By Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday, Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Functional Grammar
For * This was true of the earlier editions also. But there the grammar was presented in the form of structure, whereas in this edition we have introduced the category of system into the ongoing account. 31 32 function – rank matrix ideational interpersonal textual clause group/ phrase word morphene least delicate median most delicate stratification – instantiation matrix potential subpotential/ instance type instance context function – rank matrix ideational interpersonal textual clause semantics group/ phrase word morphene least delicate median most delicate lexicogrammar phonology phonetics ideational interpersonal textual Fig.
What this means is that each system — each moment of choice — contributes to the formation of the structure. Of course, there is no suggestion here of conscious choice; the ‘moments’ are analytic steps in the grammar’s construal of meaning (for the relationship between semantic choice and what goes on in the brain; see Lamb, 1999). Structural operations — inserting elements, ordering elements and so on — are explained as realizing systemic choices. So when we analyse a text, we show the functional organization of its structure; and we show what meaningful choices have been made, each one seen in the context of what might have been meant but was not.
1 Fig. 1-7 The system of POLARITY It will be clear that this is a more abstract representation than that of structure, since it does not depend on how the categories are expressed. Positive and negative are contrasting features of the clause, which could be made manifest in many different ways. They represent an aspect of the meaning potential of the language, and they are mutually deﬁning: ‘not positive’ means the same thing as ‘negative’ and ‘not negative’ means the same thing as ‘positive’. The relationship on which the system is based is ‘is a kind of’: a clause having the feature ‘positive’ is a kind of clause.