Presentation on theme: "Centre for Language and Communication Research"— Presentation transcript:
1Centre for Language and Communication Research The Cardiff Grammar:What is it? and Why is it?Robin P. FawcettCentre for Language and Communication ResearchCardiff University
2Our starting point: the two questions in the lecture’s title: 1 What is it?2 Why is it? – i.e.Why does it exist as a separate entity within SFL?Why – and how - did it come into existence?We’ll take ‘Why is it?’ first. So...Part 1 will try to answer ‘Why is it?’ andPart 2 will begin to answer ‘What is it?’because the answer to ‘why’ will explain quite a lot about ‘what’ the CG is.But first, a brief, interim answer to ‘What is it?’
3Gordon Tucker and I have given lectures and courses introducing ‘the Cardiff Grammar’ in many counties. A subtitle that I often use answers the question What is it? neatly - but still inadequately: Introduction to the Cardiff Grammar: a cognitive-interactive version of Systemic Functional Grammar for the 21st Century The CG is just as systemic and just as functional as any of the Sydney-based varieties of SFL.
4Both the Cardiff Grammar (CG) the Sydney Grammar (SG) are components of larger architectures of language and it use. So within SFL there are: two major models of language and its use: the Sydney Model (SM) and the Cardiff Model (CM). The CM differs in emphasis from the SM (or SMs) in several ways – notably in providing a cognitive-interactive framework for modelling language and its use - while still giving a major place to the socio-cultural aspects (on which Halliday and most Sydney-based SF linguists focus). Now: on to...
5Part 1 Why - and how - did the Cardiff Grammar (and so the Cardiff Model of language and its use) come into existence?
6Purpose of Part 1To describe the origins, development and current position of a version of SFL that has been explicitly developed to meet the demands to be expected in the 21st Century.
7This is the story of how a few relatively minor differences This is the story of how a few relatively minor differences in the description of English developed - contrary to the intentions of any member of the Cardiff Group - to become:a distinct theory of language,one with a bibliography of over 250 items, written by over two dozen authors,one about which introductory textbooks have been published in English, Chinese and Spanish.Why tell the story?1 So you will understand more about this major phenomenon that is emerging within SFL;2 So you can decide whether or not it is something you want to know more about - and to use - as many others already have;
8But first let’s establish... To help you to decide whether to buy my Invitation to Systemic Functional Linguistics through the Cardiff Grammar (Fawcett 2008a);To tell you how to get hold of other materials, (including sections of forthcoming books –so that you will be in a better position to decide whether or not to use this version of SFL as the basis of your work in linguistics / applied linguistics - as others have already done.But first let’s establish...
9What do you want from a theory of language? What I want:a picture - a model - of what language is like, one that enables me to feel that I understand (i) what the various components of a language in use are, (ii) how we use them to produce and understand texts, (iii) what each major component is like inside, and (iv) how they function together in human communication.Its grammar must equip me to analyze text-sentences, in terms of their functional syntax, their words, and their intonation or punctuation - and the meanings of all of these.It should be based in a soundly-based, scientific approach to understanding language, taking account of recent advances in the field.
10It should have proved itself in rigorous testing, e. g. (i) It should have proved itself in rigorous testing, e.g (i) in large quantities of rigorously checked text analysis, (ii) through being implemented in a computer, and in other ways.And that is what the theory of language to be presented here gives to me - and to many others.But note: it is the ‘Cardiff Model’ of language and its use - not just a ‘grammar’.
111 How - and why - I chose to work in SFL So - first, a little about myself (my CV!)Born: Sedbergh, Yorkshire (like Halliday and his teacher, J.R Firth)School: Bootham School, YorkUniversity of Oxford: Modern LanguagesInstitute of Education, University of London: PGCE in TESLThen to Kenya:Kenya: Kapsabet Secondary SchoolKagumo College of EducationKenya Institute of Education:Curriculum Development and Research UnitMy task: to develop a new primary English course.What framework? What theory? (In 1965, note!)Chomsky’s TGG? Halliday’s S&C? (only later -> SFG)
12So I was first - and remain - a teacher (later a researcher, and now a researcher and writer)Then....University College London: PhD in LinguisticsTopic: to identify the best framework for use in language teaching (Supervisors: Michael Halliday -> Dick Hudson).West Midlands College of Education, then toUniversity of Glamorgan (major corpus project, SF syntax)c Emergence of the exciting new field of Natural Language Generation (branch of CL)To Cardiff UniversityRetired (!) Emeritus ProfessorSo what did I do ?
