) Affect
What APPRAISAL SYSTEM is construed with the word huge?
A) Affect
B) Judgement C) Graduation: force

8.3 Summary and Exercises


Figures 4 and 5 illustrate the framework of the APPRAISAL SYSTEMS. Keep in mind that we can
use resources of more than one system simultaneously and that all appraisal is culturally rooted.

monogloss
contraction
ENGAGEMENT

heterogloss
expansion

AFFECT
JUDGEMENT
APPRAISAL
SYSTEM

ATTITUDE
APPRECIATION

FORCE

GRADUATION

FOCUS

Figure 4: adapted from Appraisal systems: an overview, Martin and Rose 2003: 54

100

Below are some examples of wordings by which speakers can construe appraisal; but, as already
pointed out, co-text and context of situation and context of culture are vital in reading and
understanding how appraisal is being construed.6
AFFECT - emotional response to phenomena
Epithets/Classifiers: happy, glad, impressed, worried
Processes: vow, claim, suspect Circumstances: proudly, strongly, passionately Things (as in the
abstract categories of emotions, e.g.: happiness, displeasure, fear, etc.)
JUDGEMENT
a)Social sanction
ethics (linked to obligation)
Epithets/Classifiers: right, proper, fair, just, sacred, wrong
Things: democracy, racism, bigotry, integrity, legitimacy
Processes: to safeguard the nations interests, to look after the people of this country
Circumstances: correctly, fairly, rightly

feelings

Un/happiness
In/security
Dis/satisfaction

peoples
behavior

Reaction

Compostion
value of
things

Valuation (Social
Signficance)

Figure 5: analyzing the APPRAISAL SYSTEM in detail, adapted from Ramona Tang 2002

veracity (linked to probability)

Examples , except for those of Appreciation and Engagement, are taken from Ways of meaning 'yea' and 'nay' in
parliamentary debate as register: towards a cost-benefit analysis, by Prof. D. Miller, 2002

101

Epithets/Classifiers: real, frank, true, false


Things: facts, myth, illusion
Processes: deceive, enlighten
Circumstances: honestly, frankly, openly
b) Social esteem
normality (linked to usuality )
Epithets/Classifiers: expected, normal, usual
Things: common practice
Circumstances: frequently, always, forever, traditionally, normally
capacity (linked to ability)
Epithets/Classifiers: as in an effective European Europe, incapable of responding to the British
people
Circumstances: as in We try weakly, stupidly, and ineffectively to.
Tenacity (linked to inclination)
Processes: refuse, defy, surrender, defend
Things: as in the willingness to co-operate, the resolve of the nation
APPRECIATION - appreciation of objects, products, and phenomena
Reaction (linked to impact: notability): as in He gave a moving speech after his defeat., The
World Atlas of Wine is an outstanding reference for all wine-lovers.
Reaction (linked to quality: likeability): as in The color of the red wine was a beautiful dark,
purple/red., The taste of the white wine was flat.
Composition (linked to balance): as in The taste of the white wine was unbalanced, but the
red was very smooth
Composition (linked to complexity): as in His arguments are confused and superficial
Social Significance (Valuation): as in This revolutionary discovery will be very useful for
future medical care. This discovery is of crucial significance.
ENGAGEMENT - positioning of voices
a) contraction:
disclaiming as in He denied the fact that the GM potato would solve the problem
proclaiming as in The truth of the matter is the GM potato will not solve the problem of
malnutrition.
b) expansion:
attributing as in Mr. Sharma claimed that the GM potato will not solve the problem of
malnutrition.
entertaining as in The GM potato may solve the problem of malnutrition.
GRADUATION
a) Force: raising or lowering intensity:
I am absolutely unequivocally convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that(explicitly)
I was horrified by his reaction. (rather than disturbed) (implicitly)
b) Focus: sharpening or softening, narrowing or broadening:
To sharpen: dire warnings; major historical significance; key facts

102

AN ANALYSIS OF APPRAISAL IN WINERY


ADVERTISEMENTS7
What do you do with a wine that's won gold medals for years?
You ask wine lovers what they really love in a wine and you craft it.
If you're a winemaker, you make it even better.
A Glen Ellen that's fuller, smoother and better balanced than ever before.
Discussion: Although functioning in a de-lexicalized NG, the gold in gold medals is an
explicit sign of Appreciation (social esteem) of the object medals , gold having great social value
and medals themselves indicate social significance. A gold medal is, of course, a symbol for the
highest achievement and thus the whole proposition here in the heading is an implicit Judgement of
the winemakers capacity. For years tokens (is an implicit construal of) positive Judgement of the
winemaker as tenacious and dependable. Full, 'smooth and balanced are all positive
Appreciation: Reaction: Quality values for a wine. The comparative forms intensify this value and
is are thus instances of Graduation: Force. As for What they really love, love is a feeling which
in another context could be less intense semantically than a stronger verb such as adore, but here it
really increases the force of the verb and thus is an example of Graduation.

GINA GALLO
Third-Generation Family Winemaker
IN Sonoma, California, premier wine growing region,
Gina makes wines that are earning international awards
like these:

1998 WINERY OF THE YEAR


1999 PRIX D'EXCELLENCE
GALLO of SONOMA
SONOMA COUNTY CHARDONNAY

These two advertisements are part of a corpus collected for a dissertation entitled, La Lessicogrammatica del
linguaggio vitivinicolo: unanalisi funzionale, presented by Chiara Coffele, thesis supervisor, D.R. Miller, co-advisor,
M. Lipson, A.A. 2000-2001. The analysis here presented reflects the more recent progress in appraisal research.

103

Discussion: Third Generation Family Winemaker is an example of a token of Judgement of


behavior (social esteem) reflecting tenacity/dependability and normality (tradition). Premier wine
growing region - Appreciation: Reaction: Quality of region; in the U.S. consensual paradigm,
earn implies: Judgment (social esteem: capacity and tenacity); International Awards construes
explicit Appreciation (social significance) and implies Judgment (Capacity: social esteem on the
maker).
TASK 20: Analyze the following texts in terms of APPRAISAL SYSTEMS (the appraisers and
appraised and appraisees, negative/positive, inscribed/evoked and degree.).
1. Bush vows tough fight against corporate fraud (Headline in IHT July 10, 2002)
2.
SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 63%
Subscribe now and youll pay just 35 Euros a saving of 3%! Your copy will be hand
delivered early each morning to your home or office.
(advertisement for IHT subscription in IHT)
3.Tony Blairs grandiose foreign policy aims are an irrelevant distraction when his own country is
in a state of collapse. (Daily Mail, Saturday, February 23, 2002)
4. FINDING THE SHOPS IN FLORENCE (IHT September 20, 2002)
Procacci, an extraordinary 19th century store that sells gourmet products
such a Fauchon pats, offers the best mignon truffle sandwiches you will
ever taste. Travelers driving in and out of the highway entrance will love
to taste one of the best coffees in town at Piansa. Pampaloni is a beautiful
store off of Piazzsa Santa Trinit. Especially interesting and unique are the
Bicchierografia, glasses glazed in silver, originally designed in the 17th
century and reproduced with exceptional craftsmanship.

As we had seen in Chapter 5, the study of Mood and Modality in the clause helps us understand
how people make meanings about interpersonal dimensions such as power or solidarity in
relationships, their status and social roles, and their attitudes and judgements. Mood (Modal and
Comment Adjuncts and vocatives are important in communicating (inter)subjective attitudes and
relationships. APPRAISAL SYSTEMS, the semantic resources used to negotiate emotions, judgements
and valuations, are another important resource by which writers/ speakers position themselves and
also readers/hearers to what is said.

TASK 21: TEXTS FOR APPRAISAL ANALYSIS


Text 1.
Mr. Levin told reporters, I think the war against terrorism has got to be fought by countries
who really realize that its in everybodys interest to go after terrorism. I think we may be
able to find a place where we are much more welcome openly, a place which has not seen
104

significant resources flowing to support extreme fanatic views. I greatly respect Senator
Levin, but I am surprised by his statement, said Prince Bandar.
It is widely acknowledged, however, in military circles that the Pentagon would have a
hard time replacing a high-tech air operations center it opened last summer near Riyadh.
(IHT, Jan. 17, 2002)
Text 2. The text is from Gerot 1995: pg. 60. The analysis in the Key is provided by M. Lipson
LEXUS is now a badge people respect - no longer do they say Its the luxury car made by
Toyota - but BMW and Mercedes probably still have the status edge in the directors' car
park. But this new Lexus is as good as their best. It is better than its excellent predecessor,
and the only criticisms are the dull styling and that some fittings look as if they would go
better in a Camry. Never Mind. This Lexis is a class act.
Text 3.
One of the fastest growing plagues of the modern world is osteoarthritis. It is an ugly
disease. Its victims suffer from pain ranging from sporadic and mild to chronic and severe,
with nothing but the realization it will only get worse with the passing of time. A victim of
osteoarthritis can look forward to a life of medications to control the pain and progression of
their disease. But should they expect more than what mainstream medicine has to offer?
New research says these victims can.
The delightful evolvement in the last 30 years or so in the health care field is the new look
into old and more natural remedies. Remedies, which not only enhance mainstream
medicine, but which may actually work far better than drugs. Chondroitin sulfate is one fine
example of this new frontier. (adapted from Health magazine)

Keys
TASK 1:- liked, proud, loved all positive Affect
TASK 2: Enjoy (positive - un/happiness), Disappointed (negative - dis/satisfaction or negative un/happiness), Anxious (negative - in/security), Miserable (negative - un/happiness or negative
dis/satisfaction), Confident (positive in/security), Bored (negative dis/satisfaction)
TASK 3: suggested answers: enjoy dislike, disappointed very satisfied or pleasantly surprised,
anxious - serene, miserable extremely happy, confident unsure, bored - interested
TASK 4: good guy (father), tough (father), great man (father), great father, violent (father), wild
(father), ungrateful (Tony Soprano), high-strung (mother), moody (mother), and good woman
(mother)
TASK 5: keep in mind that appraisal is culture-bound and that consequently much of what we
consider positive or negative appraisal depends on western cultural values.
o liar = a liar = negative Judgement; to be honest = positive Judgement
o innocent = usually positive Judgement; corrupt or guilty = negative Judgement
o crazy = in terms of what is considered normal behavior in our society = negative
Judgement
TASK 6: Innocent - social sanction: morality. Innocence is a western cultural value; corruption
and dishonesty would be considered unethical. Crazy social esteem: negative normality. Again,
also in the analysis of crazy, the context of culture plays a fundamental role in attributing positive
or negative judgement.
TASK 7: Tony Sopranos judgements of his father and his mother involve social esteem more than
social sanction. The talk between the psychotherapist and Tony Soprano was focussed more on
105

