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Analysing English Grammar. Working with structures. Outline of the workshop. Describe the main structural units in SFG Useful tests for identifying clause internal boundaries. Function and Form . In working with grammatical structures, the key is to:

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analysing english grammar

Analysing English Grammar

Working with structures

outline of the workshop
Outline of the workshop
  • Describe the main structural units in SFG
  • Useful tests for identifying clause internal boundaries
function and form
Function and Form

In working with grammatical structures, the key is to:

  • recognise structural units and connect them to the functions they serve to express
  • recognise functions and connect them to the structural units which serve to express them
structural units
Structural units

“Describing a sentence as a construction of words is rather like describing a house as a construction of bricks, without recognizing the walls and the rooms as intermediate structural units”.

  • Halliday (1994:180)
main elements of the clause experiential view
Main elements of the clause:experiential ‘view’

Clause

Participant

Process

Participant

Circumstance

John

might fix

it

tomorrow

main elements of the clause interpersonal view
Main elements of the clause:interpersonal ‘view’

Clause

Mood

Residue

Subject

Finite

Complement

Predicator

Adjunct

John

might

it

fix

tomorrow

main elements of the clause textual view
Main elements of the clause:textual‘view’

Clause

Theme

Rheme

John

might

it

fix

tomorrow

what are the main structural units of the clause
What are the main structural units of the clause?

clause level

Clause

group level

determiner

noun

verb

determiner

noun

word level

that

idiot

drove

the

car

he

drove

the

car

the

car

was driven

by

the man

slide9

ENRAGED COW INJURES FARMER WITH AX

Clause

group level

group

group

group

group

adjective

noun

verb

noun

preposition

noun

enraged

cow

injures

farmer

with

axe

slide10

ENRAGED COW INJURES FARMER WITH AX

Clause

group level

group

group

group

adjective

noun

verb

enraged

cow

injures

farmer

with

axe

groups in sfg
Groups in SFG
  • Lexical base
  • Expansion of the lexical base (word)
  • Head + Modifier
  • Nouns  nominal group (nice people)
  • Verbs  verbal group (was eating)
  • Adverb  adverbial group (so quickly)
  • Adjective  adjectival group (very nice)
  • Conjunction  conjunction group (even if)
  • ...

Phrase: reduction of a clause

  • Preposition  prepositional phrase
slide12

Groups : expansions of a word – Logical Structure

right

in

the five red

books

on my desk

nice

people

Postmodifier

Head

Premodifier

much more

quickly

than he could

as

nice

as you

good

very

if

even

basic structure of the nominal group
Basic structure of the nominal group

Nominal group:

[Deictic] [Numerative] [Epithet] [Classifier] [Thing] [Qualifier]

Determiners

Modifiers

ng

Qualifier

D

Modifier

Thing

old

woman

who thought she had bought a hand massager

the

in the shoe

slide14

ng

Qualifier

D

Mod.

Thing

woman

who thought she had bought a hand massager

old

the

Postmodifier

Head

Premodifier

[Thing]

[Qualifier]

[Deictic]

[Numerative]

[Epithet]

[Classifier]

Determiners

Modifiers

basic structure of the prepositional phrase
Basic structure of the prepositional phrase

Prepositional phrase: [Process] [Range] (experiential structure)

Not a case of Head + Modifier

PP

PP → pg ng

pg: preposition group

ng: nominal group

pg

ng

pg

d

th

in

the

shoe

they filmed the scene in the hallway
They filmed [the scene in the hallway]

Clause

Participant

Participant

Process

ng

They

filmed

q

d

th

pp

the

scene

pg

ng

pg

d

th

in

the

hallway

they filmed the scene in the hallway1
They filmed [the scene][in the hallway]

Clause

Circumstance

Participant

Participant

Process

pp

ng

They

filmed

pg

ng

d

th

pg

d

th

the

scene

in

the

hallway

boundaries and ambiguities
Boundaries and ambiguities

Groucho Marx:

« One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas…

... how he got into my pyjamas, I’ll never know »

slide19

Clause

Circumstance

Participant

Process

Participant

Circumstance

qualifier

One morning

I

shot

an

elephant

PP

What function does this unit have?

in my pyjamas

pronoun replacement test
Pronoun replacement test
  • The group acts as a single unit.
  • Pronouns DO NOT replace nouns
  • Pronouns replace a unit/group

One morning I shotan elephant in mypjs.