132 SFL at Cardiff University In 1987, within thethe Centre for Language and Communication Research Gordon Tucker and I founded the Computational Linguistics Unit (CLU).Main research project: the COMMUNAL Project.Over 0.5 million GBP, (2.5 million RMB)Research goalsto build (components of) a computer system that would enable humans to communicate with ‘artificial intelligences’ within computers;to use the ‘metaphor of the computer’ to increase our understanding of human language;To use SFL principles, and so to contribute to the further development of SFL theory.
14Members of the resident CLU team Director: Robin Fawcett: overall model, lexicogrammar, syntaxDeputy Director: Gordon Tucker: lexis, lexicogrammarJoan Wright (2 yrs) computingFrancis (Yunqing) Lin (6 yrs): computing, general theoretical development, SFLF, discourse structure, etc.David Young: morphology, lexicogrammarPaul Tench: intonationVictor Castel of the University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina (since 2000): computing, genre, discourse, lexicogrammarOver time, many other major research contributions from:several PhD theses (Linguistics AND Computer Science): Tucker, Huang, Neale, Ball, Weerasinghe, Day, Fontaine (and others)
15Contributions from foreign visiting SFL scholars: from Germany: Prof Erich Steiner (1 yr)from Japan: Prof Masa-aki Tatsuki (Chair of JASFL) (1 yr) Dr Hiroshi Funamoto (1 yr)from Canada: Prof Michael Cummings ( 4 visits) from Australia (then): Dr Mick O’Donnell (2 visits)(both working on formalizing the visual representation of system networks)from China: Dr Zhou Xiaokang via Melbourne (1 mth)Prof Huang Guowen, now of Sun Yat-sen University (Chair of CFLA) (2 yrs)Dr Yang Guowen, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing (1 yr)
16Visiting scholars from abroad Many, includingMichael Halliday (Australia)Christian Matthiessen (Sweden-USA-Australia-Hong Kong)Leading figures in NLG:David McDonald (USA)Ehud Reiter (Scotland)And from China:Prof Miao Xingwei of Shandong University (1 yr)Assoc Prof Wang Hongyang of Ningbo University (1 yr)Dr Li Li of Xiamen University (though based at Birmingham)Prof He Wei of USTB, Beijing (1 yr)Professor Zhang Delu of the Ocean University, Qingdao (3 mths).... and many others
17Hence my many visits to China 1 Teaching two MA courses at USTBUsing the Cardiff Grammar for text analysisCurrent issues in Linguistic Theory from a SFL perspectiveVisiting lectures at eight other universities.In 2009:USTB July-August 2009: SFL semantic analysisIn 2010:Sun Yat-sen April-May:5 USTB May: Symposium: SFG: the full model (SFG as a generative grammar)
18The CLU team’s activities Research on (i) describing English (and later Chinese and Japanese) and (ii) writing computer programs.(More later on research methods, etc)2 Teaching on(i) two undergraduate BAs(Language and Communication, English Language Studies(Fawcett, Tucker, Tench, Young)(ii) postgraduate MA in in Language and Communication(Fawcett, Tucker, Tench)(iii) postgraduate MScs in (a) Computer Science and (b) Cognitive Science (Fawcett)3 Supervising CG-related PhD theses and MSc dissertations (Fawcett, Tucker, Tench, Young)
193 The products of 20 years of research (a) Very large computer programs that(i) generate sentences (Fawcett, Tucker, Lin, etc)(ii) generate discourse structures (Fawcett, Davies, Lin)(iii) plan the input to generation (Fawcett, Lin)(iv) analyze (i.e. parse) sentences (Weerasinghe, Day, Fawcett)(v) interpret a syntactic structure as a semantic structure (O’Donoghue)So ‘the Cardiff Grammar’ is just part of ‘the Cardiff Model of Language and its Use’- an entire architecture (See the handout)
20(ii) other components of COMMUNAL, b) Publications on(i) the computational work on lexicogrammar (which includes semantics, in the Cardiff Model)(ii) other components of COMMUNAL,e.g. SFLF, the belief system, microplanners, parser, etc(iii) the Cardiff Grammar,i.e. descriptions of English, Chinese, Japanese (so far!) and works on theory (e.g. Tucker 1998, Fawcett 2000a)in the form of(i) scholarly books (examples)(ii) scholarly papers in journals and chapters in books – and, in 2008:(iii) textbooks (in Chinese, English and Spanish)
