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Working with

Meaning beyond the clause


J. R. Martin and David Rose

?ro1,rlo -Fol J, c1t rolo+ tr.l

cont inuum


Continuum 'fhe Trwer tluilding

Road Lorr-lon, SEI 7NX ll


'l'hc autlurs arc grate[ul to the fol.,wing publis]rers fur rr:rrnissiorr to reprint exrracls: Long Walk to Freetlorn, by Nelsrfrutandel. r t99{ by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. By pcr nrission <'f l.i ttlc, Or.,*r, ud rff rnr-rany ( I nc. ). No l:uture without I,orgiveness, by Desmond l'utu, published by Rider. Reprinted by pernrission of The Randon I{ouse Group l.imitcd. Disclaimer


, ! , I

80 Maiclen [.ane Suire 704 New York


List of Figures List of Tables Preface


ix xi

Interpreting social discoune

Il 1.2 1.3

An invitation A framework for discussion



he publishers have made evrry effort to contact copyrigbt holders; however, they would wclcome correspondence lrom any copyright holclers they have been unable t<- trace.


4 .5

Language, power and ideology How this book is organized How to use ths book


[]irst published 200,1 his sccond eilitiou


r I

R. lr,tartin antl Dvid ltose 2007

ill(f(l iO0ft

All rights reserved. No part of this publication uray be reproduced or transrnitted in any firrrr or by any means, electronic or nrechanical, including photocorying, recorling, or any inlorntation storagc or rttrieval system, witltout permission in writing froln the publishers. British t.ibrary Oatalog' ing- n-Iublication Data A eatalogue,crorrl for this b<ok is availablc lionr the tlritish Library.

APPRAISAL: negotiating attitudes 2.1 Negotiating attitudes 2.2 Kinds of attitudes 2.3 Amplifying attitudes 2 4 Sources of attitudes 2.5 Prosody and genre 2.6 More detail on knds of attitudes

)q lo
29 42 4B 59 63 73 74 76

ISIJN; IIB: 0-li2o4-8849-S # I'B:0820-l-885t1I'

l,ibrary of Corigress Cataloglng-in-Publication Data Milrtin. L R. \,Vorking with Jiscoursc: nrearring beyorrtl thc clause/|. R. lrlartin



3.1 Construingexperience 3.2 Taxonomic relations 3 3 More on taxonomic relations 3.4 Nuclear relations 3.5 Activity sequences 3 6 More on qrammatical metaphor 3 7 Seerng partcipants from the field: kinds of enttes

IDEATION: construing experence

86 90


(Open linguistics p. (nl. lncludes tribliographical rcfercnces anrl intlex. ISTJN 0.8264-s507-7 -- ISBN 0.8264-.5s08 s (pbk.) l. Discourse analysis. f. Rose, [-)avid, 1955- Il.'[itlc.




P.102.tu373 2002
401'.4 t



'Iypeset by BookF)ns l-trJ, Roystt-rn, llerts. Printed and bound in Creat lJritain by Athenaurn Press, (lirteshcatl, 'lj,nc & Wear

| 42 43 44 45 4.6 4.7

: logical connectons

115 116

The logic of drscourse

External conjunction lnternal conjunctton Continuatives Displaying connections: conjuncton analysis Logical metaphor Conjunction resources in full

133 141 143 148



: construing experience

t")r.r I lir r,.'

J.l Construing experience Taxonomic relations
74 76 relations


I ,

33 More on taxonomic
3.4 3.5
.J. O


Nuclear relations

100 109 113


Activity sequences More on qramnratical metaphor

Seeing participants from the field: kinds o1 enti,ies


ldeation is concerned with llow our experience is construed in cjiscourse. lt focuses on sequences of activities, the peoplc and things involvecl in thenr, and their associated places and qualities, and on how these elements are built urr and related to each other as a tt,xt unfolds.
Following an introduction, tiris chapter has three nrain sections. section 3 describes chains

relations between Iexic.l elerrrents in a text, such as repetition, synonymy and contrast. As tlrey build up a picture of people and things as a text unfolds, these are known as taxonomic relations section 3.4 describes lexical relations between processes, people, things, places arro
qualities within each clause As they are more or less central in the clause, these


are known as nuclear relations. section 3.5 describes relatic,rns betweerr activities as a text unfolds. As they construe experienr-e as unfolding in series of activities, these relations are known as activity sequences.
In section 3.2 a method rs introduced for analysing taxonornic relations in a text, that allows us to see relations between lexical elernents as a text unlolds, as well as the overall pictures of people and things that a text construes. Section

3.4 includes methods for analysing nuclear relations in a text, that display how people and things participate n activities, and how lexical elements are relaled

working with Discourse

Secton 3.5 concludes with a method for in a text that displays its phases of activities as well analysing activity sequences ds its patterns of participation by people and things. across different parts

IDEATION: contruing

experience 75

of grammar.

distinguish tpes of processes hang

a a

doing, happening, thinking, saying, being,

The final secton 3 6 discusses what happens when lexical meanings are expressed by atypical wordings, such as realizi''g a process as a noun instead of a verb ('nonrinalizatior'). [hrs rs known ar grammatical metaphor, and a metirod rs described for unpacking grarnnralical metaphors to help analyse
actrvrly Sequencc'5.

expand processes - in dimensions such as time, manner, cause differentiate roles of people and things participating in a process - for example as the Mediun, Range or Agent of the process modify these participants - classifying, describing and counting them, their parts, possessions, facets and so on

distinguish types of circumstances associated with activities

times and qualities.

such as placcs,

', ,,

1.._,Ji ,l; t

i t.tft ir. f,

": I

li:]f ili

person/ thing

't'he nlodel

ali languages, is of processes involving peoplc, things, places and qualities. Halliday (1994: l0) proposes that this construal of experience lies behind the grammar of the clausc:
The cluse
. . . embodrc.s a gcneral princrplc lor modelling experience - namey the principle that reality rs made up of eHortss[5. Our rrrost powerful impression of experiunce is that it consists of goings on - happerring, doing, sensing, rneaning, being and becr:ming. All these goings on ae scrled out in the qrammar of the clarsc.

of hunan experence at the hcart of ideational nreaning, in

Figure 3.1 Nuclear model of experience as activity

'fhe grammar of thc clausc organizes such 'goirrgs on' as configurations of

clements, such as a process, a person and a rlacc:
ln lhis intcrpretatron of what is gc,ing on. there is doing, a rloer, anrl a locaton whcre

thc doing takes place. This tripartite interpretation


is what lies behind


As rich as these grammatical resources are for specifying aspects of experience, they still comprise only a part of the strategies that language provides us for construing experience. Tlvo complementary sets of ideational patterns are cqually necessary. One is the conjunctive relations that logically relate one clause to the next, so construing experience as unfolding series of activities. We outline these resources in Chapter 4 on coN,uNcrloN. The other is lexical relations, that is semantic relations betweer the particular people, things, procesies, places ancl qualities that build the field of a text. 'lhese relations between lexical elenrcnts comprise the system of roerro. So fields ofexperience consist ofsequences ofactivities involving people, things, places and qualities. These activities are rcalized by clauses and their elements. We are concerned in this chapter with lexical relations between these elements, within
and beyond thc clause. Our goal is to outline can combine to construe a field.
We can

grammatical dlstirrction of urord classes inlo verbs, nouns and the rest, a pattern that tn sorne form or olher is pro[rably universal (lr]ronr; human languages (iid.: 108)

Fronr a grammatical perspective, the clause is a structure of words and word groups, but frorn a discourse scmantic pcrspective the clause construes an activity involving peoplc arrtl tbings. The corc clenlents ofsuch a figure are the process and the people and things that are directly involved in it, while other elenents such as 'fhis nuclear nrodel of experience is rlaces and qu .ir. :s nray be more pcripheral. diagranrrned rn Frgure 3.1.'fhe'doer-cloing'nucleus is represented as a revolving yin/yang complementarity, with 'place' and '<uality' in peripheral orbits. Gramrnatical descriptions suclr as those in Halliday and Matthiessen (2004), and Caffarel et al. (2004), have richly elaborated this construal of experience within the clause, in various diurensions. Thcy describe grarnnratical patterns that:

e patterns of lexical relations that

identify three sets of lexical relations. The first is the chains of relations to the next. These irclude relations such as repetition, synonymy and contrast, that build up a picture of people and things as the text progresses. For example, early in her story l.lelena begins to construct a picture of herself as a teenage girl: Iate teenage years - fann girl - eighteen-year-old. As they progressively construct taxononies of people, things, places and their qualities, these arc known as taxonomic relations. The second is the configurations of elements within each clause. These includc
between elements as a text unfolds, from one clause

Working with Discourse


: construing experience


relations between people and things and the process they are involved in, and the places and qualities associated with the process, for example the configuration of * two people and a process when Helena's romance starts: Helena nrcet - young ntat. As they are more or less central to the unfolding ofthe Process' as in Figure 3.1, these are known as nuclear relations. The third is the sequence of activities construed by clauses as a text unfolds.
'['hcse are the relations. from one process to the next that imply a series of steps, of a srrch as meeting - beginning relationship - marriage. As they construe the field

Helena rny late teenage yOars

her first



a young marr rrr his

twentics ll the 'Brter'


a farm girl n erghteen-yer old

an Irrqilslrrnan

in terms of lrer youth and her origins, ancl hc lover in terms of his youth and English ethnicity, and she then cont asrs this with another ethnic group he was popular with. As he is the lbcus of the stor)', her description of
Helena describes herself

these relations are known as activity are summarised in Figure 3.2' rgrlrloH of systems sequences. These three

text as unfolding



of activities,



between e/emenfs from clause to clausa (late teenage years - farm gid - eighteen'year'oldl configurations of elements within aach clausa (Helena

him is far nrore dcveloped, including nrany positive attribntes, srrch as Ituhbly, vivacious, beamed out v'ild energy, sharply intelligent, populnr. llowever, these inscribed judgenrents are dealt with as appraisals in clrapter 2, and we will set them aside in the discussion here, lirniting ourselves to rurely ideational




ref ation


Young man)

Flelena constructs an unfolding picture of herself and her lover as rnembers of more general classes, such as age and ethnicit that are not stated but are assumed by their instances in the text. We will refer to the relation between one instrnce of a class and thc next as a co-class relation.



from process to procoss in series ofclauses ( meet - begin relationshiq - marry)

In 'lhble 3.1 we analyse each of


relationships as strings of lcxical relatiorrs as the events unfold.