Tonys feelings about his parents, focussing more on categories of self-esteem, such as his
admiration for his parents (or lack of), normality, and capacity, rather than on legal aspects of social
sanction, such as propriety or veracity. (See the tip on page 89)
TASK 8:
a) composition: balance
e) reaction: impact
b) reaction: quality
f) composition: complexity and reaction:
c) social significance
quality
d) social significance
TASK 9: best. One could also consider moody Appreciation, a negative quality: unlikeability.
Review of appraisal in The Sopranos
Attitude

Affect
liked, loved, proud
Judgement
good guy, tough, great father, violent, wild,
ungrateful, high-strung, moody, good woman
Appreciation
best (and also moody)

TASK 10: These are only suggestions. Students should review their own work in class.
Worst - That was the worst performance of Hair I have ever seen! Negative [best positive]
Elegant - He took me to the most elegant restaurant in Rome for my birthday. Positive [unattractive
- negative]
Dull - That performance was so dull, I fell asleep. Negative [exciting positive]
Original - She is a talented woman; her art work is very original. Positive [banal - negative]
TASK 12:
funny - hilarious
/ humorous
wonderful - spectacular
a belief a conviction

/ good
/ an opinion

TASK 13: Toxic waste is a terribly real issue today. The visual effects of the movie were so
effective, that the alien invasion seemed terribly real.
TASK 14. He loved shellfish, the best restaurants, He was tough, a great man, a great father, I
really loved him, a bit violent, a little wild, high strung (Am English: a person who becomes very
angry or emotional very quickly), very moody, and great difficulty. NOTE that in this dialogue
resources from more than one system can be used simultaneously.
TASK 15: monoglossic: b
TASK 16: A
TASK 17: maybe, clearly
TASK 18: D, A
TASK 19: B,C, C
TASK 20:
1. Bush vows tough fight against corporate fraud
vows - Affect [t positive] (and Graduation) implicitly high Force. Also note that we do not typically vow
something negative.
tough fight explicit positive Appreciation of fight: Social Significance (Valuation), implicit Judgement:
Tenacity, as our culture thinks we must be tough against fraud, corporate fraud - evoked [t- negative]
Judgement : impropriety, immoral behavior
2. SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 63%

106

Subscribe now and youll pay just 35 Euros a saving of 3%! Your copy will be hand
delivered early each morning to your home or office.
Save: evoked [t- positive] Judgement: Capacity, positive value of behavior in consumer culture,
Youll pay just : just - Graduation: Force
Also other implicit, evoked construal of appraisal is the hand-delivered early each morning to your
home or office - Appreciation: Impact: Quality of service [t positive]
3. Tony Blairs grandiose foreign policy aims - explicit Appreciation: Social Significance
(Valuation) - negative of foreign policy aims, as well as negative Judgement: Soccial Sanciton:
Impropriety explicitly construed by the whole proposition.

4. FINDING THE SHOPS IN

FLORENCE

Procacci, an extraordinary 19th century store that sells gourmet products such a
Fauchon pats, offers the best mignon truffle sandwiches you will ever taste.
Travelers driving in and out of the highway entrance will love to taste one of the
best coffees in town at Piansa. Pampaloni is a beautiful store off of Piazzas Santa
Trinit. Especially interesting and unique are the Bicchierografia, glasses glazed
in silver, originally designed in the 17th century and reproduced with exceptional
craftsmanship.
Extraordinary - explicit (inscribed) positive Appreciation: Impact: Notability and Graduation:
high Force (a possible low Force could be nice and a possible median one could be impressive).
(Since the text exudes a quality evaluation, one might also consider this Appreciation: (Reaction)
Impact: Quality
19th century - due to cultural value given to historic buildings and tradition, implicit (evoked)
Appreciation: Social Significance (Valuation)
Gourmet - explicit (inscribed) positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
best mignon truffles explicit (inscribed) positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality and
Graduation: high Force
Love - explicit (inscribed) positive Affect: Satisfaction + Graduation: median Force (possible low
option: like and possible high Force: adore)
best coffees - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality + Graduation: high Force
Beautiful explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality (this can be interpreted as Quality
[likeability] but also as Appreciation: Composition: balance for the well-formed architecture of the
building) + Graduation: median Force (possible low Force nice and possible high Force
stunning)
Especially interesting - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Impact and Graduation: Force
Unique - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Impact
glazed in silver- implicit (evoked) positive Appreciation: Composition: Complexity. Also, silver
is valued as a precious metal and thus it is also Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
17th century - as with the case of 19th century above, due to cultural value given to historic
buildings and tradition, implicit Appreciation: Social Significance (Valuation)
exceptional craftsmanship - explicit Appreciation: Reaction: Impact: Notability and implied
Judgement: Social Esteem, high degree Graduation: Force in exceptional (possible low option
noteworthy and possible median remarkable)

N.B. Texts 1 4 are examples of monoglossic Engagement


TASK 21 Texts for analysis
107

Text 1 instances of modality are in italics (implicit and explicit, interpersonal metaphor); words
belonging to APPRAISAL SYSTEMS are underlined with system in brackets.
Mr. Levin told reporters, I think the war against terrorism (explicit negative Appreciation: Social
Significance and evoked negative Judgement: Social Sanction) has got to be fought by countries
who really (Graduation: Force) realize that its in everybodys interest to go after terrorism (the
whole fact is explicit positive Judgement: Social Sanction: Propriety) I think we may be able to
find a place where we are much more (Graduation: Force) welcome openly (evoked Judgement:
Social Sanction: Propriety for those who are in the place which would welcome openly the U.S.
and not support terrorist views.), a place which has not seen significant (implicit Graduation:
Force) resources flowing to support extreme (Graduation: Force) fanatic (inscribed negative
Judgement: Social Sanction: Propriety) views. I greatly respect (explicit positive Affect:
Satisfaction and Graduation: Force) Senator Levin, but I am surprised (inscribed Affect:
Disatisfaction and Heteroglossic Engagement: Disclaim) by his statement. said Prince Bandar.
It is widely acknowledged (Heteroglossic Engagement: Expansion) however, in military circles
that the Pentagon would have a hard time replacing a high-tech (implicit Appreciation: Reaction:
Quality) air operations center it opened last summer near Riyadh. (IHT, Jan. 17, 2002)
Text 2 - analysis is below the text.
LEXUS is now a badge people respect - no longer do they say It's the luxury car made by
Toyota - but BMW and Mercedes probably still have the status edge in the directors car park.
But this new Lexus is as good as their best. It is better than its excellent predecessor, and the only
criticisms are the dull styling and that some fittings look as if they would go better in a Camry.
Never Mind. This Lexis is a class act.
respect - explicit positive Affect: Satisfaction; a token of Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
luxury - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
probably and still- Engagement
BMW and Mercedes - positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
Status edge - explicit Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
Director - in the director's car park the whole proposition tokens positive Appreciation:
Reaction: Quality of BMW and Mercedes.
This new Lexus - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality, as new is always a positive
Epithet/Classifier in Western Consumer culture
As good as their best - explicit Appreciatio: Reaction: Quality and Graduation: high Force
excellent - explicit positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality and implied scaling Graduation:
high Force (rather than good as an option of low Force or very good as high Force)
only - Engagement: Contraction: Disclaim: Counter (only minimizes the criticisms that follow,
which could have been expected to be more serious.
dull styling - explicit negative Appreciation: Reaction: Impact/Composition: Complexity
Camry - explicit negative Appreciation: Reaction: Quality, this depends on shared background
knowledge of the class of cars Camry belongs to (we can say the Camrys metonymic value)
class act - inscribed positive Appreciation: Reaction: quality
Text 3. Below is the analysis of only part of the text. The rest is to be discussed in class.
One of the fastest growing plagues of the modern world is osteoarthritis. It is an ugly disease. Its
victims suffer from pain ranging from sporadic and mild to chronic and severe, with nothing but
the realization it will only get worse with the passing of time. A victim of osteoarthritis can look
forward to a life of medications to control the pain and progression of their disease.
108

fastest growing - negative Appreciation (due to ff. Thing, plagues):Reaction: Quality and also
Impact and perhaps even Social Significance
plagues - Graduation: high force; implicit scaling, rather, e.g., than ailments (low) or diseases
(median).
ugly - negative Appreciation: quality
victims - Graduation: high force; implicit scaling, rather than e.g. targets (low), sufferers
(median)
sporadic and mild - positive Appreciation: Reaction: Quality
chronic and severe - negative Appreciation: quality
get worse - negative Appreciation: Reaction: Quality and Impact; worse - Graduation: median
Force
look forward to - Affect: disquiet (typically: happiness, but in this case, disquiet).

Notes
Key Points

Questions for Class

109

CHAPTER 9
MODE: Theme/Rheme and the realization of textual meanings
Learning a lang
uage involves
learning
how
to use the
language in a
way that makes
sense to other
people who
speak the language.

Textual meanings, activated by the Mode of Discourse, and realized in the clause as message,
concern the cohesion, coherence, texture, and the overall organization of a text. As McCarthy
states(McCarthy 1991: 12):
We daily consume hundreds of written and printed words: newspaper articles, letters,
stories, recipes, instructions, notices, comics, billboards, leaflets pushed through the
door, and so on. We usually expect them to be coherent, meaningful communications in
which the words and/or sentences are linked to one another
Above there is a text that at first might appear to be a poem. After reading the text, one might
decide that it isn't a poem after all. Why, by just looking at the text, does one assume it is probably a
poem? What makes one decide it might not be? We have studied Transitivity - the realization of
ideational/experiential meanings - to see how speakers as observers of reality encode what is
going on; as we have studied Mood, Modality and Appraisal - the realization of interpersonal
meanings - to see how speakers, as participants, or intruders, in their texts, encode relationships,
opinions, attitudes and evaluations. In this chapter we will look more deeply at the textual resources
of the clause to understand better how texts become texts.