One morning I shotit.

One morning I shotan elephant in mypjs.

One morning I shotit in mypjs

slide21

I thought the item on the old woman who thought she had bought a hand massager but actually bought a dildo was excellent

Listener Comment from:

RADIO 4 - SATURDAY LIVE

was

excellent

it

I

thought

the item on the old woman who thought she had bought a hand massager but actually bought a dildo

was

excellent

movement tests
Movement tests
  • (Pronoun replacement test)
  • Cleft test
  • Passive test
  • Subject test
cleft test
Cleft test
  • It was X that Y

e.g. I saw the man from the car

    • It was the man I saw from the car
    • It was the man from the car that I saw
    • It was from the car that I saw the man
    • It was the man from the car that I saw
passive test
Passive test
  • X process Y  Y was processed

e.g. I saw the man from the car

    • The man was seen from the car
    • The man from the car was seen
subject test to determine subject
Subject test: to determine Subject
  • Clause must be in declarative (statement) form
  • Reformulate the clause in the interrogative from (you may need to add an auxiliary verb)
  • The auxiliary will form a boundary around the Subject

e.g. The symptoms of early cataract can be improved with new eyeglasses.

Can the symptoms of early cataract be improved with new eyeglasses?

*Can the symptoms be improved of early cataract with new eyeglasses

 ‘the symptoms of early cataract’ is the Subject, and therefore one structural unit.

basic structure of the verbal group
Basic structure of the verbal group

Verbal group: [Finite] ([Polarity]) ([Auxiliary])* [Event]

vg

Finite/Auxiliary1

Auxiliary2

Auxiliary4

Auxiliary3

Event

being

tricked

have

been

might

I might[mod.] have[perf.] been[prog.] being[pass.] tricked[lexicalverb] by that guy.

3 ways for clauses to combine
3 ways for clauses to combine
  • embedding (within) – [rankshifting]
    • This is the house that Jack built
  • co-ordinating (equal) – [parataxis]
    • I like John and John likes me.
  • subordinating (dependant) – [hypotaxis]
    • I will like John if he likes me.
recognizing embedded clauses
Recognizing (embedded) clauses
  • Each clause has only one main verb (Event)
  • Every independent clause must have a Finite element (whether expressed or not)
  • All non-finite clauses are embedded (and serve to express a function within the clause or a group)
slide29

3 types of NON-FINITE clause in English

  • In English, there are three types of non-finite clauses:
  • -ed (pastparticiple)The photographfaded by the suncould not berestored.Destroyed by the rain, the sandcastleleftonly traces.
  • -ing (progressive)Havingtried as hard as hecould, John accepteddefeat.Quittingmy job is not an option.
  • « to » (infinitival)To winwouldbe a greataccomplishment.Sheis happy to help.
how could we analyse these
How could we analyse these?
  • I dropped off some resumes and looked at a few places to rent for the winter months.
  • I didn’t get any information from the program head because I couldn't get through
how many clauses
How many clauses?
  • I dropped off some resumes
  • and (I) looked at a few places to rent for the winter months.
  • I didn’t get any information from the program head
  • because I couldn't get through
how many verbs
How many verbs ?
  • I dropped off some resumes
  • and (I) looked at a few places to rent for the winter months.
  • I didn’t get any information from the program head
  • because I couldn't get through
any embedded clauses
Any embedded clauses?
  • I dropped off some resumes
  • and (I) looked at a few places [to rent for the winter months]
  • I didn’t get any information from the program head
  • because I couldn't get through
where are the group boundaries
Where are the group boundaries?
  • I | dropped off| some resumes ng vg ng
  • And | (I) |looked| at a few places [to rent for the winter months]

ng vg pp

  • I |didn’t get| any information | from the program head ng vg ng pp
  • Because | I |couldn't get through ng vg
i dropped off some resumes
I dropped off some resumes

Clause

ng

vg

ng

th

Finite/Event

d

th

I

dropped off

some

resumes

i looked at a few places to rent for the winer months

Clause

I looked at a few places to rent for the winer months

ng

vg

pp

pg

ng

th

Finite/Event

pg

d

num

th

q

looked

I

Clause

at

a

few

places

pp

vg

pg

ng

Event

pg

d

m

th

to rent

for

the

winter

months