Table 3.1 Lexical strings of Helena and her first love
Helena's youth

Figure 3.2

tDEArtoN systems

her lover
yoLil)g mdtl

.,.. J ;i..:r.ili(irllit i'ill;iiil.'i ;',

The first Incident of Helena's story principally concerns herself and her first love, who are seen from various perspectives as the events unfold. For example, she classifies her young self as a farm grl, and her lover as a young man and an F.nglshman,and contrasts this identity with tlre 'Boer' Afrikaners. Each mention of

late teenage years


{arm qirl

eightcen year old

co class Inglshrnan co class 'Boer' Afrikant,s

them is highlighted below in bold and bold italic.

My srory begins in my late teenage years as a farm girl rn the Bethlehem district of
Eastern tree State. As an

eighteenyearold, I met a young man in his tw'enties. He was working in a top securty structure. lt was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We even spoke about marriage. A bubbly, vivacious man who beamed out wild energy. Sharply intelligent. Even if he was a', Englishman, he was popular with all lhc 'Boc' Aftikaners. And all my girlfriends envied me'

underlying thesc instances in the texr arc g'ner, I social calegories, irrcluding ethnicit canacity ard class (ser: (Jhapter 9, sectiorr 9..3). Figrrre 3.3 shows some of their sub-categories, lhat are instantiatedr irr this phase of the story. Dotted lnes show how people are cross-classified by nrultiple categories, such as larm girl by hcr class, age and gender. (1'riple dots represent unstated other subage, gender, categories.

Ifwe pull back the focus lronr lJelena and her first love, to the broader classes of people running through the story as a whole, we carr nrakc explicit thc social world
that she constructs in the

storl in Figure


If we extract these instances we can see more clearly how Helena and he lover are


Working wittr Dis oun:

IDEATION: construing experience


category class

sub-category instanco in text

<a/ \-\




middle' ---7 farm girl


The taxonomy in Figure 3,4 displays Helena's construal of her social world in egocentric classes, from herself to e men in her life, her own and her lovers' friends, and finally those beyond her personal world, those in power and the men ey turned into vultures. Note how the contrast between the personal world of friends and lovers and e others outside her world is emphasized by the 'scare quotes' surrounding the others. It is a world she has been told of but has no
personal experience of, other than

e damage it has done to her men.

young man adult



emale' ,' male

Parts of wholes In the 'repercussions' phase of the second lncident in her stor Helena colstrues her second love as a tortured organism composed of various parts, including his anatomy and physiolog and his soul, highlighted below.
Sometrmes he would .lust press his face rnto his hands and shake uncontrollably. I realized he was drinking too much. lnstead of resting at night, he would wander lrom


,, ethnicilv 1 _



*Altlrorrqlr llelena's socioeconoric class is tlre least exphcitly classified category, in the context

of aparthcid South Africa we can perhaps assurne that a European who writes about herself a farrn qirl rnay br' a daughter of srnall farmers, i.e. of the rr:rai nriddle clss.


window to window. He tried to hide his wild consuming fear, but I saw it. In the early hours ol the morning between tvvo and half past-two, I jolt awake from his rushed breathing Rollsthisway,thatsidc.of thebed He'spale lcecoldinaswelteringnight sopping wet with sweat Eyes bewildered, but dull like the dead. And the shakes. The terrible convulsions and blood.curdling shrieks of fear nd pain from th bottom of his soul. Sonletimes he sits motionless, ust staring in lront ol him. I never understood.

never knew. Never realised what was being shoved down his

throat during the 'tnps'.

Figure 3.3 Sonre socil cLr!or es instantrated in Flelena's story

just went through hell Praying, pleading 'God, what's happening? What's wrong with him? Could he have chanqed so much? ls he qoino mad? | can't handle the man

Hefena ,/ her ment \


a farm girl

mY first love

@aniage to) someone else

anotlrcr policeman all my girlfriends the'Boer' Afrikaners a good friend three of our friends his friends 'fhose af the top'

will refer to the relation between one part of a whole and the next as a co-part relation. The parts of llelena's man are analysed as a lexical string in Table 3.2.

Table 3.2 Parts of Helena's second love

the man

/ ,/r, friends (\\ /, others <-

his face

his hands

co- part



Figure 3.4 I'he socil world in llelen'a's story

the bottom of hts soul co part t1/5 throt


Workino with Dis oun


: construing experience





instance in toxt

-</ -\


,-/ ''' middle. -1 farm girl , j- eghteen-Year-old teenage <-,' l-i young man L-adult <7

The taxonomy in Figure 3.4 displays Helena's construal of her social world in egocentric classes, from herself to the men in her life, her own and her lovers' friends, and finally those beyond her personal world, ose in power and the men

ey turned into vultures. Note how e contrast between the personal world of friends and lovers and e others outside her world is emphasized by the 'scare quotes' surrounding the others. It is a world she has been told of but has no
persona.l experience

of, other than e damage it has done to her men.


of wholes


ln the 'repercussions' phase of the second Incident in her stor Helena construes
her second love as a tortured organism composed of various parts, including his anatomy and physiology, and his soul, highlighted below.




male (-_-_ --7





*Aitlrouglr lJelena's socioeconomic class s tlre least exphcilly classified category, n the context of arartheid South Africa we can perhars assurne that a European who writes about herself as a farrn qirl rnay bc. a daughler of srrall farmers, i.e. of the rr:rai nriddle class.

Figure 3.3 Sorne socrl cdr!or es instantiated in Flelena's story

Sometimes he would just press his face into his hand and shake uncontrollbly. realied he was drinking too much. lnstead of resting at night. he would wander lronl window to window. He tried to hide his wild consuming fear, but I saw it. In the early hours of the mornrng between two and half past-two, | jolt awake from his rushed breathing Rollsthisway,thatsideof thebed He'spale. lcecoldinaswelteringnight sopping wet wth sweat Eyes bewildered, but dull like the dead. And the shakes. The terrible convulsions and blood curdling shrieks of lear and pain from the bottom of his soul. Sometimes he sits motionless, just staring in front of him, I never understood. never knew. Never raalised what was being shoved down his throat during the 'trips' lust went through hell. Praying, pleadingr 'God, what's happening? What's wrong with him? Could he have chanqed so much? ls he qoino mad? lcan't handle the man


Helena // her ment \


a farrn girl

my frst love @aniage to) someone else

another policeman all my girlfrends the'Boer' Afnkaners a good friend three of our friends his friends 'fhose af the top'

will refer to the relation berween one part of a whole and the next as a co-part relation. The parts of llelena's man are analysed as a lexical string in Table 3.2.