9.1 The Role of Language, the Channel of


Communication and Medium
In this section, we will explore the textual meanings that are activated by the
Mode and realized by the speaker as text maker. Though of extreme relevance and interest, the role
language plays in interaction is beyond the scope of the course and will not be tested.
The following are factors that are to be considered when studying Mode: the role language plays
in the interaction, the degree of process sharing, the channel of communication and the medium.
(See Freddi 2004: 14 for a review of Mode)
1) the role language plays in the interaction, i.e.

110

i) is the language context-dependent or context-independent (does the reader/listener need


first-hand knowledge of the situation of context in which the text is being created in order to
understand the text)
ii) is the role of language constitutive of the communication or merely ancillary to it? When
language is constitutive of the communication, it means that language is all there is;
language is constituting the social action. (Gerot 1995: 74 our emphasis). The ancillary role
of language means that the role of language accompanies the social action or what is going
on (Gerot 1995: 74). Examples (a) and (b) below are examples of situations in which (a) the
role of language is constitutive and (b) in which the role of language would be ancillary.
(a)
(b)

an oral interview for a job or a teacher revising homework orally in class


a teacher advising students how to fill out their answer sheets during an exam or a
student asking a library clerk if there is a particular book.

iii) is language being used as language-as-action (e.g., the language used when playing a card
game, such as bridge, or when giving instructions) or as language-as-reflection (e.g. the
language used when reporting an event or writing a story)?
2) the degree of process sharing, i.e.
i) is the process of text-creation shared or is the text a monologue? The degree to which an
addressee or text consumer participates in the process of text creation is connected to the
next factor below the channel of communication. This is partly due to the fact that the
phonic channel of communication may favor process sharing more than the graphic, since in
the case of phonic-delivered texts, there is usually, though not always, visual contact
between the speaker and addressee; interactants hear and often see each other and what is
going on. (Hasan in Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989: 58). Written texts tend to be finished
products when the reader receives them and, therefore, there tends to be a lesser degree of
process sharing than in spoken texts: Written language represents phenomena as products.
Spoken language represents phenomena as processes. (Halliday 1989: 81); and we take a
more dynamic role as a listener than as a reader, because, as Halliday explains, a spoken text
is present dynamically. In fact, the author compares this difference to the one between
watching a film and looking at a painting (1989: 81).
3) The channel of communication, i.e.,
i) how does the addressee receive the message (via telephone, internet, face-to-face
interaction, reading, reading and listening etc.)? The degree of process sharing depends to a
large degree on the channel of communication (Hasan in Halliday and Hasan 1989: 58).
The channel of communication, as you know, is the modality through which the addressee
comes in contact with the speakers messages - do the messages travel on air as sound waves
or are they apprehended as graven images, some form of writing. (Hasan in Halliday and
Hasan 1989: 58). In the former case, you should recall, the channel is referred to as phonic
and in the latter, it is referred to as graphic. Today there are many new channels of
communication, such as CD Rom, internet, SMS, and MMS, etc., that there is also the
question of Multimodality. We create and receive texts through more than one channel of
communication, for example: reading a text in class while the teacher is reading it aloud or
reading and listening to a text on internet, or reading sub-titles while watching a film in a
foreign language.
4) the medium, the lexico-grammatical features of language that result from a number of factors,
the degree of spoken-ness/written-ness (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989: 58) i.e.,
111

i) is the language more typical of written texts, that is, very lexically dense (high incidence of
lexical words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs vs grammatical words coming from
closed sets of options: prepositions, conjunctions, modal verbs, pronouns, and articles) and
packaged (e.g. the e.g., nominalization); or is it more typical of spoken texts, that is,
lexico-grammatically intricate and, as Halliday says, more choreographic (1989: 87) (e.g.,
clause complexes with elaborate logical relations between the clauses).
Spoken language responds continually to the small but subtle changes in
its environment, both verbal and non-verbal, and in so doing exhibit a rich
pattern of semantic and consequently of grammatical variation. The
context of spoken language is in a constant state of flux and thus the
language needs to be equally mobile and alert (Halliday 1994: xxiv)
The medium of the message refers to the patterning of the wordings themselves. (Halliday
and Hasan 1985/1989: 58). As Hasan explains (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989: 58), historically,
medium was closely connected to the channel of communication: spoken-ness connected to the
phonic and written-ness to the graphic. Due to the modern day variety in the combination of
channels of communication, there is no one-to-one correspondence between a written text and
the graphic channel or a spoken text and the phonic channel. For example, a friendly letter is
an example of a graphic channel, but the medium would be + spoken-ness; a formal acceptance
speech is an example of a phonic channel, but the medium would be more typical of the written
medium. The example below is a headline from the International Herald Tribune: the channel
of communication is graphic, but the medium is + spoken-ness (the article was about problems
afflicting East Germany).
Wall fell, yes, but.
IHT November 11, 2004

What is important is that the difference in features is a question of degree: there is no clear
boundary between spoken texts and written texts, there are degrees of spoken-ness and writtenness. Thus, we speak in terms of features of spoken-ness and written-ness: + spoken-ness or
+ written-ness. For these reasons, the relationship between medium and channel is complex
and, as Hasan rightfully points out, medium is often decided by the nature of the social activity
and of the social relation between the participants and both channel and medium are
subservient to the choices in the field and tenor of discourse. (Halliday and Hasan 1985/1989:
58-59). See the Exercises in Freddi 2004: slide18 and the key (slides 32-33) for the analysis of
the channel of communication and the medium of two texts.
Medium and process sharing run along a continuum as illustrated in Figure 1.

immediate feedback

process sharing

limited feedback

Card game
+ Language-as-action
+ Spoken-ness (typically)

piece of prose or fiction


+ Language-as-reflection
+Written-ness (typically)

medium

Fig.1 Medium and process sharing

112

TASK 1: What is the channel of communication of the following texts. Identify a few features of
the medium. .
1. Print your name at the top of the page. Read the text carefully and mark your answer on the
answer sheet.
2. Listen, I want you to print your name clearly at the top of the page. Read the text carefully and
yeah, dont forget to mark your answers on the answer sheet!
3. The compelling sound of an infants cry makes it an effective distress signal and appropriate to
the human infants prolonged dependence on a caregiver. (Eggins 1994: 5)
4.
S. Did our kids used to cry a lot? When they were little?
C. Yea
S. Well, what did you do?
C. still do
S. yea? [laughs]
C Oh pretty tedious at times yea. There were all sorts of techniquesLeonard Cohen
S. Like what [laughs] Yea I used to use Whats that American guy that did Georgia on your
mind?
C. Oh yea
(Eggins 1994: 6)
5. At this time of personal loss, please take comfort in the knowledge that many people are
thinking of you and caring more than words can say.
6. We are so sorry to have heard about your loss. If there is anything we can do, please let us
know.
7. Oh, Harley, we just heard about your mom. You know, dear, you can always count on us at any
time, right?!

9.2 THE THEME SYSTEM


What gives the clause its character as message is the THEMATIC structure, which will be
discussed in this section. As you have seen in the first year course-book, the major system that is
involved in the structural configuration by which the clause is organized as a message is the system
of Theme. It is the resource for setting up the local context or local semiotic environment in which
each clause is to be interpreted (Matthiessen: 531). Theme, states Halliday (Halliday 994: 38), is
the element which serves as the starting-point for the message: it is what the clause is going to be
about. It is the part of the clause that is given special textual status. Theme is what I, the
speaker, has chosen for the message, that with which the clause is concerned. The remainder of
the message, the part in which the Theme is developed - is the Rheme. Since we usually depart
with what is familiar, the Theme is usually given information already stated in the text or
information in the context familiar to the reader. (Halliday 1994: 38-39). See Slides 200-213 in
Freddi 2004 to review Theme and Rheme.

9.2.1
Structural Cohesive Devices: Theme/Rheme
113

How do we identify the Theme? Theme is the element that comes first in the
clause (Eggins 1994: 275). This may be a person or a thing, an action, a time, place, etc.; in other
words, a NG, a VG, a PP, an AG, etc. The whole nominal or verbal or adverbial group or prep
phrase in the first position becomes Theme. We are referring here to what is called, as your recall,
Topical Theme (TT), which is the first element that also functions as a constituent of the
TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM in the clause; thus, it could be a Participant, a Process or a Circumstance.
See the two examples below in which the TTs are in italics:
a. Some 34 major studies involving nearly 1,000 human patients conducted during the decade
between 1975 and 1986 have recently been published . (Participant in the Transitivity system is
Topical Theme)
b. Recently, some 34 major studies involving nearly 1,000 human patients conducted during the
decade between 1975 and 1986 have been published some . (Circumstance in the
Transitivity system is Topical Theme)
A major clause always has a Topical Theme, but as you know, other kinds of Themes can
precede the TT. (For a review of TTs in all the Mood choices see Freddi 2004: slides 204-207).)
How do we know when the Rheme begins? The Theme of a clause extends to and includes the
Topical Theme. Thus, elements that precede the Topical Theme are also thematic, but elements that
come after the Topical Theme are not.
TASK 2: In the texts below, identify the TTs.