21Look at the selected bibliography (See the handout) - a demonstration that boththe COMMUNAL Project andThe Cardiff Grammarare the results of a team effort.Full bibliography: over 250 itemsby over 25 authorsThis brings us to …
22Overview of recent and forthcoming books about the Cardiff Grammar
23Note especiallythe recent book publications in Section Athe available pre-publications in Section B.These are the mainworks that this lecture is designed to lead on to.You can order Fawcett 2008 with a 25% discount (details on the handout)and the new paperback edition of Fawcett 2000/2010, with a new ‘Preface to the 2010 paperback edition’ and an updated bibliography with a 30% discountYou can order the books in Section C, as they appear, for yourself or your university’s library.And skim Section D to get an impression of the range publications from the Cardiff Model
24Aside: the future of SFL at Cardiff Gordon Tucker, Paul Tench and I have now all retired- i.e. retired from teaching and admin!NOT from research, writing, lecturing and teaching overseas, etc.The future of SFL at Cardiff is safe in the hands of:Dr Tom Bartlett (lexicogrammar, culture, ideology)Dr Lise Fontaine (lexicogrammar, computer-mediated communication)Dr Gerard O’Grady (intonation specialist; replacing Paul Tench)
25That’s Part 1 of the story. What next? Part 2 of the story What I CAN”T do in one lecture- show you the whole of the Cardiff Grammar.What I CAN do:- give you reasons for(1) reading the introductory books,(2) considering using Invitation as the version of SFL to teach (plus supporting materials, - see the bibliography on the handout)
26Why has the Cardiff Grammar come into existence Part 2Why has the Cardiff Grammar come into existenceas a distinct sub-theory within SFL?
27What is – or should be - the common ground between the SG and the CG? Let us start by asking:Who is the world’s greatest living linguist?Chomsky? No!Halliday? Yes!A big claim! Grounds?For me: the five revolutionary insights that Halliday introduced in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
28Halliday’s five great innovations in lexicogrammar: are they the common ground for all SFGs?
29BackgroundIn the early 1960s, Linguistics was pre-occupied with syntagmatic relations at the level of form i.e. with syntax.Most obvious in Chomsky’s TG grammar (focus on relating one structure to another).Halliday too: e.g. in ‘Categories of the theory of grammar’ (1961).Then in a few years (starting in 1966) he produced the following five revolutionary ideas.
30Innovation 1In ‘Categories’ (1961), Halliday’s four main concepts were:unit, (element of) structure, class (of unit), and system.But in ‘Some notes on “deep” grammar’ (1966/76: 93-4)he proposed a change in the ‘balance of power’ in the theory of language - and so also in descriptions of languages -by giving a central role to the concept of ‘system’ - i.e.he made system more ‘basic’ than structure,so treating paradigmatic relations (choice)as more fundamental thansyntagmatic relations (sequence + constituency).
31‘The grammar is based on the notion of choice. … ‘The grammar is based on the notion of choice. …. The speaker of a language …. can be regarded as carrying out… a number of distinct choices. …. The grammar of any language can be represented as a very large network of systems.’(Halliday 1969/76:3)=> ‘Systemic Grammar’ (e.g. Hudson 1971)
32Innovation 2Halliday proposed that the system networks for TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME etc should be seen as presentingchoices between meanings(rather than choices between forms).Most famously in the New Horizons paper (Halliday 1970).HUGE INFLUENCE!‘The system of available options is the grammar of the language.... [these are] the meaning potential of language itself.’(Halliday 1970: 142)
33Also at many points in Explorations (1973), e.g. ‘A functional theory of language is a theory about meanings, not about words or constructions. …. Where then do we find the functions differentiated in language? They are differentiated semantically, as different areas of what I call the meaning potential [my emphasis].*(Halliday 1971/73b:110)* i.e. in the system networks for TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME, etc.