Table 3.2 Parts of Helena's second love

Ine man part his face co-part
his hnds


/ \




'our men'


co part the bottom of his soul co part hts tnroat

Figure 3.4 [hc


world rn llelena's


Working with Discourse

IDEATION:construingexperience 81
3.4 above, these parts o[ the

ln contrast to the classifying taxonomy in Figure

repetition many - manied - marrage

synonyms marrage

man together make up a compositional taxonomy, consisting of wholes and their parts and strb-parts, which we can express as a tree diagram in Figure 3'5'


the man


senes -)i

his eyes his his hands throat face

Figure 3.5 Parts of llelena's second love


f scales




bottom of his soul




- cold * Tuesday

Types of taxonomic relations Relations between classes and members, and between parts and wholes, make up tlvo types of taxonomies by which we construe fields of experience. People, things and places belong to rnore general classes of entities, and at the same time they are parts of larger wholes, and are composed of smaller parts. These are known as
classifying and compositional taxonomies respectively. Both hierarchies may have rnany layers, particularly in technical fields, for example (classifying) kingdonr' phylum, closs, order, family, genus, species, sult-species and (composinE) ecosystem, cell, organelle, metaltolisn"t... foorl-chain, organism, organ s/stem, organ, tissue, Processes can also be viewed as instances of more general types, or as parts of larger activities, but their taxonomies are not as multi-layered as for people' things and places. Qualities may fall into more general classes, but they are not composed of parts. Thcse taxoromies give rise lo several types of lexical relation in discorrrse, including class-member and co-class, rvhole-part and co-part. We can also include here repetition, in which the same lexical item is repeated, sometimes in different grirrnrnatical forms, such as marry - nnrried - marrage. There is also synonym


whole-parl -i L-

body- anns-




- hands - eyes --thro;;i * ltead -- brain

Figure 3.6 Taxonomic relations systern

Each lexical itern

in a text expects further lexical iterns to follow that are relatetl



it in one of these five general ways. A lexical itern initiates or expanrls on

field of a text, and this field expccts a predict;rblc range oI rclatc<l lexical items
fol.low. Taxonornic relations between

in which a similar experiential meaning is shared by a different lexical item, such


lexical itenrs are interpreted in terms of the field, as the reader or listener understands it. For cxarnple, a rcader who is farniliar with south African history would recognize the co,class relation between n Englishman and the 'Boer' Al'rikaner.s, and interpret it in terms of the historical conflict between these ethnic groups. It is with this cxpectation of cthnic cnflict that the reader interprets as remarkable the popularity of llelena's English lover even with the 'Boer' Afrikaners. so taxonomic relations help construe a field of experience as a text unfirlds, by building on the expectancy opened up by each lexical item, or by countering such expcctancy. Repetition and synonymy In llelena's story we have seen plenty of class and part relations, and some contrasts, but very little repetition and synonymy. Repetition and synonymy are
particularly useful resources where thc field of a text is very c<;rnplex. 1'hey enable us to keep one or more lexical strings relatively simple, while cornplex lexical relations are construcled around thern. For this reason, technical texts in lnany field are common contexts to lind repetition and synonymy. The Reconciliation
Act is one such text. Its 'purposes' phase is presented below with some key lexical
items highlighted.


Then of course there are contrasts between lexical items. The most familiar is perhaps antonymy, in which two lexical items have opposing meanngs, such as nutrriage - divorce. But another type of opposition is converse roles, such as wife Itusbancl, porent - child, teacher - student, doctttr - patient, and so on. Although
these are oppositional relations, they are not strictly speaking antonyms. In addition to such oppositions, another type of contrast is series. These include scales such as hot Sunday

- wann - tepid - cold, but also cycles such as days of the week - Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday and so on. This range of taxonomic

relations is set out in Figure 3.6.


Working with Discourse


: construng experience


To provide or the irrvestigdton and the establishment of s complete a pcture as ptrssible of the niturc, causes and extnl of gross violationf of human right . . . ; tlrtf granting of amnesty 10 personJ who rnake full discloure of all the relevant lacts

alfording victims an oprortunity to relte the violations they suffered; tlre taking rf measures airned l the granting of reparation . . . ; reporting to the Nation about such violations and victims; the rnak ,g 'f recornmendtions ainred at the preventirn of the commssion of gross violatiorrs or human rights; and f or the said purpose s to provide f c_r tfe estblishment of a Truth and

'the whole truth', which is made explicit in the name of the Commission, and repetitions of. human rights violations, amnesty, victims and rcparation, which become the names of the Committees. At e same time there are other lexical relations between each of these simple strings. These include relations between human rights violations and amnesty, and berween victims and repttration. However these lexical relations are less taxonomic than nuclear - hunran rights violators are to be granted amnesty, and victims are to be granted reparations. The simplicity of the taxonomic strings here enables the complexity of nuclear relations
between their elements to be developed comprehensibly.

Reconciliation Commission,

Committee on Human Rights Violations,

Commttee on Amnesty and a Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation;

nd to confer certain powers on, assiqn certain furrctions to and irnpose certain duties upon that Commision and those Commttes, arrd to provide lor matters connected therewith.

I'hese lcxical itcnrs re prcsented as lexical strings in Figurc 3.7. The order in which

tlic'y occur in the text is indicated by their position in the table.

complete, pt(ture

gross violattons

grntng of

Taxonomic relations in abstract written discourse Now let's turn to find how Tutu construes the field of Truth and Reconciliation through taxonomic relations. Institutionql fields such as the law, government, education and so on consist largely of abstract things like amnesql, justice, truth, reconciliation, These abstractions often denote a large set of activities, which the reader is expected to recognize. Sometimes, however, the subordinate activities may be specilied, particularly for pedagogic or legal purposes. For example, 'l\rtu quotes the Act's definition of one type of offence as a set of more specific activities:
fhe nct required that where the offence
is a gross violation

ltuntan riclhts


of human rights


tull disclosure


as an abduction, kllinq, torture or severe ill treatment .

ll |he relevnt

This sentence explicitly instantiates a classifying taxonomy, as in Figure 3.8.

vtolttorls tllcy


repetrton synonym violtions repetrlron renetrtron
repetrlrof l


grantng of reparattctn

gross violation of human rights


torture severe ill-treatment

violations <tf
nun)n rryl)ts


rL:Ilt ttd

Retortctliation ( cllnlSSrl


Figure 3.8 Instantial <lass

cofTl/l)/tec orl Attnesty

1-ttnittce or
H\tmJn Rtgl)t5

Conittee on Rt,paraliort and


Figure 3.7 [exical strings displ.rying re.retition and synonymy

ln building the purposes for the (lornmission and its three Committees, repetition antl synonyrny are used extensively to rlake quite clear which purpose is rclated to which Cornnrittce or Cornnission. 'l'his inclucles various synonyms for

On the other hand, taxonomies are nrorc often constructed implicitly as a text unfblds fronl clause to clause, as we saw for the people in llelena's story, A difference with technical fields, such s legal justice, is that the writer may deliberatcly construct a technical taxo,romy as the text unfolds. In his third Argument stage, Tutu constructs a mod:l of 'kinds of justice'. IIe does this iry explicitly naming the superordinate class as form oJ' justice or kind of justice, and explcitly contrasting sub-types, with no tlrc only form and another kind:


Working with Discourse

IDEATION:construingexperience state
hands down punishment


with little consideration for victims and hardly any for the perpetrator - s not the only form of justice. I contend that there is another kind of iustice, restorative justice, which is characteristic of traditional Afrcan jurisprudence. Here the centrl of concern rs not retribution or punishment but, in the spirit of ubuntu' the healing relationships broken of restoration the imbalances, of redressing the breaches, who This kind of lulice seeks to rehabilitate both the victim and the perpetrator,

Further, retributive iustice

in which an impersonal

These relations construe two contrasting typrs of lcgal systenls. In one an impersonal sfr?fe hands drwn retributive justit:e; rhe other is traditionnl African jurisprudence, based on the pre-colonial spirit oJ- ubuntu, and aclvocated by -t'utu for contemporary restorative justice. Retributive justice includes the two attributes retributot ancl punishment vith little cotsideration .fr victirts nnd hurdly any .l'or
o.f ubuntu are the healing of of imbalances and, the restoration of broken relationships. The four attributes of restorative justice are healing, forgiveness, recontiliation antl the opportunity to be reintegrated into the comnunity. 'l'hese types of legal systems and their attributes are set out in lrigure 3.9.
breaches, the redressing

the perpetrato The three attributcs

of the spirit

has should be given the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community he or she sees the whrch personal approach, more a far This is her offence injured by his or offence as something that has happened to people and whose consequence is a

rupture in relationshiPs. efforts Thus we would claim that justice, restorative lustice, is being served when reconciliation, for and for forgiveness for healing, to work made are being

Tutu contrasts retributive justice wih rcstofative justice, completing his case that justice is being done when amnesty is given. fle explicitly states that restorative jrtstice is part of African jurisprudence, so implying thal retributve jnstice is non-African (i.e. Western). Table 3.3 gives the lexical strings in this stage'
Table 3.3 Kinds of iustice Westem legal system an impersonal state
pan retnbutive iustice


inrpersonal stafe

,.," justice


retnbution punl.shmenf healing of breaches redressng of imbalances resloratiort o{ bnsken relatonshps


the spirit <:* 7' of ubuntu \-


African legal sYstem

traditional African iurisprudence pan
restoratve justce

the offence

oppounity to bo reintegrated into the comtrrunily

healing forgiveness

punishment with Ittle consideration for victims and hardly any for the PerPetrator

the spirit of ubuntu


somethng that has happened to Peoqle pan rupture in relationshiPs

healing of breaches

Figure 3.9 Types of legal systems and their components By means of this classification Tutu advocates an approach to justice that draws



of imbalances on implicitly positive evaluations, which he contrasts with implicitly negative evaluations. As in the conlrasting attributes of Ilelena's lovers, before and after their'opcrations', taxonomic relations interact with resources of aprraisal to categorize the world and evaluale the categories we construe. Ilovever, in'l'ultr's philosophical argrnrent the catcgories are not people and their qualities, but institutional abstractions, including legal systems, principles oIjustice, and rroral



restoration of broken relationshps


opportunty to be reintegrated into

the community (the perpetrator) has injured by his or her offence

a fdr more Penonal aPProach


restoratve iustice

part healing co-part

forgiveness co-Part rcconcliaton


Working with Discourse

IDEATION: construing

experience 87

) .3 l'fltirt: (Jft lciXr-trntiC fr.:l.rtitinS

ln our analyses above we have illustrated five types of taxonomic relations between elentents: retetitions, synonyms, contrasts, classes and, parts. This section provides
sorle nlore detail about then.


order items between two others, such as days of e week or years:



Monday - Tuesday - Wednesday 2001 - 2002 - 2003 ..