An Alternative to Plastic
Italians have managed to make a revolutionary new material that should replace plastic.
Environmentalists argue that we desperately need to find eco-friendly alternatives to
plastic packages. Every year we produce and throw away huge amounts of plastic
packaging. Greens despise plastic waste with particular passion.
Italian Daily Nov. 15, 2002

Snake venom may work as stroke treatment


CHICAGO (AP) A blood-thinning drug derived from the venom of the Malayan pit
viper can reverse symptoms in stroke victims, a study reported. But other research
suggests it might kill the patient.
In a study of 500 stroke patients, 42% who were given the drug ancrod within
three hours after the onset of symptoms improved significantly vs. 34% of those who
got a placebo. The two groups had similar death rates three months after treatment.
The promising results led ancrods manufacturer, BASF Pharma, to launch a separate
European study. But in this study the three-month death rate in the ancrod patients
was higher than in a placebo group and the study was halted in March.
Adapted from article in IHT, 2001

114

Interpersonal Themes
You have already been introduced to the phenomenon of Multiple Themes, i.e., the possibility for
a clause to have not only a TT but also Themes that are considered to function interpersonally
and/or textually. We will review Interpersonal Themes first:
these Themes, when present in a text, precede the Topical Theme and indicate the kind of
exchange or interaction between speakers, i.e.the positions they are taking.
what can function as Interpersonal Themes are Mood Adjuncts, Comment Adjuncts or
vocatives. In the examples below Interpersonal Themes are in italics and TTs are underlined.
i Maybe Morgana needs to practice her Japanese more. (Mood Adjunct)
ii Luckily, Maria managed to catch her train. (Comment Adjunct)
iii Dr., I need a prescription for my allergy medicine. (Vocative Adjunct)
in Interrogatives, the Finite (verbal and Modal Operators) is considered to be functioning as an
Interpersonal Theme because it occurs at the beginning of a clause and is not a constituent of the
TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM (although the predicator, or lexical verb, is). The Process as TT is much
debated: predicators are said to be TTs by some scholars, whereas others want only Participants
(major, or minor, i.e. in circumstances) as TTS. For example:
i Are you feeling ok?
ii Does Morgana speak Japanese?
iii Can I have a prescription for my allergy medicine, Dr.?
in negative Interrogatives, the sign of negative polarity is also considered to be a part of the
Interpersonal Theme. For example:
i Arent you ok today?
ii Dont you understand me?

Textual Themes
these Themes, when present in a text, also precede the Topical Theme; they relate to the
coherence of the message as they are used to connect a piece of text to another. Textual Themes
can occur along with Interpersonal Themes, both preceding the Topical Theme.
they can include continuity Adjuncts, for example, well, and conjunctive Adjuncts, which
link a clause to the preceding text (to another clause complex), for example, moreover,
however, but, nevertheless; and conjunctions, which connect a clause to a piece of text (within
the same clause complex), for example, also, while, until, because. Conjunctive Adjuncts set
up a semantic relationship with what has come before, while conjunctions set up a also a
grammatical relationship, and in this way construct a single structural unit from two parts
(Halliday 1994: 50) (For conjunctive Adjuncts see Halliday 1994: 49; for conjunctions: page
50.)

115

i Well, honey, are you feeling ok? (continuity Adjunct as Textual Theme + vocative as
Interpersonal Theme + Finite as Interpersonal Theme + you as Topical Theme)
ii However, Morgana speaks English and Japanese? (conjunctive Adjunct as Textual Theme
and Morgana as Topical Theme)

Summary of Themes (b and c below are also examples of multiple Themes)

a) Experiential/Ideational Theme (Topical Theme) in italics: Ferrari is now without rivals.


b) Interpersonal Theme in italics: Probably Ferrari is now without rivals.
c) Textual Theme in italics: However, Ferrari is now without rivals.
TASK 3. Pick out Interpersonal and Textual Themes in the following two texts.
An Alternative to Plastic
Italians have managed to make a revolutionary new material that should replace plastic.
Environmentalists argue that we desperately need to find eco-friendly alternatives to
plastic packages. Every year we produce and throw away huge amounts of plastic
packaging. Obviously, Greens despise plastic waste with particular passion.
Italian Daily Nov. 15, 2002

Tony: I was proud to be Johnny Soprano's kid. He was tough, a great man.. a
great father. I really loved him. Maybe a bit violent, a little wild sometimes. But
everybody respected him.

MARKED THEMES

By unmarked Themes we mean those configurations in which the three kinds of Subject
(Halliday 1994: 32) conflate: the Grammatical Subject (the Subject in the Mood system), the
Logical Subject (the Actor in the Transitivity system), and the Psychological Subject (the Theme in
the Theme system), that is to say, when they are all the same nominal group.
1. Police shoot 15 African Demonstrators
2. Rioting Blacks shot by police.
3. In Salisbury, 15 demonstrators were shot by police.
The Theme in Example (1) is unmarked as the Topical Theme (Police) is Actor in the Transitivity
structure and the Subject in the Mood System; Examples (2) and (3) have marked Themes because
in Example (2), the Goal in Transitivity is the Theme and in Example (3), Circumstance in the
Transitivity structure is Theme.
TASK 4: A quick look at marked Themes. Which of the following headlines from the IHT have a
marked Theme?
a. On the EU, Blair places a new wager. (April 2004)
b. Jordans King skips Bush talks (April 2004)
116

c.
d.
e.
f.

Citygroup chairman survives a challenge (April 2004)


Polish industrial production rises (April 2004)
4 are arrested in Sweden (April 2004)
In Zurich, chic spots enrich the Swiss visit (February 2004)

Other kinds of simple Themes

1. Group complex or phrase complex as Theme


Above we have seen examples of Interpersonal Themes and Textual Themes combining with
Topical Themes to form multiple Themes. As you know a simple Theme consists of only the TT.
Yet there are this does not mean that a group complex or phrase complex is not a simple Theme. A
simple Theme can be composed of more than one group. In the examples below, the Topical
Themes are in italics.
a) Fibers found in foods like oats and in many fruits and the insoluble ones in whole wheat,
corn and virtually all plant foods help to keep the stool soft and easy to eliminate. (New York
Times, 2002)
b) All fruits and vegetables, foods made from whole grains and all the dried peas and beans
are excellent sources of dietary fiber. (New York Times, 2002)
As illustrated by (a) and (b) above, the group or phrase complex is considered a single constituent of
the clause and can thus constitute a TT (Halliday 1984: 40).
2. Interpolations in Theme
Added information regarding a Theme and which is separated from that Theme by commas or
dashes is considered part of the Theme. In the example below, the added details regarding All
fruits and vegetables, foods made from whole grains is part of the Theme:
a) All fruits and vegetables, foods made from whole grains - like whole wheat bread, brown
rice and oats - and all the dried peas and beans are excellent sources of dietary fiber. (New
York Times, 2002)
What is the Theme in the following example? Answer is immediately below. (For more on
Interpolations in Theme see Thompson 1996: 139-140)
Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian novelist and Holocaust survivor with a small but
devoted readership in Europe, won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature on
Thursday for what the Swedish Academy described as writing that upholds
the tragic experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of
history. (IHT, original article from The New York Times, October 11,
2002)
Answer: Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian novelist and Holocaust survivor with a small but devoted
readership in Europe
3. Thematic Equative
117

A clause with this kind of Theme consists of only two constituents linked by a relational Process:
identifying, for example: What the world needs now is love sweet love. These structures are also
called WH-clefts or pseudo-clefts (See Downing and Locke 2002: 249 -251). Other examples are:
a) Whoever works 18 hours a day is a workaholic.
b) Wherever I hang my hat is home.
c) What you see is what you get.
In these examples, the NG in the Rheme can be Theme since they are relational: identifying
Processes.
a) A workaholic is whoever works 18 hours a day.
b) Home is wherever I hang my hat.
c) What you get is what you see.
This WH-cleft is an instance of nominalization, and, as you know, nominalization allows a group
of elements to function as a NG in the clause and this NG can then function as Theme.
4. Predicated Theme
The Predicated Theme is the basic cleft: Its a holiday (that) we all need. (Downing and Locke
2002: 251). In this structure, the Theme is Its a holiday. Below are two examples of Predicated
Theme.
a) The driver who had brought the crowd to its feet over the last 15 laps was not the man who had
finished in first place under the hot, sunny skies. It was Takuma Sato, a local driver in a Hondapowered Jordan car, who finished fifth and injected some meaning into a Grand Prix won with
another dominating show by Michael Schumacher and his Ferrari team. (IHT October 2002).
b) It was my mother who put food on our table every day.
The It in the Predicated Theme, as Downing and Locke explain (2002: 247), is an empty
Theme, followed by the verb to be and the real Theme (the Predicated Theme). This lexicogrammatical structure allows a writer to emphasize New information.
A word about Theme/Rheme and Given/New. Theme/Rheme is textual structure and
Given/New is information structure; Theme + Rheme is speaker-oriented, while Given + New is
hearer-oriented, but both are, of course, speaker-selected. (Halliday 1994: 299) As you already
know, Theme tells the reader what the writer chooses as his/her point of departure in a text, what
the writer sets up as the starting point of the message. The Given is what the listener already knows
and the New is what the listener does not know. As Halliday says, (1994: 298), the difference
between Given and New is basically the information presented to the listener: the Given is
information that is recoverable and the New is information not recoverable. In unmarked Written
and Spoken English, the Theme/Rheme and Given/New coincide (see also Freddi 2004: slide 203
and Downing and Locke 2002: 240-246 for New and Given in the information structure).

Tip
Do not confuse the It structures in Predicated Themes for structures that can appear
similar but are not. It is possible to have a nominal element of a clause (usually the Subject)
postponed to the end of the clause and be substituted by It in the place of Subject (see Halliday
1994: 60):
118

Here is an example of a postponed Subject as a Fact clause introduced by that: It doesnt help
us that your mother has difficulties relating to others. In this structure Theme is what comes first
and in this example, Theme is the pronoun substitute It.
5. Thematized Comment
It is interesting that your mother has difficulties relating to others, is an example of what is
called a Thematized Comment (the Theme is in italics). In this structure, as in the Predicated
Theme, the It is a placeholder for the Subject to be. The difference between Predicated Themes
and Thematized Comment is that the latter structure realizes interpersonal meanings; it expresses
the speaker/writers opinions concerning the proposition that follows. In fact, as Thompson points
out (1996: 129) , while in the case of the Predicated Theme (the cleft structure), the two parts can be
reduced to a single clause, as illustrated in Example (c) below:
c) It was my mother who put food on our table every day. My mother put food on our table every
day.
In the case of the Thematized Comment, the too components can not be reduced to one clause
(Themes are in italics):
d) Its interesting that your mother has difficulties in establishing relations with others. Your
mother has difficulties in establishing relations with others. This fact is interesting.
e) It wasnt surprising that Schumacher won this years Formula 1 championship. Schumacher
won this years Formula 1 championship. This fact wasnt surprising.
6. Embedded clause as Theme
Lets take Examples (d) and (e) above and change the Thematic structure in a way so that the
starting point of the clause is not the component expressing the speaker/writers opinion, but rather
it is the proposition itself: see Examples (f) and (g) below (the Themes are in italics):
(f) Its interesting that your mother has difficulties in establishing relations with others.
That your mother has difficulties relating to others is interesting.
(g) It wasnt surprising that Schumacher won this years Formula 1 championship.
That Schumacher won this years Formula 1 championship wasnt surprising.
7. A note on Theme in minor and elliptical clauses
Minor clauses such as Good bye or Great! have no Mood or Transitivity - and no Theme. If the
elliptical clause refers to something preceding it in the text and presupposes all of that preceding
part of the text, such as Yea or Of course, there is no thematic structure. However, if it
presupposes only part of that preceding text, it will have a thematic structure, depending on what
was presupposed (Themes are in italics):
Theyre going skiing during the school break.
So am I.
(example adapted from Halliday 1994: 63)

119

They
Theme

re going skiing during the school break.