34The result of adding Innovation 2 to Innovation 1: The concept ofchoice between meanings in system networksbecame the heart of the new model of language.=> ‘Systemic Functional Grammar’(Halliday; Hasan, Martin, Matthiessen, Butt; Fawcett, Tucker, Tench, Huang, Castel; O’Toole, Kress, van Leeuwen, etc, etc.)Implemented computationally in 1980s and 1990s:(i) the Penman Project (ISI, U. of S. California)(ii) the COMMUNAL Project (CLU, Cardiff University)(iii) many others, borrowing from both.SFG became the dominant model in NLG in the 1990s.
35Innovation 3Halliday suggested that a clause is the simultaneous realization ofseveral different strands of meaning (or ‘metafunctions’).FOUR to FIVE (and more) in the Sydney Grammar, i.e. in IFG
36EIGHT strands of meaning in the Cardiff Grammar (Fawcett 2008a):
37Innovation 4Halliday (1961) suggested the possibility that the system network might one day be extended beyondthe modelling of grammatical structures and itemsand also be used in the task of modellinga language’s lexis (vocabulary) - so creatingsystem networks for lexis, and soan integrated lexicogrammar.First implemented computationally in the COMMUNAL Project - and on a large scale (e.g. over 5000 terminal features in the ‘cultural classification of thing’ network);See the survey of the literature in Tucker 1996, and the works of Tucker, Neale, Ball and myself.
38Innovation 5 Halliday demonstrated, by providing a remarkably full description, thatintonation can - and should - be included in the lexicogrammar of a language.(Halliday 1967, 1970)First implemented computationally in the COMMUNAL Project (Fawcett 1980) - and also punctuation.
39It is these five concepts that constituted the core assumptions of the Cardiff Grammar in the 1970s. So the Cardiff Grammar is in a direct line of descent from Halliday’s own specification of the nature of a Systemic Functional Grammar.But are they still the core assumptions of the Sydney Grammar?(It seems not, in one key respect Back to this later!)
40The combined effect was REVOLUTIONARY! Taken together, these five innovations have immeasurably broadened and deepened our view, as linguists, of both1 the nature of language and2 the task that linguists face in constructing models of it.Those who came into Linguistics after the 1970s may find it hard to understand how challenging to mainstream linguistics these proposals were.The combined effect was REVOLUTIONARY!
41They inspired us to adopt the challenging position that What was the effect of these ideas on those of us working in SFL at the time?They inspired us to adopt the challenging position thatthe system networks of TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME and the like ARE the semantics of language.Our writings at the time demonstrate this clearly:
42Berry, in her classic introduction to SFG, wrote: the terms in a system .... are distinct meanings within a common area of meaning [my emphasis].(Berry 1975: 144)(Here ‘a common area of meaning’ = ‘a system or system network’.)
43And Kress (editor of Halliday 1976), states: ‘the freeing of system from surface structure has a consequence that systems are now made up of terms which are semantic features [my emphasis].’(Kress 1976:35)
44And I wrote:‘Meaning’ is concerned with ‘the intra-linguistic level of semantics. …. A network may therefore be regarded as a summary of a complex area of meaning potential [my emphasis].(Fawcett 1973/81:157).So all echo Halliday 1970 and 1971/3.
45, These quotations from (i) Halliday himself and (ii) others writing in the 1970sdemonstrate that the Cardiff Grammar is based on the principles that established Systemic Functional Grammar.i.e. it is just as systemic and just as functional as Halliday’s version (‘the Sydney Grammar’).Halliday has described the Cardiff Grammar as:‘a closely related grammar [to that described in Halliday 1994], with some descriptive differences but based on the same systemic functional theory’.(Halliday 1994:xii)
46Halliday’s 1970s proposals entail a model of language like this: It is implemented in the computer versions ofboth the Cardiff Grammar and the Sydney Grammar.To prove it, consider.....
48In a historical perspective, we should by now, over thirty years later, be well advanced in the long task of:1 revising and extending the descriptions of languages made prior to this still new view of language,2 testing and evaluating our revised descriptions, revising again (and sometimes rejecting) large and small parts of them,4 re-testing and re-evaluating them ....This has been the programme of research on the lexicogrammar since the 1970s of myself and, from 1987 onwards, of the whole Cardiff Grammar team.But has this been the goal of the Sydney grammarians?No! Why not? We’ll come to that...