- Saturday

Contrasts are an imPortant resource

in many genres for constructing classifying

Synonynrs are diflrent lexical itens that share sinrilar experiential meanings. For example T'utu uses the synonyms public hearing and open session, which denote the smc kind of event. Synonyrns arc often used by writers to avoid repetition. The

taxonomies in which one class of phenomenon is distinguished from another. The

following biology report first contrasts

converse roles

of producers


consuers, Sub-types of consumers are then contrasted secondary and tertiaryi

in a series as primary,

rneanings ol syrronynrs also usually diffcr in some way, such as the contexts in whichtheyaretypicallyused.t'-orexanrple publichearingnraybeusedinageneral context, and nrost of us will recognize the kind of event it denotes, whereas open session may refcr to various kinrls of evcnts - not just court hearings. Furthermore synonynrs rnay also differ in thc attitude they express. So public antl open are neutral in attituile, whercas other synonyrns f<rr these itens that exprcss a stronger ttitudc couli be 'xposed or naktd. Contrasts Contrasts are elerne nts that differ significarrtly in meaning. They include elements tlrat are olrposed in nteaning, such as win-.lose, happy-sad or nrurried-single, and

We have seen that organisms in an ecosystem are first classified as producers or as consume6 of chemical energy. Producers in ecosystems are typically photosynthetic organisms, such as plants, algae and cyanobacteria. These organisms build organic matter (food lrom simple inorganic substances by photosynthesis). Consumers in an ecosystem obtain their energy in the form of chemical energy present in their'food'. All consumers depend directly or indirectly on producers for their supply of chenrical
energy. Organisms that eat the organic matter of producers or their products (seeds, fruits) are called primary con5umers, for exanrple, leaf'eating koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus),

and nectar-eating honey possums (Tarsipes rostratus). organisms that eat primary consumers are known as secondary conrumers. wedge-tailed eagles that prey on
wallabies are secondary consument. Some organisms consume the orqanic nrtter of secondary consumers and are labclled tertiary consumers. Ghost bats (Macroderma gigas) capture a variety of prey, rnc|l,rding small mammals. (Kinnear and Mrtin 2004.

series oi cfifferirrg mcanings such as hot-wann-tepid-cold. Opposed elenents includc arltonyrils and converses. Antonyms conte in pairs, e.g.:


ntarrir.:d .- sirrqle





are also an important resorrce for constructing arguments and in which one position or set of behaviours and qualities is

Converses are associatcd rvith converse social roles or locations, e.g.:

vrcltm -. perfjetrator rnoUlcr - sc)n

on top of- undeneth before - fter Scries incltde scales and cycles. Scales havc outerntrst poles of nrcaning, e.g.:


preferred over arother. Helena used contrasts between her lovers' behaviour and qualities before and after eir 'operations' to make her point about the danrage that has been done to then. Tutu uses codtrasts frequently to motlnt his arguntctlt for reconciliation over retribution. For example, he uses an antonym in his Thesis to emphasize the significance of the debate: of justice being done? lhis is not a frivolous question, but a very serious issue, one which challenges the integrity of tlre entire
So is amnesty being given at the cost

Truth and Reconciliation process.

hot \^/arrr trprd - cold pasr - credit -rlistinr:tion hrqlr distrnctrorr tr.rlor lectrtrr.r - ser',,,, lecturer ..,lrSocl.lto

Antl the corltrast between innocence and guilt underlics his second Argument:


It is also not true that the granting of amnesty encourages impunity in the sense that perpetrators can escape completely the consequences of their actions, bt'catrse


Working with Discourse

arrnesty is only given to those who plead guilty, who accept resportsibility for what they have done. Amnesty is not given to innocent people or to those who claim to be nnocent. lt was on preciseiy this point that amnesty was ref used to the police of f icers who applied for it {or their part in the death of Steve Biko. They denied tltat they had committed a crime, clarminq that they had assaulted him only in retliation for his inexpficable conduct in attacking them

MS Tanrpa last night told Tlre Daily Telegraph by satellile phone rnany of tho ,138 rnen, wornen and children orr his ship were ill after their 11th day at sea .. But Prinre Minister John lloward s.rid after a cbinet mce:tinq yesterday afternoon tlrat thc ship would not trt-. allowed to entor Australian watcrs ... Hotrs later. thc lndonesian Government responded by sayinq the boal peo-rle - who arc: helieved to be from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and lrrdonesia - could not return to Indoncsia. Capt Rinnan told lhc Daily Telegraph lre lrad not yot irrforrned tire boat peopltr last night that Austrlia had refused tlrcrn perrnission to land at Christnras lsland. Asked if he was alraid ol violence, he said: 'Not at the moment, but we were and wc will be if they are turned away They are starting to qet frustrated.' When he picked up the distress call 24 hours earlier, he believed he would be carrying out a rescue operation, de[vering the bo.,t pe,]ple to the nearest Indotresian


I{ere there is a double contrast inlplied, between the innocent and the guilt and between those who confess their guilt and those who falsely claim innocence, thus compounding their crimes. Finally Tutu rests his case on the contrast between rctributive and restorative justice. Interestingly he argues that both tyPes treat the converse roles of victim and perpetrator in some ways similarly. Retributive justice
givcs litrle consideration to either, whereas restorative justice classifies both as Peoplei
Further, retributive justice in which an inlpersonal state hands down punishment with little consideration for victims and hardly any for the perpetfator rs not the only form of justice. I contend that there is another kind of lustice, restorative ustice, which is characteristic of traditional African jurisprudence Here the central concern is not retrbuton or punishment but, in the spirit of ubuntu, the healing of breaches, the justice redressing of imbalances, the restoration of broken relatonshps. This kind of seeks to rehabilitate both the victim and the perpetrator, who should be given the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community he or she has injured by his or her

port. After reaching thp stricken 20m wooden vessel, KM Palapa 1, the crew helped the boat people on bcard. With the strong south easterly winds which buffet the rea at this tirne of year, it took thc Tampa crew three hours to get thern all on board . Capt Rinnan said thc boat people had become distressed when told they ntight have to return to Indonesia earlier in the day, wtth some threatentnq to lump overbo.rrd. 'l said we are heading towards Indonesia and they saicl "l'.1o, you mtlst head to Australia".'Capt Rinnan said they were'just hanqng arourrd'late yesterday, waiting for Australian officials to (om orr foard (Isavdaridis 2001 . 1)

The potential

complexity of tracking the events through the story is eviclent in the following list of times as they appear in the text:
last night their 'l 1th day at sea yesterday afternoorl hours later last night at the moment 24 hours earlier three hours earlier in the day
late yesterdy

olfencc,. This is a far more personal approach, which sees the offence as something that has happened to people and whose consequence is a rupture in relationships.

Many such antonyms are construed in the principles motivating the Reconciliation Act, with the contrast etnphasized by negative polarity nof' and the contrastive

conjunction bur:
srNcr the Constitution states that there is a need lor underttanding but not for vengeance, a need for reparaton but not for retaliaton, a need for ubuntu btt not

for victimization;

tn other genres, series are an important resource for interpreting things and events' Newspaper stories for example jump, around in time, so that readers must be able to recover relations between times in order to construe the sequence of events' The follorving extract recounts the events. surrounding the 2001 rescue of shipwrecked refugees trying to reach Australia by the Norwegian freighter Tampa, and the Australian government's shameful refusal to help them:
off Christmas lsland and with food and supplies running low, Captain Arne Rinnan was last nirht trying to mantain order on his besieged ship after being turned away by Australia and warned off by Indonesia. The Norwegian captain of the

As ese times are out



in such genres, timc cyclcs are art


lexical resource fur recognizing a sequence of events.


to member

Relalions of class to rnember are given various natnes in F,nglish, deperrding on tlrc field, e.g. a clas:of words, a nake of car, a breed of dogs. Comnon examples include

kind, tlpe, category, sort, variety, genre, style, form, make, hreed, species,

family, Brade, brand, cdsfe. These can be used cohesively between messages, e.g. Like my new car? Yes, what make s it? Technicall class-member relations are known as hyponymy (hypo- from Greek 'under').