Rheme

So
am
Conjunctive Finite
Theme

I.
topical

Table 1: Theme in elliptical clauses, based on analysis in Halliday 1994: 63

TASK 5: Identify Themes. (examples taken from IHT June 2004).


1. For 70 minutes, Italy played the best soccer any country had summoned up in the first week
of Euro 2004.
2. Antonio Cassano scored Italys first goal of the competition with a header after 37 minutes.
3. Did the team betray itself by being too cautious?
4. Give Del Piero a chance. He will show his impish genius.
5. But, at the end, Italys old cautious instincts reasserted themselves.
6. Interestingly, the Danish and Swedish coaches dismiss the idea of a conspiracy.
7. Martin Olsen, the Danish coach, wants to go for a win in the game against Sweden.
8. See the Advertisement Gina Gallo8

GINA GALLO
Third-Generation Family Winemaker
IN Sonoma, California, premier wine growing region,
Gina makes wines that are earning international awards
like these:

TASK 6: Identify Theme in the texts below. Read Key carefully.


1. The 24-year-old Honda rider, who won the final 500cc championship in 2001 and the inaugural
MotoGP championship last year, started from pole and, despite a slow start, dominated the race.
8

This advertisement was part of a corpus collected for a dissertation entitled, La Lessicogrammatica del linguaggio
vitivinicolo: unanalisi funzionale, presented by Chiara Coffele, Thesis supervisor, D.R. Miller, co-advisor, M. Lipson,
A.A. 2000-2001.

120

Sete Gibernau, a Spaniard who was Rossi's closest pursuer in the standings, was second.
2. What your mother has is what we call borderline personality disorder. (based on The Sopranos,
episode 13, Season 1999)
3. CNN Thursday 9 March 2000 transcript (adapted):
News
Reporter: More legal developments Thursday in the custody battle for Elian Gonzales. What is at
issue is whether the boys Miami relatives can challenge a US government ruling that
would return him to Cuba. CNNs Susan Candiotti reports.
Voice
Over
As Elian Gonzales made his way to school, attorneys for the six-year-olds extended
family in Florida finally had a chance to plead for the right to be heard in federal court.
But, Justice Department attorneys argued the Court had no right to review an INS order
to reunite Elian with his father in Cuba. Lawyers for the boys relatives disagree.

Concluding this discussion on Theme types will be a comment regarding the notion of textual
metaphor. In Chapter 7 we studied ideational metaphor and the need for a parallel transitivity
analysis, one for the original wording (the incongruent wording) and one for the more congruent
wording. Thompson presents two types of thematic structure which he considers textual metaphor
in that these thematic structures also need this double analysis (Thompson:176), ie. thematic
equatives and predicated Theme. Read Thompson, pages 176-177 for an example of this analysis.
Textual metaphor will not be explored in this course; however, students are expected to read
Thompson 1996: pages 176-177 for the explanation of this notion.

SUMMARY OF THEMES

All the students


Theme

read Hamlet last year


Rheme

Multiple Themes:
Probably
Interpersonal Theme
Theme

all the students


topical Theme

read Hamlet last year.


Rheme

Multiple Theme
Furthermore,
Textual
Theme

all the students


Topical

probably read Hamlet last year.


Rheme

Multiple Theme
121

Below are examples of analysis of Mood and Theme. The thematic analysis is above the text and
Mood analysis is below.
Surprisingly,

they

didn't

Multiple Theme (Interpersonal


Rheme
and Topical Themes)
Adjunct: Comment S
F
MOOD
But

they

read

Hamlet

last year.

P
RESIDUE

Adjunct: Circ.

will.

Multiple Theme (Textual and


Rheme
Topical)
Adjunct:
S
F
Conjunctive
MOOD
Oh
amazingly they'
re
Talking
Multiple
Theme
(Textual,
Rheme
Interpersonal and Topical)
Adjunct: Adjunct:
Subject Finite Predicator
Continuity Comment
MOOD
RESIDUE

about Hamlet

Adjunct:
Circumstance

9.2.2
Structural Cohesive Devices: Grammatical Parallelism

In this section we are concerned with Grammatical Parallelism, which will be dealt
with in much more detail in your third year course. Grammatical Parallelism is an expression
coined by Jakobson (1960) and specifically linked to one of his Functions of communication: the
poetic function as its empirical linguistic criterion.
So, Grammatical Parallelism is a fundamental feature of poetry, but not only, and consists in a
regular reiteration of equivalent units e.g. of sounds, syllables, words, groups, phrases, and
clauses. These recurrent returns, as Jakobson calls them, are seen as calling forth a corresponding
recurrence of sense. That is, grammatical parallelism is semantic parallelism of some sort.
(Jakobson 1960, 368-69). Grammatical Parallelism is not dissimilar to what Thompson (1996: 117118) calls grammatical repetition. SFL (especially in the work of Hasan in Halliday and Hasan
1985/89) has incorporated Grammatical Parallelism into its description of structural cohesive
devices. Since, at times, the phenomenon gives us more cohesion than what is strictly needed, we
are required to examine its function. This aspect of the grammatics and semantics of Grammatical
Parallelism will be further investigated in your third year course. Below is an example of
Grammatical Parallelism, where all Themes are marked Themes of circumstance of Location:
Space.
122

On the banks of the Arno River, Capocaccia is the trendiest bar in Florence for an
American-style brunch on Sundays. At Piansa, travelers driving in and out of the
highway entrance will love to taste one of the best coffees in town. Off of Piazza Santa
Trinit is the beautiful store Pampaloni. Especially interesting and unique are the
Bicchierografia, glasses glazed in silver, originally designed in the 17th century and
reproduced with exceptional craftsmanship.

Words in italics (glasses glazed) offer an example of reiteration of sounds through the phonemes /gl/
and /s/ and /z/, another example of grammatical parallelism. See the Carex advertisement (text 4) in
Chapter 6 for a further example of grammatical parallelism. Below are two short separate extracts
from the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, in which we have instances of
grammatical parallelism at the word level, phrase level, and clause level.
Extract 1: Then I slowly saw that not only was I not free, but my brothers and sisters were
not free. I saw that it was not just my freedom that was curtailed, but the freedom of
everyone who looked like I did. That is when I joined the African National Congress, and
that is when the hunger for my own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of
my people. The chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains
on all of my people were the chains on me.
[]
Extract 2: I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made
missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one
only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to
steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have
come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare
not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.

Word level: brothers and sisters, chains. Lexical scatter: freedom and free
Phrase level: Thing + PP as Qualifier: hunger for my own freedom, hunger for the freedom of my
people; chains on ;
Clause level: In the first extract, there is a reiteration of mental Processes of perception (I saw) with
Fact and a reiteration of relational processes of identity with extended NGs (Identifier/Pr.:
rel/Identified). In the case of the reiteration of mental Processes of perception (Senser/Pr.: mental
/Fact), note that both Facts contain not only/but or not just /but extension of the clauses (with
reiteration of relational processes attributive was not free, were not free). The but and only are
reiterated again in the second extract.
In the second extract there is the pattern of material Processes (walked, falter and made) with a
reiteration of the tense (in this case pertinent to the idea of Mandelas struggle) followed by the
reiteration of two mental Processes (discovered and finds): I have walked, I have tried, I have made,
I have discovered and one finds, I have taken. There is a reiteration in the expansion as well: to steal
a view, to look back on. ; for with freedom, for my long walk.
This has been a brief introduction to the notion of grammatical parallelism, which will be
explored in further detail in the third year course.
(Acknowlegements to J.R. Martin for his thorough and fascinating analysis of Long Walk to
Freedom. See Martin 1999 and Martin and Rose 2003: ch. 7. Acknowledgements also to M.
Ghadessy, who presented a longer extract in a study on the loss of grammatical parallelism in
translation, Textual Parallelism in Parallel Texts, ISFC, Liverpool, 2002 and )
123

9.2.3 Thematic Progression and Thematic Drift

What is the usefulness of the analysis of Theme? The thematic organization of


the clauses (and clause complexes, where relevant) is the most significant factor in the development
of the text . (Halliday 1994: 67). The thematic structure of a text provides signposts to help
readers and addressees follow the development of the text (Butt et. al. 2000: 142). Theme reflects
what the writer chooses to talk about, what is set up for the reader as background information or
familiar. Thematic analysis also tells us something about the transparency of the texts design and
how well the text maker anticipates the needs of the reader.
Thematic progression refers to how cohesion is created by placing elements from the Rheme of
one clause into the Theme of the next, or by repeating meanings from the Theme of one clause in
the Theme of subsequent clauses (Butt et.al. 200:142).
Thematic drift refers to the accumulated meanings emerging as overall patterns in a text (Butt et
al.: 144). In SFL, this is also known as a form of semantic prosody. By examining sequential and
cumulative patterns of Theme (the choices writers make in selecting an item as Theme), we can
often discover the degree to which the messages mesh with an overarching purpose or concern.
Understanding thematic structure helps writers also construct their own texts. Students can use the
technique to ensure that TTs progress in an orderly and even predictable way. Students should
also try to make sure Textual Themes are functioning to make logical connections between clauses
clear.
Thematic progression can be very straightforward: either parallel progression (or Constant
Progression, see Bloor and Bloor 1995: 90), in that the Theme of each clause links to the Theme in
the next clause or linear progression, in that the Rheme of one clause links to the Theme of the
next, and so on. There is also the split Rheme pattern, which is a third common type of thematic
progression. This is when the Rheme of a clause has two components, each of which is taken in turn
as the Theme of a subsequent clause (Bloor and Bloor 1995: 91). For further information on Theme
patterns see Bloor and Bloor 1995: 90- 94.
This is not to say there is only a limited choice of thematic patterns. As Halliday explains, the
speaker can exploit the potential that the situation defines, using thematic and information structures
to produce an astonishing variety of rhetorical effects. He can play with the system. (1994: 300).
Here Halliday is also referring to the various types of Themes one can choose (predicated Themes,
marked Themes, etc).
However, thematic choices in a text should not be totally unexpected, i.e. Themes should be
connected with ideas already met in the Theme or Rheme of a clause not too far away. Writers may
put elements from the Rheme of one clause into the Theme of the next, or they may repeat elements
from the Theme of one clause in the Theme of following clauses. When writing, students should
try to construct a clear progression: even though unexpected thematic development is part of
creative writing, expository or persuasive texts, e.g., need to be well constructed and thematically
coherent.
Below are examples of Parallel (constant) Theme progression (1), Linear Theme progression (2),
and a Split Rheme pattern (3).
(1) Protein, next to water, is the most plentiful substance in the body. Protein is
one of the most important elements for the maintenance of good health and
vitality and is of primary importance in the growth and development of all
body tissues. It is the major source of building material for muscles, blood,
skin, hair, nails, and internal organs, including the heart and the brain. Protein
is needed for the formation of hormones which control a variety of body
functions such as growth, sexual development, and rate of metabolism.
124