49The big problem for the goal of a unified SFL: In my view, the common ground between all SFGs should be the combination of Halliday’s five great innovations of the 1970s.The big problem for the goal of a unified SFL:Halliday - followed by most (all?) other Sydney Grammarians – has modified one of the most central of the five innovatory proposals,without pointing out the enormous change to the model that this implies.(Back to this shortly.)So - When did the concept of a ‘Cardiff Grammar’ arise?
50What brought the Cardiff Grammar into existence? In the early 1970s, my description of English differed from Halliday’s only in relatively minor wayse.g. my version of the TRANSITIVITY network.Aside: this has been widely used; it is simpler, more comprehensive, and more user-friendly for text analysts (e.g. by Anke Schulz at Darmstadt).It was widely used in NLG and MT systems in the 1980s and 1990s (some still in use).Throughout the 1970s and 1980s there was no ‘Cardiff Grammar’, nor any thought of developing a separate version of the theory.So:What brought the Cardiff Grammar into existence?
51Answer: the combination of three factors: The many improvements to what was to become the Cardiff Grammar, as a result of the eight factors about to be described2 The (relative) lack of developments in the Sydney Grammar (as opposed to the overall Sydney Model)The fact that the Sydney grammarians adopted hardly any of the improvements made in what was to develop into the Cardiff GrammarWe’ll look first at the eight factors in 1 above (very briefly).
52Eight developments in Descriptive Linguistics that have led toimprovements in the Cardiff Grammar
53For each factor, ask yourself: Would you expect this to lead toimprovements in descriptions of languages?
54descriptions of languages in terms of meaning and function 1 The growing emphasis in Linguistics in general on providingdescriptions of languages in terms of meaning and function(in broad senses of both terms)i.e. meaning AS WELL AS form - but not replacing form.Note the influence on this change of Halliday’s writings.In the CG: we made ALL the system networks semantic - e.g. MOOD - as Halliday had largely done for TRANSITIVITY.
55The enormous amount of work, using earlier SFL descriptions of English (and other languages)by university teachers, researchers and students - onthe detailed analysis of very large quantities of text- and so in turn onextending and refining earlier descriptions.In the CG:(a) Fawcett & Perkins (late 1970s) child language corpus of 70,000 words (a rare syntactically analyzed corpus), and(b) three decades of supervising student projects on analyzing text - also Nottingham, Madrid, Liverpool etc.Most such work is not widely publicized.
56The great amount of traditional descriptive work by OTHER functionally-oriented scholars working in linguistics and pragmatics(some drawing on SFL ideas), e.g.West Coast functionalists,other functional theories (FG, RRG, Cognitive Grammar).In the CG: We have benefitted from:(a) Leech’s meticulous descriptions of various aspects of English,(b) the great descriptions of English grammar of Quirk et al 1985 and Biber et al 1999, and Sinclair’s COBUILD Dictionary, West Coast functionalists (Chafe, Prince).
57The enormous amount of work by formally-oriented linguists focussed primarily on syntax (e.g. those working in the Chomskyan paradigm).Much is too theory-dependent to be relevant outside their own theoretical frameworks.But some has helped us to identify the data of syntactic structures that the grammar must generate.In the CG: This work challenged us to develop new syntactic and semantic analyses within SFG for complex constructions whose ‘traditional’ names reflect a ‘transformational’ approach, e.g. ‘raising’, ‘cleft’, ‘pseudo-cleft’, ‘extraposition’ and ‘left-dislocation’.See especially the definitive study of the ‘experiential enhanced theme’ construction (aka ‘it-cleft’) by Huang (1996, 2002).
58The enormous quantities of new evidence now available to linguists through our ability to study patterns of language invery large corpora of text(stored in, and accessed through, computers).In the CG: as well as our own parsed corpus (see 2 above), we have benefited, in countless ways, from the British National Corpus and the Bank of English.Huang Guowen, Gordon Tucker, Fiona Ball, Amy Neale, Michael Day and Robin Fawcett have all made innovative contributions to the Cardiff Grammar as a direct result of work with these corpora.