Working with Discourse

IDEATION: corstruing

experience 91



to parts

explored taxonomic relations between these elements, from one clause to the next

Likewise relationships of wholes to parts are also given various names in English, dcpending on the field, e;. lart, content, ingredient, constituenl, stratum, ranko plane, element, factor, fitt.rrg, r ternber, component, excerpt, extract, episole,


chupter, selection, pece, segment, sectiotr, porton, measure. ln addition, facets name parts that are locations of wholes, e.g. the bottom of his soul, top, nside,


outside, skle, edge, middle, perirneter, environs, start, finish, beginning, rest. Measures na[re sorne portion of the whole, e.g. a cup of coffee, glass, bottle, jug can, burrel, louf, nrcuthful, spoonful, ounce, pound, kilo, metre, acre. Again partwhole relations can be used cohesively betwcen messages: i
pr ts

text unfolds. In this section we will examine lexical relations between these elements within clauses. As they are more or less centrally involved in the process, lexical relations within the clause are known as nuclear relations. Traditionally these kinds oflexical relations have been regarded as collocations, that is words that are commonly found together in the same structure, such as tennis-ball or play-tenns. What we will show in this section is how such collocations are dependent on the nuclear patterns of the clause, and again we will link lexical relations to the field construed in texts. The categories of nuclear relations presented in this section will then be applied to text analyses in the foilowing section on activity sequences.
as a

flte chair's broken



Only at the start. How much is petrol today? - More thanadollaralitre.

Was t a good marriaqe?


To set the scene

Technically whole-part relatitns are knowr as meronymy (nrero- from Greek 'part'). In the past, stutlics of taxonomic relations have tended to focus o their roles in nraintaining the colresion of a text, through lexical ties between clauses (e.g. Halliday antl llasan 1976). The starting point in such cohesive models is with repctition, sirrce the most explicit possible way of tying one itcm to the next is by
repcating it. Next conlt: s)nonymy and antonyrny, which tie itenrs to each other by similarity and contrast, with hyponyrny and neronymy considered last. This is a granrrnar-based perspectivc, in which lexical relations are seen as scrving textual

Nuclear relations wthin the clause for exploring nuclear relations, we first need to discuss a few of the semantic patterns within the clause described by Halliday (1994/2004). 'fhe essential experiential pattern is that people and things participate in a process. In Halliday's terms the core participant in the process is known as its Medium, 'without which there would be no process'. Here are some familiar examples:

was worKrng
even spoKe

I t

never unde15tood


's happenrng


functions, linking grammatical clenlents

to each othcr strings, sinrilar to colre.sive relat ons betwt'en refercrrce iterns such as pronouns and articles: s young



he (sce chapter 5 bclow). In contrast the discourse semantic perspective we are taking here foregrounds thc ideational function of lexical relations in building a lleld, so our starting point is with class and part relations: a young nrun , my first l0r,e. Synolrynry dr:rws on conlrnon class nrembership to irlentify iterrs rvith cach other, with repctitit-rn as the limiting case. Contrasts then flnction to distinguish categories. This is a nttfunctional vicw on drscourse settratitics, in rvhlch taxonotnic relations complerncnt referencc relations to build thc llrld and nraintain cohcsion as a text unfblds


this tnan

In addition to the Medium, one or two other participants may be involved ir the process, including Agent, Beneficiary and various types of Range. An Agent instigates the process, which affects the Medium in some way:

's going to haunt



This question

the ntegrty of the entrre Truth and

Reconcliation process





'fhese effective clauses can be reversed in passive form, with the Agent as a 'byphrase':

I i

'm going tc be
is challenge'l Process


integrity Medium

haunted by him by this question


As we flaggcd

ternt-s ol-

in thc introducti<n to this chapter, the clause ctlnstrucs experience in proccss involving pcople and things, places and qualitics. We have


Some effective processes can also Beneficiary:

bt cxtended to a third participant, known



Workino with Discourse


construngexperience 93


Commission may granl




by the Commrssron

to those who plead guilty Beneficiary

We said earlier that a field consists of sequences of activities. 1'he granting of nnnesty is r:ne activity within the Truth antl Reconclialion field, that inclucles

not granted

to innocent people
Beneficiary by the Commission

activities srrch as applying for, giving ancl refitsing.'[his hierarchy of activities carr be representctl by a tree tliagrarn, as irr Fig:rre 3.1 l. Truth ar d Reconciliation




the oolice olficers were refused





-.---\-,granting of amnesty

The Medium may be alfected by the process, but the Agent is left implicit, as in I'n going to be haunted, amnesty was refused. As Agent and Beneficiary may be left out of the clause, they are relatively marginal in terms of nuclear relations.

How do these grammatical functions interact with the lexical elements that instantiate them in particular texts? ln the grounds that Tutu gives for his second Argrrnrent, he names its field as the granting of amnesty. This field is expanded in the following clauses as processes of 'giving', 'not giving', 'refusing' and 'applying fbr'2 (in italics below), of which amnesty is the Medium (in bold), with various y',gents and Bcneficiaries (underlined):
It is also not true that TtlE GRANTING OF AMNEsry encouraqes impunrty . . because amnesty is only given to those who plead qulty . . Amnerty is not gven to innocent people or to those who clam to be innocent. It w.ls on precisely this point tlrat amnesty ws ref used to the police off icers who applied for [a6651y] lor their part n the death of Steve Biko.
. .





tigure 3.11 Activities of

'fruth and Reconciliation

Within the field of granting amnestl, people participate in each activity' as Medium, Agents or Beneficiaries, i.e. as nuclear or ntarginal elenrents of the
activity. To show their lexical relations we can tlse:

symbols for nuclear relations: '=' for central, ' ; for nuclear, arld ' x marginal (following Halliday's 199412004 symbols for logical rclations),
as ftrllows:



lexical renderini of pronouns and inrplicit clements, r '=' for relations between processes that are parts o[ a lield,
police oflicers

Arnnesty is construed here as a commodity that is given or refused to various recipients, by an implicit giver (the Commission), and is also demanded by potential rccipients (police officers). The central elements in this construal are the processes ofexchanging (given, not given, refused, applied for), the nuclear element is the commodity exchange<1 (antnesty), and the marginal elements are its givers and recipients. We can represent these nuclear relations in Figure 3.10.


x x x


for {-

mnesty amnesty amnesty anrnesty

the Cornmission the Commission

the Commision

+ + +


to thoso wlrn plcad guilt,

rrrnoccnt peoplP


., to





to tllDse who ciirn to be


to thoso who plead

lo innocent psoplo
to thos who dalm to b to ro poce r^Ys,

thc Commission

x to the policc




cntrB (Proc3ss)



Figure 3.f 0 Nuclear relations of granttng amne,,ly

Lexical rclations between the central element-. of these activities are widcly predictable across fields, i.e. the processes of exchanging (npplyng for, granting, giving, refusing). Relations between central and nuclear eletnents are predictable within the general field of grnnting amnesty (a cornmon Practice). But relations



Working with Discoune





I i
betwcen these activities and nore marginal elements are only predictable within the particular field of the Truth and Reconciliarion commission (e,g. who the Commission can and ca)not grant amnesty to).

Finally, associated with a process are various kinds of Cicumstances that vary in their degree of involvement in it. Circumstances of Place, Time and Cause do not participate in the actit but are more periphera[y associated with it:

Other nuclear relatons A proccss nray also be instigated by the Medium and cxtended to

a second




in a top secuty structure

participant that is not alfected by the process, known as a Range. The first type of Rangc is an entity that the process extcnds tr:
all nry girlfrieruJI

trne cause
As they are

we're we

Medium can't explarn would nutte'r


moving met was to learn jolt awake Process

to a special unit
more than a Year ago for the first time from his rushed breathing Crcumstance (outer)



the pain and btterness

peripheral to the process, we can call these 'outer Circumstances'. In

the fercri wcrd



contrast, Circumstances of Role, Means, Matter and Accompaniment ate alternative

Anothr,r r*o ki,,d, oJ Range are a gualil.y or a possession of the Mediunr, In this case the proccss is one of'being' or 'having', that relates the quality or a possession to tlic lvlediurn:

ways of involving people and things invoh'ed participants and so are relatively nuclear:

in the

activity. They are like

means matter



torn to pieces
very quiet mad

my story we we he or she we



m gotnq


begins knew saw has injured even spoke worried Process

as a farm girl as loved ones

with our own


by his or her offence

about marrge about his safety

Circumstance (inner)



had Process

no excuse a new lover





Range that are central to the process, that we can call 'inncr ltanges'. The firsr is where the lexical proccss is very general, such as do, lrcve, go, p/,r,1and so.n, and tlie llange spccifies the type o[process, such as do

ln additi<n there arr: three kinds of

inner Circumstances could be expressed as participants: I was a farm girl, we loved ones knew, a few lines end nty story, our owil eyes saw, his offence iniured the victims, we said marriage, his safety worried me. For our analyses of nuclear elations in clauses, we can distinguish four degrees

a dttnce, h,n'e ,$b,ttlu plaS, tennis. Dancing, bathing an<l tennis are of

ofnuclearity: centre, nucleus, margin and periphery, schematized in Figure 3'12' The centre of the clause is occupied by the Process, and it may also include a
or part, e.g. do a dance, be an Englishman, have the guts.The nucleus includes e Medium and any Range:entity, quality or possession. The margin includes egenis and feneficiaries. And the periphery is occupied by Circumstances. These four degrr:es of nuclearity are then set out as a system in
Range:process, class


actually activities, but they can be realizecl as nouns that cornbine with gerreral 'I'hese nre known as Rauge:process. l)roccsscs. '[he other two kinds of inner Range are a class or part of the Mec]iun. Again the proccss is one r1.'being'or'having', that rclates the class or part to tlie Meclium:


!'igure 3.13.

class part



an Irrglishrnan
real policemerr now rnc'mbers of death scluads only one desire the guts




these peoplo


their leaders



I i

Figure 3.12 Nuclearity in the claLr e



Working with Discoune




r ?L




Ieenaqe Classifier

years mn
mar r iarJe




class L- part

be an Englishman have the guts




extrcmely short

T'he Epithet


nuclear -)

grant amnesty



*)f- quality

L- oossession

going mad had another lover

is less central in a nonrinal group; struclurally it is lrther fronr the 'Ihing than the Classifier. Ilpithcts may be intensified verylltle ext:ernely short, but Classifiers may not (\very teennge).
Fourth, peoplc and tlrings ntay also be qualified, by circunrsfances or clauses that follow the'l'hing. These elcments are known as Qualifiers. 1'hey are phrases or clauses that are'downranked' and embedded as elenrcnls in the nontinal group. In terms of
nuclear relations, they are more peripheral still than Classifiers and Epithets:


granted by the Commission

Beneficiary gnnt to those who confess

Circumstance (inner) see with our own eyes


Circumstance (oulerl moving to a special unit

a an

young extremely short

Figure 3.13 Nuclear relations in the clause

bloorj curdling

rldn marriaqe shrieks police Classifier officers Thing

ir lris twenties

to scmeone else of fear and pairr fronr thc tottom of lris soul
who applied for amncsty Qualifier

Nuclear relations below the clause Ilelow the clause, processes, participants and circumstances are themselves made up of groups of words, including lexical items. In Halliday's 1994/2004 model, clause, group and word are different ranks in the grammar; a clause is realized by a configuration of word groups, each ofwhich is realized by a configuration of words. As with the clause, nuclear relations also pertain between lexical words in groups. To describe these relations, we need to distinguish two kinds of word groups nominal groups that realize things and people, and verbal groups that realize


Finally, we must also account for various'of'structrrres in nonrinal groups.1'hesc include facets (tfie side ol the house), measures (n g/ns,s of heer), types (a mnke ol car), and so on. For simplicity we will label all these here as Focus. Like Classifier

Thing structures, Focus'l'hing structures also cornprise a single lexical elenrent:

tfre bottonr the early hours

Lexicall we are concerned with five functional elements of nominal groups. First, in Halliday's model, the central function o[ a nominal group is called the Thing. The lexical noun that realizes a Thing is a class ofperson or thing, such as girl, man, window, berl. Second, the Thing may be sub-classified by an item functioning as Classifier. Classifier and Thing together form a unfied lexical

of lhn only form ol Focus


hrs soul

the morning


In verbal groups, we are concerned witlr just thrre rnctional clements. Filst, the lexical process in a verbal group is known as the Event, for exampler was working, won't see, was to learn, can't explan. A verbal group ntay inclrrde more thn one
Event, comprising separate lexical processes:

top the the


security special 'Boer' reStorattve





to to

be resist



trying Event



Second, Events nray be described

Third, people and things may also be described with qualities, that function in nominal group as an Epithet:

with Qualities (manner adverbs in traditional


grammar), that are more peripheral:


Working with Discn,-,.se

IDEATION: corrtruing uncontrollably


experience 99

Snak e




nuclear elements may be predictable


general fields (grant+amnestl,



young+man), while marginaUperipheral elements may only be predictable wiin uncontrollably\. specific sub-fields (amnesty x those who plead guilty, shake



More central on the other hand are particles

comprise a single lexical itcn:


prepositional verbs, which

Nuclear relations and taxonomic relations

Nuclear relations are particulafly useful to inform analyses ofactivity sequences in texts, as we will show in e following section. On the other hand, for texts and text phases that are focused on entities rather than activities, nuclear relations can help

Iook look scream

out out
up dt



to inform analyses of taxonomic relations between things and qualities. This is illustrated with the following descriptive rePort fron school biolog describing the Australian class of reptiles known as goannasi
Australia is home to 25 ol the world's 30 monitor lizard species. In Australia, ntonitor lizards are called goannas Goannas have flattish bodies, long tails and strong jaws. They are the orrly lizards with forked tongues, like a snake. Their necks are long and may have loose folds of skirr beneath them. Therr legs are long arrd strong, with sharp claws on thelr feet Many goannas have stripes, spols and other markings that help to cantouflage them. Thc largest species can grow to more than two metres in length. All goannas are daytime hunters. They run, cfimb and swim well. Goannas hunt small mammals, brrds and other reptiles They also eat dead animals. Smaller goannas eat nsects, spiders and worms. Male goannas fight wrth each other in the breedtng season. Females lay between two and twelve eggs. (Silkstone 1994)

'l'lrese can often be paraphrased with a sinrple verb, e.g. radiale, beware, research,

abuse' So at thc rank of word group, the centre is occupied by the l'hing and (llassifier or Event and Particle, the nucleus by the Epithet or second Event, anct periphery by the Qualifier or Qualit schenratized in Figrrre 3.14. These options in nuclcarity in groups are then set out in Figure 3.15.


Figure 3,14 Nuclearity in nominal and verbal qroups

Classifier Thing polco force In r utasstnef norninal -l the bottom of his soul - Focus Thing | -? - verbal Event Particle beant out - nomlnal Epithet Thing young man

The appearance phase ofthe report describes each part ofthe goanna in turn, with rhe sequence expected by the field of its anatomy, beginning with the body, tail and jaws, followed by the tongue, the neck, the legs, skin markings, and finally size. flowever the parts and their qualities are dispersed across various gramnratcal


categories at clause and group rank. For example the part-whole relation is expressed as a process (have llattish bodies), or a prePosition (with forked tongues), or a possessive (their necks). A nuclear relations analysis allows us to group these relations according to discourse semantic criteria. In the analysis in Figure 3.16, there is one lexical string for goannas and other reptiles, and another string for their parts. Ir nuclear terms, classes and ;arts of things are central, qualities of things are nucledr, and locations are periPheral. S(\ in addition to labelling taxonomic relations (vertically), we will label thesc nuclear relations (horizontally), using'='for central,'+'for nuclear, and'x'for nrarginal/ peripheral.


--2 L- verbal
f L

Event Thing


keep shaking man



Quafifier youry

in his twtsnlies



Figure 3.15l{uclear relations belor,v the clause As we saw lor granting dmnesty, the predictability of nuclear relations in clauses arttl grottPs rnay correlate with the degree ol' nuclearity. Relations between central elenrents are often prcdictable across ficlds (grantint=reJitsing, polite=force), relations

Including nuclear relations with the taxonomic relations analysis allows us to consistently track the relatiors of qualities and locations to each elenrent in the lexical strings, despite their structural dispersal across various gramnratical categories. A particularly complex example is the senlence They are the ttnly lizards


Working with Discoune

IDEATION: construing





perspective on fields construed in texts is on sequences of such configurations. A


port bodies + flattish co-port tails + long co -port jaws + strong


field of human experience is composecl


of recurrent sequences of






= tongues + forked

they are recurrent, any seqlrence is to some extent predictable within a field, so that variations from such sequences are countercxpectant. In other words, aclivity sequences are series of events that are expected by a field, as in meeting - relatonship - marriage. 'Ihe unmarked relation between events in such an expectant sequence is 'and', sinrply adding each event to the others in the series. So in oral personal recounts each clause comnronly begins with 'and', illustrated in the following extract from testinrony to the Australiar National lnquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanler Children from
Ther Families:

necks + long

co-port legs + long and strong feet port claws + sharp


, I


port skin + loose folds x beneath necks

The circumstances of nry being taken, as I recollect, were that I went off to school in the morning


and l^was sitting in the classroom and there was only one room where all the children were assenlbled and there was a knock at thc'door, which the schoolmaster answered.

many goannas



stripes, spots and other markings po"t length + more than two metres

After^a conversation he had with somebody at the door, ne carne to get me.
He tnk me by the hand


largest species

Figure 3.16 Taxonomic and nuclear relations in an entity focused text

and took rne to the door.

I was^physically grabbed by a male person at lfre door, I was.t.rken to a rnotor bke

with forked tongues, like a snake, which simultaneously classifies goannas as Iizards, implicitly includes both lizards and snakes in a higher class (i.e. reptiles), assigns forked tongues as a part of both goannas and snakes, and excludes other
lizards from having forked tongues. This configuration of relations is brought out very simply in the combined taxonomic and nuclear relations analysis, highlighted in Figure 3.I6.

and held by the office' and drivcn to llre airstnp and flown off the lsland (HRFOC 1997 99)

r. _;

Jrl f

iuii.y setur:ricts

ln this

case the activity sequcnce is cxpected

by the two fields of 'sclrool in


We have shown how elds of experience are construed in discourse, from one perspective as taxonomies of people, things, processes, places and qualities, and from anoer perspective as configurations of these elements in clauses. Our third

morning'and'abduction of Aboriginal children by the sr,rte'. Within each field the expectant activity sequence is constructed with simple addition, but the countrexpectant shift from one field to the next is signalled by the rnarked time Theme After a conversaton he had with sonrebody at the door... (see Chapter 6).