(2) One of the fastest growing plagues of the modern world is osteoarthritis. It is
an ugly disease that causes pain ranging from mild to severe. The pain and
suffering can become so intolerable for most victims. They should expect
more than what mainstream medicine has to offer.
(3) Well, Mrs. Moss, I think you should avoid sleeping pills if you can. You may
come to rely on them completely and find it impossible to sleep without them.
Id suggest some other remedies, perhaps very obvious ones. Drinking herb
tea, like camomile, before you go to bed is one. This can help you relax.
Listening to music or reading is another. If neither of these work, an
alternative approach is to be as active as possible during the evening. Go out
and do something so that you are really tired when you go to bed. (adapted
from health magazine, adapted from Lipson Exploring Functional Grammar,
A. A. 2001-02)
TASK 7: In the text below, identify Themes. How are they connected to elements in the text? What
is the thematic progression? 9
Its easy. Its cheap. Its convenient, and its a good way of meeting people. It simply involves
standing by a road and sticking out your thumb. Every day, hundreds of people in Ireland hitch
lifts. It is a frequent method of getting around, especially in rural areas where there is little danger,
since people often know those offering them a lift.
But hitch-hiking can be risky.
(adaped from text in Landmark: Upper Intermediate Students Book, OUP)
TASK 8: Analyze thematic progression (text from Butt et.al, 1995, pg. 60):
Traumatic inflammation of the stomach results from the presence of a foreign body. This condition
is not rare in cattle, because these animals have the habit of swallowing their feed without careful
chewing, and so nails, screws, hairpins, ends of wire, and other metal objects may be swallowed
unconsciously. Such objects gravitate to the second stomach where they may be caught in the folds
of the lining mucous membrane, and in some instances the wall of this organ is perforated. From
this accident, chronic indigestion results. The symptoms include pain when getting up or lying
down, pain when moving suddenly, and coughing.

9.3 Non-Structural Cohesive Devices10


In this section there is a review of non-structural resources for organizing discourse. Students
should review their first year course-book , sec 5.2.

This text was analysed for Field, Tenor and Mode, in a dissertation entitled, La grammatica funzionale e suoi risvolti
didattici per la comprensione del testo scritto, presented by Lucia Degli Esposti, Thesis supervisor, M. Lipson, coadvisor, D.R. Miller, A.A. 2002-2003, Facolt di L.L.S. , Universit di Bologna
10
This section, explanations and examples, has been broadly based on Halliday and Hasan, 1976, Halliday 1994 and
Toolan 1998.

125

The expression of the unit of meaning lies in the cohesion among the sentences.
Any piece of language that has a meaning as a whole in some context, whether spoken or written,
formal or colloquial, or journalistic or academic, etc., has cohesive elements tying the discourse
together.
Cohesion gives a sense of continuity. Sentences are linked to others throughout discourse to help
readers understand the text. Understanding the role of cohesive elements will improve ones
reading and writing skills. The following types of cohesion devices discussed in this section are:
1. reference
1. exophoric and endophoric references.
1. homophoric reference
2. anaphoric and cataphoric references
2. ellipsis and substitution
3. conjunction
1. Conjunctive Adjuncts and conjunctions
4. lexical cohesion
1. hyponymy
2. meronymy
3. collocation
1. Reference
As you know, exophoric references point outside of the text and endophoric references point in
the text. Homophoric reference is a sub-category of exophoric which refers to only one possible
referent. Example (1a) is an instance of homophoric reference: there is only one moon which
would make sense to the listener: the Earths moon.
1a. Did you see the eclipse of the moon last night?
Examples (1b) and (1c) below are instances of exophoric and endophoric reference respectively.
In (1b), I is an exophoric reference. The listener knows from the context of situation who I is
referring to. In (1c) It is an endophoric reference pointing backwards in the text to car. and is
thus an anaphoric reference.
1b. I have a car that hates winter.

1c. I have a car. It hates winter.

In the text below, the pronoun they points forward and is thus a cataphoric reference to the
unemployed American workers.
They are sometimes black, but more often white;
traditionally male, but increasingly female, frequently
teenagers, but usually adults. They might be autoworkers
from Detroit or clerks laid off a by a Chicago plastics
company with weakening orders.
They are, in all their faces and feelings, the unemployed
American workers of 1980. (from Time Magazine in M. Lipson
1981: 50)

With exophoric references it is the reader who has to decipher its meaning. The meaning lies in
the environment or situation of the text. Often in advertising, the use of the personal pronouns you
126

or he, she and we are used. Understanding these references requires an understanding of the
cultural context of the text. In the Carex advertisement, page 47, the you is recoverable from the
cultural context which the reader understands: it is you, the Mother.
In the same advertisement, the pronoun he refers to the picture of the boy in the ad. This could
be considered therefore an endophoric reference, in that it is recoverable in the text. Actually, we
might consider this pronoun both endophoric and exophoric, because while it has a visual
reference in the text, it also relates to the readers own conceptual reference of a baby boy.
2. Ellipsis and Substitution
Ellipsis is when we presuppose something by means of what is left out (Halliday 1994: 316).
Unlike reference, the relationship that is set up is not semantic but lexico-grammatical a
relationship in the wording rather than directly in the meaning (Halliday 1994: 316). Ellipsis
means that continuity is established by means of leaving out given information: a clause or a part
of a clause can be omitted or substituted. (Freddi 2004 slide 219 our emphasis) In the first case,
the cohesion device is ellipsis and in the second it is substitution. Ellipsis-substitution means, says
Halliday: go back and retrieve the missing words. Hence the missing words must be
grammatically appropriate (Halliday 1994: 322); this is not the case with reference..
Examples (2a) and (2b) are instances of ellipsis and substitution respectively.
2a. Did he get back yet?
He must have. (got back is understood, but not stated)
2b. I like your Compaq Pocket PC. I think Ill buy one. (one substitutes Compaq Pocket PC)
3. Conjunction
Here, as you know, we are dealing with how logical semantic relationships between clauses are
constructed through Conjunctive Adjuncts - AG or PP - or one of a small group of conjunctions typically and, or, nor but, yet, so, and then at the beginning of a sentence (Halliday 1994: 324).
Conjunctive Adjuncts, such as although, as a result, furthermore, accordingly, besides, etc., differ
from other cohesive relations such as substitution or reference because they not only help the reader
predict the discourse that follows by linking up with preceding text, but they also express particular
meanings.
These set up logico-semantic relationships of elaboration, extension and
enhancement. (categories and examples based on Halliday 1994: 324-325)

1. Elaboration: apposition: they can exemplify, represent some information, e.g.: in other words,
that is to say, for example, for instance, to illustrate etc.
clarification: they can clarify information e.g.: in particular, in short, to sum up,
actually, in fact etc.
2. Extension: addition: they can add information, e.g.: moreover, in addition, on the other hand,
however, on the contrary, except for that, alternatively.
adversative: they can add on adversative information, e.g.: but.
variation: these include replacives and subtractives and alternatives: instead,
except, and alternatively
3. Enhancement: They create adhesion concerning time, manner, cause, matter, etc.
127

spatio-temporal: here and there, metaphorically also in the first place (spatial
metaphor). The temporal conjunction covers the following relations:
(i)
simple
a. following - then, next, afterwards
b. simultaneous just, then, at the same time
c. preceding before that, previously
d. conclusive in the end, finally
e. simple internal parallel to simple: likewise, similarly, in a different way
(ii)
complex
a. immediate at once,
b. interrupted soon
c. repetitive next time
d. specific next day, an hour later, that morning
e. durative meanwhile, all that time
f. terminal until then ,
g. punctiliar at this moment
Manner likewise, similarly in a different way
Means - thus, thereby,
Relation of cause so, then, therefore, consequently, hence, in consequence, as a
result
Matter cohesion is established by reference to the matter that has gone before
here, there, as to that, in that respect. Many expressions of matter are spatial
metaphors involving words like point, ground .
4. Lexical Cohesion

With lexical cohesion we are concerned with cohesion achieved through


vocabulary selection: repetition (the repetition of the same word), synonymy (which includes
hyponymy and meronymy) and collocation.
In the text below, there are examples of cohesion through repetition of plastic, package and
packaging (lexical scatter):
An Alternative to Plastic
Italians have managed to make a
plastic. Environmentalists argue
alternatives to plastic packages.
amounts of plastic packaging.
passion.

revolutionary new material that should replace


that we desperately need to find eco-friendly
Every year we produce and throw away huge
Greens despise plastic waste with particular

IHT, Nov. 2002

Synonymy means that a lexical item has some kind of similar sense to another item. Hyponymy
and meronymy are two different ways in which lexical items may relate to one another.
By hyponymy we are referring to the specific-general (superordinate and instances of)
relationship, as in the relationship between chair and sofa, which are both kinds of furniture
(Halliday 1994: 332). Furniture would be the superordinate and chair and sofa the instances.
128