59The growing appreciation of the central role of probabilitiesin modelling language,typically derived from large computer corpora.(Contrast the crude ‘grammatical v. ungrammatical’ distinction still found in most formal grammars.)In the CG: we have accepted the general principle that ‘probability’ is a more significant concept than ‘grammaticality’ (and indeed that it includes it). So:(a) we put percentages (changeable) on features in system networks (apart from introductory mini-grammars), and(b) we use them in parsing (filling probabilities).
60The important lessons to be learnt from developing and formalizing very large SFGs in a computer model of language.Such models can be TESTED by running them, both in Natural Language Generation and in Natural Language Understanding (including parsing).In the CG: this factor has been a major aspect of the advances in the Cardiff Grammar.In NLG: probabilities on features in system networksIn NLU: probabilities that a unit will fill an element’probabilities that one element will be followed by another
618 The steadily growing recognition, in (a) NLG and (b) most theories of language that:No account of language and its use can be complete without being set within the framework of a cognitive-interactive model of communication.One of the great strengths of Sydney systemicists is their interest in society, culture, ideology, etc - the socio-cultural aspects of language and its use But this gives us only half the cake.We also need to model the details of how we plan and execute texts,i.e. the cognitive-interactive aspects of language use(e.g. for understanding the meaning and use of concepts such as ‘theme’ and ‘new’).
62In the CG: The model that was to develop into the Cardiff Grammar has had a cognitive-interactive orientation from its origins in my early work (Fawcett 1973/81 and 1980).This has led to a series of major studies in COMMUNAL ofwhat guides us when we choose between the features in system network, and so ofthe overall architecture of language and its use.For this, see my forthcoming book ‘Alternative Architectures for Systemic Functional Linguistics’ (Fawcett forthcoming 2011a in your handout).
63SummaryIn science, the models of the phenomenon being studied are constantly subject to testing, evaluation and change, then more testing, evaluation and change, and so on.Linguistics is - or should be - a science.It is the eight factors described here that have led, collectively, to the many advances in the Cardiff Grammar in the period 1870 to and that are STILL leading to improvements.Where can you see the results of these developments?In the 250 published books and articles(see the bibliography on the handout)- starting with Invitation to Systemic Functional LinguisticsNote: the footnotes in Invitation give details of the reasons for the changes from Halliday.
64We have seen the influences that helped to change the lexicogrammar in the Cardiff Model 1970-2010. What has been happening in the framework of the Sydney Model ?Plenty, as we shall see - BUT …There have been almost NO CHANGES in Halliday’s description of the lexicogrammar of English.
65The question is: Why has there been this (relative) lack of developments in the Sydney Grammar (as opposed to the Sydney Model)? Part of the answer – but not all of it - can be found by looking at the work being carried out in the Sydney Model over this period. So we shall look at that – very briefly.
66However, before we start focusing the differences between the work in the SM and in the CM, let me emphasize:1 the immense significance of Halliday’s five revolutionary innovations of the 1970s.This revolution left SFL both(i) very different from all other theories, and (ii) far in advance of them in its overall framework- both then and still today, over thirty years later (cp the limited scope of Cognitive Grammar, FG or RRG);2 the immense amount of common ground between all SFGs, which is largely based on the five revolutionary innovations.
67The foci of work in the Sydney Grammar 1970-2010 (a) Understanding and then trying out Halliday’s other major innovative ideas of the 1970s:1 his functionally based model of child language development (Halliday 1975),2 his ‘explorations’ of the concept of ‘language as social semiotic’ (Halliday 1973 and 1978),3 a picture of the development of the language of science, which has since grown into4 an interesting socio-cultural theory of the development of human language,5 the concept of ‘grammatical metaphor’ - and so the support that this gave to the idea from the 1970s that the model needs6 a layer of system networks ABOVE those of TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME etc, called variously ‘socio-semantics’, ‘discourse semantics’ and more recently simply ‘semantics’.