Working with Discourse

IDEATION: construing

experience 103

Ir science fields, by contrast, the unmarked relation between events in

seqrence is

typically assumed to be cause and effect, so that each succeeding effect is iniplied by the preceding cause. For this reason such event series are known as inrplication sequences. An example is the following explanation of cycles of bushfires and regeneration in the Australian Mullee woodland. The irnplication sequcrlce is predicted by the opening scntence, and each step of cause and effect unfolds withou, -'ny explicit markcrs:
Regeneration of the Mallee depends on periodic fires. Old mallee produces a build-up of very dry litter and the branches themselves are often festooned with slreamers of bark rnviting a flarne up to the canopy of leves loaded ,,vith volatile eucalyptus oil

meeting, relationship, marriage belong to a wider set of social interactions, and activities such as marriage can be broken down into smaller components, such as proposal, engagement, wedding, honeymoon and so on. And wedding in turn can be boken down into smaller component activities.

Nuclear relatons and activity sequences Earlier we showed how nuclear relations can inform an analysis of taxonomic relations in an entity focused text. Here we combine analysis of activity sequences

with nuclear relations, together with taxonomic relations between


Nuclear relations can showus the roles of people and things in activity sequences; taxonomic relations show how processes expect each other in an activity sequence,

A drv elcrtrrcl stornr in srlrlrrler is all tht is needed to strt a blaze,

,rlrrr.tr, wrth a vcry

from one phase to the next. Analysis ofnuclear relations activity sequences is illustrated here with a simple personal recount, a victim's statement from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
and how expectancy shifts and On arriving back at Sandton Police Station, at what they call the Security Branch, the whole situation changed.
I was^screarned at, verbally dbused,
I was.slapped around,

hot northerly wind belrind it,,vrll race unchccked tltrouclh the bush

llre;rext lins will bring an explosiorr of qround fiora;

the lurnrner grasses ;nd forbs rrrrt able lo compete under a rrrallee carropy, will break out ill a riot of cok;irr l.lew 5hoots of mallee will sprinq from the Iignotrrber

I was"punched,

nd another cycle of succession will begin rr,orrigan 1991


I was^told

to shut up,

crntinuous series of events, rather these are typically interspersed wilh phases o[ dcscription, such as Helena's description of her first Iove, or by comrnents, reflcctions or reactions to the events. B,ven where a text is primarily crncerned rvitl serics of events, these are typically organized into distinct phascs. l'his is cvident in the personal recount abtve, in which the second phase of events is counterexpcctant to thc first phas". It is also illustrated in the scicrce explanation, in r nic.'one phase is concernerl with fire and the next with regurreration, and the swrtcli in field is signalled by the Theme The next rains... Irol thesc reasons we neecl to analyse sequences in relation to the phases of a tcxt. lypes of phases are predicted by the text's gcnre, as activities within eacl plrase :rre predicted by its fleld. Iror exirrnplc, we world exrect stories to include rhases such as settings, episutles, dcscriptions, problenrs, reactions and so on, rvhile phases in explanatiorrs nray include causal stcps, rnultiple factors, or multiple consequcnccs (see Martin and Rose 2007b, Rose 2007 for more discussion). Within each pha.$e wc would expect activities to be related, as nrenrbers of a wider set of activities, or as sub-parts ol larger activities. For example, the activities

Irew texts consist


sit in chair,
then I was questioned. When I answered the questrons
I was^told that I was lying.
I was^smacked again.

And this carried on to an exlent where I actLrally jumped up off the chair
and started fighting back.
Four,^maybe frve policemen viciously knocked nre down, arrd thcy put me back on the ch,lir


Working with Discourse

IDEATION: constrrring



and handcuffed my hands through the chair, which resulting ttrat I could not get up. then continuously smacked and punched . .. (festimony of Leonard Veenendal, Case No MR/146, 1996)
I was

policernen smacked




jumped up l.eonartl ro.clss started fghting back Leonard


off the



'fighting back'

'Io prepare this text for analysis, we will:

four, rnaybe knocked



o o

lexicalize pronouns and implicit participants' re-order the elements of clauses into consistent coltmns.



.. ellect 'constrained'



la ss


o the


The central column in Table 3.4 includes Process and Qualit the left-hand nuclear colunrn includes Agent of effective and Medium of non-effective clauses, the right-

policemen handculled Leonard'shands

co class

through the chair

hand nuclear column includes Medium of effective and Range of non-effective clauses, and the peripheral column is for Circumstances. Taxonomic relations
between Processes are anal),sed, and these inform the division into phases, labelled to the right. Where a taxonomic relation between Processes is separated by an intervening clause, the relation is indicated by a line.

not get

up and

Leonard Leonard

smacked punched continuously


Table 3.4 Nuclear relrtons and activity sequences: event focused text

The analysis displays the following parterns:





the whole

at Sandton Police Station settng at the Security Branch


Taxonomic relations between processes organize the activity 5equerrce into distinct phases. Two labels are assigned to each phase, the generic typc ofstory

- setting, problem, reaction, efkct - and the specific field of the phase _ 'abuse', 'interrogation', 'fighting back', 'constrained'. The lailer d jnote a general

policemen polrcemen policemen policemen poilcemen

screamed at

Leonard Leonard Leonard Leonard Leonard

activity that each process in the phase contributes to. such taxononlic relations
are the basis for expectancy between processes.

abused verbally

slapped around


told \


) Leonard Leonard questions Leonard

'interrogation' in a chair

Boundaries between phases are realized lexicalry, by a break in taxonomic relations between processes, or by a lexical contrast between processes, such as the converse relation between (l-eonard) started Jighting back and (policemen) knocked down viciously. Relative centrality, agency antl 'voice' of people are explicirly displayed in the analysis. The narrator is the predonlinant Mediunl but never an Agent. The


policemen act orr and talk to Leonard, but his actions and locutions affect

questioned co-class answefed


In the peripheral column, the chair stards out as the location of torture.

Leonard policemen Leonard



phases consist of activities but do not construe activity their primary funcrion is classifying and describing. An example is the behaviour phase of lhe Goannar report above. A nuclear and activity analysis for this phase is displayed in Table 3.5. The central colunrr includes both pr.ocess some texts
sequences; rather

or text


Working with Dis<ourse

IDEATION: construing



and Range:class/part. The nuclear column t< the left includes both Agent in effective clauses and Medium in non-effcctive clauses, while the nuclear column to
the right inclrrdes Range:entity/quality. Table 3.5 Nuclear relations and rctivity seqtjences: entity focused text
nuclear all goannas they [goannasl

the beginning of



--- ______


daytinie hunters




began relatrng

relationship Thing



run, climb and

swim well

Nominalizations are a common form of grammatical metaphor. Reconstruing a process as a Thing has the twin advantage at i) Things can be classified and described with the rich resources of nominal group lexis, including many kinds of
small mamnlals, birds and other reptiles


hunt co class
eat repettron

ii) the nominalized process and its qualities can be presented as the starting point or end point of the clause, as its Theme or New information (see
evaluation, and Chapter 6).

dead animals
insects, spiders and wofmS wilh each (male goannas) belween two and twelve eggs

Smaller goannas

co- class

male goannas



in tire breeding season

The nominalized version also has certain connotations that our unpacking misses. The wording a beautiful relationship implies an object that can be contemplated and evaluated, and a whole set of activities that such a relationship involves, whereas relating beautifutly has few such connotations, And a relationsfrip is a general class which expects its sub-types, such as marrage,which is what
Helena and her love went

on to talk about. On the other hand, unpacking

nominalization back to an activity reveals the people and things that are elided by nominalizing.
class; Soannas are

it involves


In this text, activities arc taxonomically related by part or

first classitlcd as hunters, and thc activities run, clirnb, swim are implicitly construed as conlponetlts of hunting. tsut there is no implied series of events, rather the sequence is expected by the field of animal behaviours, and the tlescriptive report genre, so that feeding behaviours are expected by hunting
behuviours, followed by breeding behaviours'

As with metaphor in general, grammatical metaphors are read on two levels at once' a grammatical meaning and a discourse semantic meaning, and this double meaning may have several dimensions. Nevertheless, for the purpose of analysing activty sequences we will unpack grammatical metaphors wherever necessary. Other examples from Helena's story include norninalized processes and attitudinal qualities:
metaphorical unpacked

Unpacking grammatical metaphor in activity sequences The testirnonial recount above was relatively straightlbrward to analyse in terms o[ nuclear relations. lJitficulties arise wlten Processes are nominalized so that activities are codecl as if tirey were things. An example is the nonlinal group te beginning of a beautiful relationship, in which the activity of two people relating to eacl tlther is nominalized as the 'I'hing relatiorrslrip, and so too is the phasing of this activit as the Focus the beginning ol... Ilalliday describes such patterns as grammatical metaphors, in which a semantic category such as a Process is realized by an atypical grammatical class such as il noun, instead of a verb. In order to arralyse such nomiralizations in activity sequences' we calt unpack then back to the proresses fionr which ilrrY are dcrived, as [<;llows:

wild energy
extremely short pain and

marilage bitterness only one desire a means to the truth

wildly energetic
marrred extremely briefly.

