Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Misconstruing Mood Adjuncts Of Temporality As Aspectual Continuity Markers

Martin (1992: 232):
The aspectual continuity markers are illustrated below.  Inceptives (e.g. already, finally and at last) are opposed to continuatives (e.g. still); and inceptives are divided into those signalling that something has begun sooner than expected (already) and those coding that it has begun later than expected (finally and at last).
[4:173]  Is Ben coming?
             — He's already here. 
[4:174]  Has Ben shown up?
             — He's finally arrived. 
[4:175]  Has Ben left?
             — No, he's still here.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, these "aspectual continuity markers" are mood Adjuncts of temporality.  They function interpersonally, not logically.

[2] In SFL theory, the mood Adjuncts already and still differ in terms of expectation with regard to the interpersonal time at issue (see Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 127-8).

[3] The terms inceptive and durative — not continuative — relate to the elaboration of processes in terms of phase (see Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 499-501).

[4] The mood Adjuncts already, finally and at last are concerned with expectation with regard to interpersonal time, not the beginning phase of processes.

[5] In SFL theory, the textual cohesion (substitution & ellipsis) is marked here by the mood Adjunct of polarity no (see Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 564).  In Martin's model, the logical relation of continuity is marked here by the continuative still (which in SFL theory is an interpersonal Adjunct).