68Each of these six areas is sufficient to motivate a lifetime of research! In addition, especially pre-1985, but also in the period pre-1994:(b) Halliday’s huge amount of work on preparing hisIntroduction to Functional Grammar (IFG)for publication in 1985 and 1994.So this would NOT have been a good time for him to be considering changes to the SG.But Sydney-based linguists have also been working on the following:
69(c) Describing languages other than English, using as a ‘template’ the IFG description of English(Matthiessen and colleagues)Very valuable.Complementary to work in the Cardiff Grammar?Yes, for now.But at some point we shall need to decidewhich of the two models is the ‘better’ one(for this and other purposes).(d) Work on genre (Hasan, Martin, Ventola)(e) Developing the ‘appraisal’ framework (Martin, White)Excellent summaries of the above work in Matthiessen’s 2007 survey of work ‘in the IFG tradition’ in Continuing Discourse on Language.)
70So we return to this question: Why has there been this (relative) lack of developments in the Sydney Grammar (in contrast with the many developments in the Sydney MODEL) in this period?Three possible reasons:Perhaps all the Sydney grammarians have been too busy with other aspects of the overall model of language and its uses to think about revising the lexicogrammar.They may think: ‘The lexicogrammar is Halliday’s field, so we’ll leave it to him.’3 Halliday was focussing on the book production stage of IFG.But there is fourth possible reason (a more theoretical one):
71, In this fouth reason, the line of argument would run like this: In the Sydney architecture of language there is now, in principle, a new level of system networks that is called ‘the semantics’ (even though there is relatively little descriptive work of any language at that level).The system networks of TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME etc are consequently no longer seen, as they were by most leading systemicists in the 1970s, as being at the level of meaning.They are therefore now assumed to be at the level of form. (This, of course, is they were in the 1960s, when the model was called Scale and Category Grammar and ‘system’ was one of the four major categories at the level of form (i.e. BEFORE Halliday gave it the status of modelling the meaning potential of a language).
72Consider the history of If this is so, there is no reason to undertake the vast task of reviewing all of Halliday’s networks from the 1960’s and early 1970s (as we have done in the CG), and revising them so they they become explicitly semantic networks of choices between meanings.So the original system networks of the 1960s and early 1970s, most of which existed BEFORE the five great innovations described earlier, are fine as they are.
73Halliday seems to be tacitly endorsing this line of argument when he states (Halliday 1993: 4507 that ‘Systemic work [in the Sydney framework] has tended to expand by moving into new spheres of activity, rather than by re-working earlier positions.’ In other words: Halliday is simply recording the facts that: when he made the system networks semantic in the 1970s, he did not then review the existing system networks, and when he later reassigned the networks to the level of form, he did not ‘desemanticize’ the TRANSITIVITY network. NB He has chosen his words carefully; he does not say whether making no changes was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
74natorySo: 1 The fact is that most of Halliday’s system networks (except modality) have barely changed in the decades since the early 1970s. 2 This is in spite of the many advances in research methods described earlier, which should have enabled us all to spot weaknesses in our earlier models and then to revise them – as we have done continually in the Cardiff Grammar. 3 However, many good scholars seem to be reasonably content to use Halliday’s description of English for text description, etc. (Because it is the best descriptive framework that is widely available available?)
75This intriguing question remains: Did Halliday really get (almost) everything right, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s?My answer:Halliday has produced an extraordinarily large number of genuinely insightful ideas, but no one - not even Michael Halliday – can get everything right the first time!Advances in Linguistics, as in any other science, proceed by a combination ofinnovatory ideas and2 testing, revising, evaluating, re-testing, re-revising, etc.Halliday’s role is clear and his reputation secure; he is the most innovatory - and so greatest – of living linguists.
76So the major difference between the SG and the CG is the double claim that there is a higher system network, above the networks for TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME, etc, andthat having this additional level is the best way to explain the the set of phenomena that Halliday groups together under the umbrella heading of ‘grammatical metaphor’.The concept of ‘grammatical metaphor’ was a valuable contribution to linguistics, in that it drew attention to an understudied set of phenomena that require:(a) modelling in the overall architecture of language and its use (a synchronic description) and, if possible, (b) an explanation of how they arose (a diachronic description).(This was part of Halliday’s ‘second set of major insights’.)
77The proposal is set out most fully in Halliday & Matthiessen (1999). Many questions about this proposal remain to be answered, e.g.:1 What would these new system networks be like?(So far we have only fragments of description in Halliday & Matthiessen 1999 and Hasan’s writings.)2 How do the higher networks predetermine choices in the lower one?3 Is the enormously greater complexity of the new model justified?AND, most important of all….4 Are there alternative ways of dealing with these ‘problems’? And, if so .…5 What are they?