By meronymy, we are referring to the relationship of part-whole (Halliday 1994: 332), the
relationship among parts of the something else (co-hyponyms), such as in the example of stomach,
colon, intestine, liver, pancreas, etc. which are all parts of the digestive system.
In the following text, there are examples of meronymy and hyponymy:
Well, Mrs. Moss, I think you should avoid sleeping pills if you can. You
may come to rely on them completely and find it impossible to sleep without
them. Id suggest some other remedies, perhaps very obvious ones. Have
you tried drinking herb tea, like camomile, before you go to bed? This can
help you relax. You could also try listening to music or reading.
Drinking, listening and reading are instances of textually-created meronymy: they are cohyponyms (parts) of remedies(the whole); herb tea and camomile are instances of hyponymy
(herb tea is superordinate of camomile)
The last non-structural cohesion device in this category is collocation: the tendency for words to
co-occur. Collocation is lexical cohesion which depends on a particular association between the
items (Halliday 1994: 133). Halliday gives us the examples of friends and relations and friends
and neighbors as possible co-occurrences, while pointing out the exception of relations and
neighbors (Halliday 1994: 133-4). In the text below, there are examples of cohesion through
collocation:
One of the fastest growing plagues of the modern world is
osteoarthritis. It is an ugly disease that causes pain ranging from mild
to severe. The pain and suffering can become extremely intolerable for
most victims. They should expect more than what mainstream medicine
has to offer.
Notice also, for example, that osteoarthritis and disease are related through hyponymy.
TASK 9:. Identify the cohesion devices in the following texts (words in bold):
1. That was a great story, Mary, but what is the point of it?
2. Here they give you chocolate with your espresso.
3. I woke up and the sun was shining.
4. The point of my story is this: you should never underestimate your opponents.
5. Dave: Want a coke?
Jane: Yeah
Dave: I thought so.
TASK 10: Identify the cohesion devices in the following text (words in bold):
Its easy, its cheap, its convenient, and its a good way of meeting people. It simply
involves standing by a road and sticking out your thumb. Everyday, hundreds of people
in Ireland hitch lifts. (Landmark, Upper Intermediate, OUP)

SUMMARY CHART OF NON- STRUCTURAL


COHESIVE DEVICES
129

Cohesion devices
Reference:

(Homophoric)

Exophoric
Endophoric

Ellipsis:
Conjunction:

Ellipsis

Substitution

Elaboration

Lexical Cohesion
repetition

Anaphoric
Cataphoric

Extension

Repetition

Enhancement

Collocation

synonomy
meronymy & hyponymy

Fig..2 Cohesion devices

KEYS
TASK 1::
1. Role: language-as-action. Channel graphic, medium +written-ness
2. Role: language-as-action. Channel originally phonic, medium +spoken-ness (evidence:
Imperative form Listen, the use of the exclamation mark, and of fillers, such as yeah), a bit more
friendly than number 1.
3. Role: language-as-reflection. Graphic, + written-ness (evidence: nominalization)
4. Role: language-as-reflection. Originally phonic, spoken (evidence: spontaneous conversation
and friendly yea, well, yea, laughs, etc.)
5. Role: language-as-reflection. Graphic, + written-ness (evidence: embedding and packaging of
information, lexical density, not very personal. )Seems very much like a formulaic message,
perhaps a card.
6. Role: language-as-reflection. We might consider the imperative please let us know as being
more towards the continuum of language-as-action than the rest of the text, but overall, it is
more of an example of language-as-reflection. Channel: could be phonic or graphic. Medium
has features of spoken-ness (evidence: personal pronoun as Subject, information given in a 2clause clause complex rather than through the packaging of information. )
7. Role: language-as-reflection. Channel Phonic, + spoken-ness (oh, you know and right),
friendly (use of name Harley, your mom, dear, etc)
TASK 2. Italians, Environmentalists and Greens and Every year. A blood-thinning
drug derived from the venom of the Malayan pit viper; a study; other research (But is
a Textual Theme, not TT); it; In a study of 500 stroke patients; The two groups; The
promising results; in this study (But is a Textual Theme, not TT) ; the study
TASK 3. Obviously and maybe are Interpersonal Themes; But is a Textual Theme
TASK 4. a, e, f (a + f have Circ as Theme, e has Goal as Theme)
130

TASK 5.
1. For 70 minutes- marked Theme (Circumstance as Theme)
2. Antonio Cassano - Theme - unmarked
3. Did the team unmarked for polar interrogative
4. Give - unmarked Theme imperative, He -unmarked
5. But, at the end, - multiple Theme, Textual and TT; marked Theme Circ as Topical
.Theme)
6. Interestingly, the Danish and Swedish coaches - multiple Theme, Interpersonal and Topical
Theme, unmarked
7. Martin Olsen, the Danish coach, - Interpolations in Theme (see Thompson pg. 140)
8. Gina Gallo Third Generation Family Winemaker TT: in second part of advertisement, In
Sonoma- marked Theme (circ: Location: Space as Theme)
TASK 6.
1. The 24-year-old Honda rider, who won the final 500cc championship in 2001 and the inaugural
MotoGP championship last year; Sete Gibernau, a Spaniard who was Rossi's closest pursuer in the
standings
2. What your mother has
3. CNN Thursday 9 March 2000 transcript (adapted)
NR JR What is at issue; CNNs Susan Candiotti
VO As Elian Gonzales made his way to school = Theme; attorneys for the six-year-olds extended
family in Florida finally had a chance to plead for the right to be heard in federal court = Rheme*.
But, Justice Department attorneys; the Court; Lawyers for the boys relatives.
*Note that we can analyze this clause complex in two ways: (1) we can consider the dependent
clause, As Elian Gonzales made his way to school, as Theme and the independent clause,
attorneys for the six-year-olds extended family in Florida finally had a chance to plead for the
right to be heard in federal court, as Rheme, as shown above in the Key; or (2) we could analyze
each clause separately and in this way the Themes would be As Elian Gonzales and attorneys for
the six-year-olds extended family in Florida.
We will follow Thompsons choice (1996: 131 132 ) in choosing for less detail and thus choosing
the dependent clause as Theme. See Thompson 1996: 131 132 for Theme in clause complexes and
139 for Theme in reported clauses. Keep in mind that if a clause complex is composed of two
independent clauses, both clauses are then analyzed for Theme. (Thompson 1996: 133)
TASK 7::
(1) Its easy. (2) Its cheap. (3) its convenient, and (4) its a good way of meeting people. (5) It
simply involves standing by a road and sticking out your thumb. (6) Every day, hundreds of
people in Ireland hitch lifts. (7) It is a frequent method of getting around, especially in rural areas
where there is little danger, since (8) people often know those offering them a lift.
(9) But hitch-hiking can be risky.
Theme 1 = It Rheme 1
Theme 2 = It linked to Theme (1)
Theme 3 = It is linked to Theme (1) and to Theme (2)
Theme 4 = It is linked to Theme (1) and to Theme (3)
Theme 5 = It is linked to Theme (1) and to Theme (4); Rheme = simply involves standing by a
road and sticking out your thumb
Theme 6 = Every day is a marked Theme; Rheme 6 = hundreds of people in Ireland hitch lifts. In
this clause Rheme (6) is linked to Rheme (5)
Theme 7 = It linked to Rheme (6) hitch lifts the activity of hitch-hiking;
131

Theme 8 = people can be considered linked to Rheme (7) to those people living in rural areas who
use this frequent method of getting around
Theme (9) Multiple Theme But hitch-hiking linked all the previous Themes It . The Textual
Theme But introduces a new topic in the text which is developed in the second paragraph. In fact,
the author goes on to discuss the dangers involved in hitch-hiking and suggested solutions that
might help to solve the problem.
Thematic progression is basically an example of Parallel/Constant progression.
TASK 8:
(1) Traumatic inflammation of the stomach results from the presence of a foreign body.(2) This
condition is not rare in cattle, (3)because these animals have the habit of swallowing their feed
without careful chewing, and so (4) nails, screws, hairpins, ends of wire, and other metal
objects may be swallowed unconsciously. (5) Such objects gravitate to the second stomach where
they may be caught in the folds of the lining mucous membrane, and (6) in some instances the wall
of this organ is perforated. (7) From this accident, chronic indigestion results. (8) The symptoms
include pain when getting up or lying down, pain when moving suddenly, and coughing.
Theme 1 Rheme (1)
Theme 2 linked to Theme (1)
Theme 3 to Rheme (2)
Theme 4 to Rheme (1)
Theme 5 to Theme (4)
Theme 6 (marked theme as Circ.: Abstract Location: Time/Space is Theme
Theme 7 refers to the two clauses where they may be caught in the folds of the lining mucous
membrane, and (6) in some instances the wall of this organ is perforated.
Theme 8 refers to Rheme (7)
TASK 9:
1. that = exophoric; it = anaphoric
2. Here = exophoric
3. the sun = homohoric (exophoric)
4. this = cataphoric word reference (endophoric)
5. yeah = ellipsis; so = substitution
TASK 10:. They are all cataphoric reference; referent is hitch[ing] lifts.

Further Reading
Thompson 1996, pp. 117 - 133 Themes, 136 - 138 Interpersonal and Textual Themes, and 176
177 for Textual Metaphor; or Thompson 2004, pp. 144 154 Identifying Themes, 158 - 160
Interpersonal and Textual Themes and 235 - 236 for Textual Metaphor
Thompson 1996, pp. 148 158 on Cohesion (reference, ellipsis and conjunction); or Thompson
2004, pp. 180 190

Notes
Key Points

132

Questions for Class

________________________________________________
Appendix A
Common attributive and identifying relational Processes
Common Attributive Relational Processes (Halliday, 1994: 120)
be and become (sometimes also identifying)
remain, stay, keep,
seem, appear, turn out, end up,
look, sound, smell, feel, taste (like)
Identifying Relational Processes
Verbs realizing relational Processes from the equative classes (Halliday, 1994: 123)
act as, function as, serve as
indicate, suggest, imply, mark
equal, add up to
comprise, feature, include
represent, constitute, form
exemplify, illustrate
express, signify, realize, spell, stand for, mean,
Circumstantial Verbs: Identifying Relational Processes with Circumstance as Process (Halliday,
1994: 131-132)
surround, accompany, last, take up, follow, resembles, take up, span, occupies

133

Appendix B
Example of a Functional Grammar Test
Adapted from Time International Nov. 10, 2003

Postcards: on the Edge


The digital age represents the end of a venerable vacation tradition. But are e-cards and text messages really
better?
Its amusing that so many magazine travel articles are entitled Postcard from , because people just
arent sending them like they used to. In an age of e-mail, text messaging and mobile phones equipped with
cameras, the postcards you receive these days are probably from elderly relatives.
A recent study reports that 50% of the people interviewed intended to send fewer postcards in the future.
Fourteen % said they had no time to write them. Ten % preferred to call home instead.
The delivery time for postcards is also at fault*. In another study, 25% of respondents commented that
postcards took too long to arrive. This problem may not have existed 20 years ago when people took longer
vacations. But in these days of three-night packages, you usually get home before your postcards do.
I believe that writing postcards in a romantic Florentine caf or a Beijing teahouse is unbeatable, but
sending photos with your phone is certainly irresistible. If you don't have a mobile phone with a built-in
camera, you can use your laptop. Luckily, there are also internet cafs in most vacation spots. There you
can download images of well-known attractions and send them with your message to multiple recipients.
Technology has made it too easy. I miss those colorful postcards from distant places. I enjoyed sticking
them on my refrigerator - they would remind me of my friends who were far away.

