Saturday, 10 October 2015

Misconstruing Logico-Semantic Relations Realised In The Clause [1]

Martin (1992: 309-10, 311):
The basic strategy used here will be to apply Halliday's general logico-semantic relations of expansion to clause, nominal group and verbal group meanings in order to produce a more abstract level of interpretation. … With clauses, elaboration is through Process ° Range: process (as opposed to Range: entity) structures.  These are of two kinds.  One type makes use of a general verb such as do, make, take etc. and expresses the experiential meaning of the process as a Range: e.g. do work.  The Range in effect elaborates on the general verb by specifying the meaning involved.  The other type makes use of a more specific verb which the Range function then subclassifies; the verbs play and tell are commonly specified in this way.  From the point of view of field, playing tennis, playing monopoly, playing rummy and so on are all hyponyms of play.  As Halliday (1985: 135) points out, "Tennis is clearly not an entity; there is no such thing as tennis other than the act of playing it."
play = tennis/football/cards/monopoly/chess/rummy…
tell = joke/story/anecdote/news/answer/solution… 

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, the logico-semantic relations of both expansion and projection obtain in the figure between the Nucleus (Process/Medium) and other participants (and circumstances) — see Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 174-5).  That is, the relation is not between the Process and participants, and the type of relation is not restricted to expansion.

Elaboration in the figure is not restricted to Range: process.  It is also the relation between the Nucleus and Range as Attribute: quality and as Attribute: class.

[2] This describes only Range in material clauses, namely Scope.  Range occurs with all process types except the existential (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 293).  It corresponds to Behaviour in behavioural clauses, Verbiage in verbal clauses, Attribute in attributive clauses, Value in decoding identifying clauses, and Phenomenon in emanating mental clauses.

[3] The Range: process elaborates the Nucleus, not the verb.

[4] When the verb tell serves as a verbal Process, the logico-semantic relation between the Nucleus and the Range (Verbiage) is projection, not expansion: elaboration.

[5] More accurately, semantically, tennis, monopoly, rummy and so on are all hyponyms of game.  The Halliday quote on Range is irrelevant to the hyponymy analysis.

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