78And there ARE other possible solutions. So what is the status of the ‘two levels of meaning’ proposal, from the viewpoint of linguistics as a science?An interesting hypothesis - but only that.So, if there are other possible solutions to the problem, we should, as good scientists, explore them.And there ARE other possible solutions.We have explored one set in the Cardiff Grammar, ANDimplemented many parts in the computer.See Fawcett forthcoming 2009 for descriptions of some cases in which a solution to the problem lies in a ‘higher planning’ component.
79An example of how to get rid of ONE of the ‘problems’ to which ‘grammatical metaphor’ is the supposed solution(from Invitation)
80A semantic system network for MOOD (Figure 11.1)
81A semantic system network for MOOD (Figure 11.2)
82A summary of the problem 1 In the 1970s, Halliday’s writings seemed to support first one interpretation, then another, of the concept that system networks should model choices between meanings.(We should not blame him for this; it was an honest reflection of his current thinking at the time.)In the 1980s and 1990s he increasingly writes in a way that assumes (i) that there is a higher level of system networks, (ii) that this is ‘the semantics’, and (iii) that the networks of TRANSITIVITY, MOOD, THEME etc are therefore at the level of form.3 Most Sydney grammarians appear to accept the new ‘two levels of meaning’ model described in Halliday & Matthiessen 1999 uncritically (but not Martin, for experiential meaning).
83In the Cardiff Grammar, we are testing exciting alternative ways of handling the ‘grammatical metaphor phenomena’ - with good results.Conclusions1 Halliday’s adoption of ‘two levels of meaning’ model creates a major difference between the Sydney Grammar and the Cardiff Grammar.The Cardiff Grammar has just ONE level of meaning AND it can handle the ‘grammatical metaphor phenomena’.2 It will take time to resolve this issue.
84An example: towards a coming together of views An example: towards a coming together of views? Consider the history of the system network for TRANSITIVITY: In the early 1960s, Halliday’s TRANSITIVITY network was at the level of form (concerning the number of Complements, etc). By the 1970s it had been fundamentally changed: it concerned Participant Roles, etc, and he explicitly describes it as ‘semantic’. In the 1990s the same system network is being treated as part of the lexicogrammar – all of which is now at the level of form. So is the TRANSITIVITY network part of semantics or part of form?
85Halliday’s two answers: In terms of the architecture of language, Halliday places it at the level of form.But in his 1994 ‘Introduction’ to IFG he describes the lexicogrammar in IFG as having been‘pushed fairly far’ ... ‘in the direction of the semantics’ (Halliday 1994: xix)ConclusionsI think the second answer, based on the nitty gritty experience of descriptive work, is nearer the mark.This would mean that the positions of the SG and the CG are less far apart than is suggested by the widespread assumptions (in the SG world) about the status of the higher network for ‘semantics’ (still under-developed).
86Summary The Cardiff Model –Why did it come into existence? How I came into Linguistics and then into SFL,The group of researchers in CLU at Cardiff University,Halliday’s five revolutionary insights of the early 1970s - a turning point in the history of Linguistics,4 the main difference between the Cardiff and the Sydney Grammars:the Cardiff Grammar has one level of system networks(at the level of meaning)the Sydney grammar has two levels of system networks(one at the level of meaning and one at the level of form).
87Where do we go next?We have surveyed the the eight factors that led to developments in the Cardiff GrammarBut not the developments themselves - a major task!What exactly were the developments?1 one major one: confirmation of Halliday’s five 1970s insights2 the detailed proposals:(a) developments in lexicogrammar:(i) next session: a workshop on using the CG functional syntax for text analysis (so some of the developments!)(ii) Invitation and the other books and resources(b) developments in the overall architectureAlternative Architectures for SFL
88We who work in the framework of the Cardiff Model accept most - but not all - of what we have inherited from our teacher, Michael Halliday.Some things we have replaced.This is because, in science, new evidence leads to new or modified descriptions, and sometimes to a modification of the theory.For the modifications that contribute to the theory of syntax that is required in a SFG for the twenty-first century, see Fawcett 2000/2010 – now out in paperback – so more affordable!Only one thing is certain – that our current models will be subject to further improvements in the future!