1.

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

In the sub-heading, The digital age represents the end of a venerable vacation
tradition, what is the process type of represents?
A) Relational: identifying-intensive
C) Relational: attributive - intensive
B) Relational: identifying-possessive D) Relational: attributive - possessive
In par. 2, line 5, what is the participant role of A recent study?
A) Actor B) Agent C) Sayer D) Senser
In par. 3, line 10, what is the participant role of vacations?
A) Actor B) Carrier C) Goal D) Range
In par. 4, line 14, what is the process type of are
A) Relational: circumstantial C) Existential
B) Relational: possessive
D) Behavioral
In par. 5, line 17, what are the participant roles of Technology and it?
A) Initiator-Agent and Actor
C. Actor and Goal
B) Attributor-Agent and Carrier D. Actor and Carrier
In par. 5, line 17, what is the participant role of postcards?
A) Phenomenon B) Target
C) Goal D) Beneficiary
What is the semantic relationship between the verbs in the VGC in par. 2, line
5, intended to send ?
A) Expansion: conation
C) Projection: idea
B) Expansion: modulation D) Projection: locution
134

A B C D

A B C D
A B C D
A B C D
A B C D
A B C D
A B C D

8.

In par. 3, line 9, that postcards took too long to arrive is a


A) Reported idea B) Reported locution C) Quoted idea D) Quoted locution
9.
Which of the following has NO embedded clause or embedded PP?
A. the only postcards you receive these days (line 3)
B. they would remind me of my friends who were far away ( lines 18-19)
C. But sending photos with your phone is certainly irresistible (line 13)
D. If you don-t have a mobile phone with a built-in-camera (lines 13-14)
10. In par.1, line 1,what is the Subject ^ Finite in the following clause?
It s amusing that so many magazine travel articles are entitled Postcard
from
a b
c
d
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

16.
17.

18.

19.

A B C D
A B C D

A B C D

A) a + b
B) a + b + c
C) a+ b + d D) b + d
In the space below, cite an example of a Modal adjunct in paragraph 1.
___________________________________________________
In par. 3, line 9, may construes what kind of modality orientation?
A
A) Objective implicit
C) Objective explicit
B) Subjective implicit D) Subjective explicit
In par. 4, line 12, 'I believe that writing postcards is an example of
A
A) Ideational Metaphor
C) Interpersonal Metaphor of Modality
B) Textual Metaphor
D) Logical Experiential Metaphor
In par. 4, line 13, certainly in is certainly irresistible is an example of
A
A) Modalization: high value C) Modulation: high value
B) Modalization: low value D) Modulation: low value
In par.4., line 14, the word Luckily in Luckily, there are also internet cafes A
is an example of a
A) Vocative Adjunct
C) Mood Adjunct
B) Conjunctive Adjunct D) Comment Adjunct
In the sub-heading,what APPRAISAL SYSTEM is being construed with the word A
'really'?
A) Graduation B) Affect C) Judgement D) Appreciation
What APPRAISAL SYSTEM is construed with the word colorful in the last par A
line 17?
A) Engagement
B) Graduation: Focus
C) Judgment: social sanction
D) Appreciation: aesthetics
In par.5, line 18, the word enjoyed in I enjoyed sticking refrigerator A
inscribes:
A) Positive Appreciation: quality
B) Negative Appreciation: social impact
C) Positive Affect: happiness
D) Negative Affect: dissatisfaction
Which of the following is true of statements (i) and (ii) in the text:
A
(i) Technology . it too easy. (last par., line 17)
(ii) I believe that . your phone is certainly irresistible. (par. 4, lines 12-13)
A) statement (i) is monoglossic and statement (ii) is heteroglossic
B) statement (i) is heteroglossic and statement (ii) is monoglossic
C) statement (i) and statement (ii) are both heteroglossic
D) statement (i) and statement (ii) are both monoglossic
135

B C D
B C D
B C D
B C D

B C D
B C D

B C D

B C D

20.

The wording The delivery time for postcards in par. 3, line 8, exemplifies
A) Projection
C) Marked Theme
B) Nominalization
D) Metaphor of Mood
21. In par. 3, lines 8 - 9, the clause complex In another study, 25% of too long to
arrive. is an example of
A) Marked Theme
C) Thematic Equative
B) Thematized Comment D) Predicated Theme
22. Where does the Rheme begin in But in these days of three-night packages, you
usually get home (par. 3, lines 10-11 )?
A) in these days of three-night packages B) you C) usually D) get
23. In par.2, line 6, what cohesive device is the word them an instance of?
A) Substitution
C) Exophoric reference
B) Ellipsis proper D) Anaphoric reference

A B C D

24.

A B C D

The repetition of sounds, words, groups, phrases, clauses calls forth a


corresponding recurrence of sense. By this we are referring to
A) Grammatical metaphor
C) Condensation
B) Encapsulation
D) Grammatical parallelism
25. Compare these two statements:
(i)
Internet cafs hit your eye wherever you go on vacation.
(ii)
You see internet cafs everywhere you go on vacation

A B C D

A B C D
A B C D

A B C D

A) Statement (i) is expressed in a more incongruent way than statement (ii)


B) Statement (i) is expressed in a less incongruent way than statement (ii)
C) Statement (i) and statement (ii) are both expressed in an equally
incongruent way
D) Statement (i) and statement (ii) are both expressed in an equally
congruent way
26. OPEN-ENDED QUESTION:
Identify and label all the constituents of the TRANSITIVITY SYSTEM in the following clause complex
(Process types, participant roles and circumstance types):
There you can download images of well-known attractions and send them with your message to multiple
recipients. (par. 4, lines 15-16). For example: She told a story .Answer:
Sayer/ Pr. verbal/ Verbiage

KEY
A

Just,
probably B

26: There - Circumstance: Location Space/ you Actor/ download - material Process/ images of
well-known attractions Goal/ send material Process/them Goal/ with your messageCircumstance of Accompaniment/ multiple recipients Beneficiary (Recipient).

136

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Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements go to Prof. Donna Miller, Chair of English Linguistics at the University of Bologna,
for her continuous time and energy dedicated to exchanging ideas and clarifying complex concepts and
for her diligent and invaluable editing of the course-book. I would also like to thank all the hundreds of
students who have been subjected to the first drafts of this handbook. Their difficulties and constructive
feedback have been a major source of insight into pinpointing those areas that have needed further
138

clarification. Special thanks go to Dott.ssa Marina Manfredi and Dott.ssa Emanuela Boiardi for their
generous collaboration in reviewing and commenting on some of the draft chapters.

Index
AFFECT

Agent/ Initiator
Agent/Attributor-Assigner
Anaphoric reference
Appraisee/Appraiser
APPRECIATION

Beneficiary
Cataphoric reference
Channel of Communication
Client
Cohesion non structural resources
Collocation
Comment Adjunct
Condensation
Congruent forms/incongruent forms
Conjunctions and Conjunctive Adjuncts in cohesion
Conjunctive Adjunct
Constant thematic progression
Continuity Adjunct
Deontic modality
Ellipsis
Embedded clause as Theme
Embedded facts
Embedded PPs and embedded clauses
Embedded projections
Embedding . See Section 4.2
Encapsulation
Endophoric reference
ENGAGEMENT

Epistemic modality
Exophoric reference
Explicit/inscribed appraisal
Focus
Force
Given and New
GRADUATION

Heterogloss
Homophoric reference
Hyponymy
Ideational Metaphor See Chapter 7
Ideology
139

88-89
70
70-71
126
89
91-93
48
126
111; 113
48
125
129
29; 115
82
26; 32-33; 3941; 78-84
127-128
30; 44; 115
124
30; 115
33
127
119
53
18-21
66
18-20
82
126
95-100
32
126
93
94; 102
95; 102
118
94-95
96-100
126
128-129
7-10

Implicit/evoked appraisal
Interpersonal Metaphor
Interpolations inTheme
JUDGEMENT
Linear thematic progression
Marked and unmarked themes
Medium
Meronymy
Metaphor of Mood
Modal Operators
Modal/Mood Adjunct
Modality type (also modalization or modulation)
Modalization
Modulation
Monogloss
Morpheme
Nominalization
Objectivization
Orientation of modality
Parallel thematic progression
Predicated theme
Process sharing
Projection of propositions and proposals
Projection with mental processes
Projection with verbal processes
Range
Rankshift
Receiver
Recipient
Reference
Reported locution and reported ideas
Reported proposal
Split Rheme thematic progression
Spoken-ness
Subject-Finite in Mood
Substitution
Text
Thematic equative
Thematic progression
Thematized Comment
Theme in elliptical clauses
Value
Verbal Group Complex
Verbal Operator
Verbiage
Vocative Adjunct
Written-ness

140

93
39-40
117
89-91
124
116; 122; 124
111-113
128-129
40
28
28-30; 115
32-34
32-34
32-34
96-100
3; 16
80-83
82
34 36
124-125
118
111
64-66
53-54
55-56
47-48; 51
17; 21
54
48
126-127
64
64
124
112-113
26-28
127
9
117-118
124
119
119
37: 71
66-69
26
54
30; 115
112-113