hurt and bitter wanted only one rntng how to tell the truth

In technical and institutional fields, grammatical rnetaphors become naturalized as technical terms. lt may not be necessary to unpack these, unless we are trying for pedagogic purposes to relate technical ternrs to everyday meanings. For exanrple,
amnesty could be unpacked in commonsense terms as 'not punish for crirnes'. These unpacking strategies are used in. the following analysis, Tabte 3.6. 'lhe



Helena's story that we introduced






Working with Dirourse stories' 'operations', 'consequences', consisl of slnaller phases that are generic to all to here, included are attitudes Inscribed settings, descriptions, reactions, problems. lexis ideational from bring the appraisal into the ideational picture, distinguished young rnan







gornq to ask -' co part not be punished

for fris


in italics.
Table 3.6 Nuclear relations and activity sequences: Helena's story


can't explairr
co-cl ass


co- class

hurt and bitter what was left ol that beautiful, big,

strong person

nuclear central
my slory
Helena begins

as a farm girl as an eighteen-lear-old

peripheral phases in my late 'meeting' teenage years settlng




young man Helena +

a young man in his twenties in a top securty

structu re


was worKlng co-part began relating

man wanted co-class tt wanted to tel,


only one thinq



" "

young man

beautitullv\ .'l spoKe ./


didn't care not to be punislred


only wnted to tell


marrying bubbly, vivacous


young man
ll il

wildly energettc
sharply intelligent PoPular

t' was an Englishman rl was Helena's envied

girlf riends


Relations between activities are as follows. First meeting, beginning to relcte anrl marrying are parts of a'romance'field that expect one lnother in a sequence. In the description phasc, each of the yotrng rnan's qualities is expecte<l by the romantic field, and intensified by the girlfriends' envying. A problem is signalled by then one day he said, and then going and won't sea are parts of 'leaving'.

young man



day on a 'trip'
one Helena +

'oPerations' Problem

Helena's reactions

include feelings (torn to pieces) and actiotr (tflarried ttt forget).

co-part Helena

The'consequences' phase again begins with a setting, of which learning for the frst fme is expectedby nteeting, Then as parts of the Truth and Recnnciliation field, operating overseas expects not heng punisfterl. This time llelena's reaclions include saying (cnn't explain), feeling hurt and bitter, and secing what was left. Finally sarv




young man
Helena +

young man torn to peces

married extremely someone else briefly fepetition married to forget met co-part

maybe never ever again

reacton I

young man
Helena reaction2

ithat was lefi expects a description, in whiclr we have unpircked desire as 'wanting', must be foll as 'wanting to tell', didn't matter as 'didn't care', and only a nreans to the truth as 'only wanted to tell trrrth'. These arc analyse<l as various processes of
desire, which elaborate each other

in this




my first love through a good lriend for the first time

again 'consequellces' setting more than a

year ago

3.6 Morf:

(.tr ';jrrvtfll;'Jtir-;ji

ii'ti | .i-'


Metaphor in general involvc; a transference of rneaning in which a lexical ite4 that normally means one thing comes to mean another. There are rnany examples of'


working with Discoune

IDEATION: conrtruing

experience 1 1 1

such lexical metaphors in Ilelena's story. For example she describes herself andher

Processes One

fist love as torn

to pieces, comparing the pain of separation

with disnrenrberment,

and qualities as things

During her husband's 'trips' something deadful was shoved down his throat, comparing the actions he s .s lb ced into with force-feeding. And as a consequence he and his collcagues acte'J likc 'vultures', meaning that thcy treated people like
prey or carrion. Lexical metaphors <lf this kind are powerful resources for invoking

major advantage of presenting other elements as entities is that things can be described, classified and qualified in ways not available to other elements. This is illustrated in the following examples from our texts:
begin relate mafry travel desiring reconcile apply nef vrolate miscarry penalize (punish) expose and humiliate

Grammatical nretaphors on the other hand involve a transference of meaning frcn one kind of element to another kind. A sinrple exanrple in Helena's story is tlre proccss of ntarrying, which is reconstrued as a quality married and as a thing marriage. This kind of meaning transference seems so natural for readers with high levels of litcracy that it hardly cones to our attention, except when it becomes hard to read in unfamiliar discourse. Ir modern written languages it is a powerful resource fbr expanding the set of meanings available for speakers and writers. Its E,nglish has accelerated over the past few centuries to enable expansion of the discourses of the scicnccs, humanities and bureaucracies that acconrpanied Europe's industrializatitn and colonial expansions. In general the drift in mcaning, by rneans of gramnratical metaphor, has been fiom reality irs processes involving people and concrete things, to reality as relations bctwecn atrstract things, as rvith the transference from marrying as process Io marriagc as thing. Part of the reason for this shift has to do with the greater potential for expanding the rncaning of things - numbering, describing, classifying and qualifying them. r-or example the process of marrying can be expanded rvith another process, such as marrying ls le!K!, or a quality such as ntarrying wl/. Brrt murriage as a thing can be expanded with a whole series o[ potentially er/a uatr re qualitics, classes anrl qualifiers, as in an extrentelv short nrurriuge to someonc else, Therc is a sct of regular principles for creating icleational metaphors - for reconstruing one kind of element as another. '['he most comllon include: developnrent

thng the beginning a beautiful relationship an extfemely short marriage




only one desire Reconciliation all the important applications a public hearing a gross violation a miscarriage of justice the pnalty (punishment) public exposure and humiliation

painful and bitter true

the pain and bitterness in me





Reconstruing activities as things enables them circunrstances in other activities:

the applicatron Medium
such a hearing


become participants and

should be dealt with


in a public hearirrg Circumstance a mrscarrrage o justice

was likely to lead tor




(1) (2)

proces5 or quality can be reconstned as if it was a thing process, or a qualrty of a proccss, can be reconstrued as a quality of a thing Processes and

their qualties

as qualities

of things

Processes and qualities ofprocesses (i.e. Qualities) can be reconstrued as qualities

'f'hesc are ideational rnelaphors ol thc experiential type, i.e. they arc concerned lvith elenents of figures. Icleational nrctaphors of tlrc logical t)pe arc concerned with rcconstrrring a conjunction [retween figures as i['it werc a process or thing. We will look at tlre log,ical type in Chapter 4. For now we will exenrplify each of these optir-rrts for cxpcriential ntrt;rh,rrs.

of things (Epithets and Classifiers), thus expanding the lexical potential of nominal


-- ---> quality of thing

a top securty structure an enviable relatronslrip closed session respected nrenrbcrs

an drea


closing the sess tn respeclrng the rtcrnbers


Working with Discourse

IDEATION: construinq

experience 1 13

quality of


>quality of thng
overseas operattons a beautiful relationship an extremely short malriage a gross violation

operatrng overseas relate beautifully rnarry very briefly violate qrossly

expose publicly







: .,.I




As we have illustratecl

lorture regularly-

public exposure regular torturers

rlrroughout this chapter, things and people are tiremselves of entities. Nlost gcnerally wc have distinguisht'd between concrete enlities, such as man, girlfrientls, t'ace, honds, andglgg (,nriries, ,,,.h n, offence,

Things and people as parts of activities-as-things when processes are reconstrued as things, the people that participate in the processes are often left out, which is one reason that abstract written discourse sometimes seems to be so alien to our everyday experience of things going on arotrncl us. However participants can be included when processes are reconstrued as things, by presenting them as parts of activities-as-things as possessions:
Helena got

applicatiorts, r'iolation.'I'his distinction between concrete and abstract ways of meaning reflects a flndamental division in fields of activity in moclern cultures between the everyday activities
sense' fields



of fanrily ancl communiry, and the 'uncomnronof technical professions and social institutions such as law, medicine or education. Everyday fields are organized prinrarily by personal relations between interacting speakers, while uncommonsense fields are organized as llluch by written records. we can distinguish kinds of entities in terms of more specific fiekls wirhin thc
broad categories of concrete or abstracr. To begin with there are nrany concrete

Helena's marriage

vrctrms were


victims' compensation


compensation for victims


of things that belong



everyday activities rhan



-) In the following

example tl're processes of 'exposing'and'humiliating'become thirrgs that qualify the penalty, and are themselves qualified by their participant the

occupations, including names for tools and nrachinery (e.g. mattock, Iuthe, gearbox). Although they are specialized, the nreaning of these terms can be learnt,

the perpetrator is Penalized


publicly exposinq and




like everyday things, by poinring to thcm and using rhcrn. Ry contrasr, rhe meanings of technical terms in professional occupations, such as econolnic.s, linguistics or biology (e.g. inJlation, metaftnction, gene), refer not to concrete objects but to abstract concepts, and can only be learnt through a Lrng series of





of oublic exoosure and

in secondary and tertiary cducation. Although technical entities ljke or galaxies can potcntially be pointed to and named thrcuih instruments, the only way to fully understand them is by gc rin, involvecl in
explanations genes, atoms




for the perpetratol


scientiflc explanations, typically in writing.



lcleational metaphor tends to reconslrue our experience of reality as if it consisted of relations betrveen institutional t stractions. These strategies have evolved to enable writers to generalize about social processes, and to describe, classify and evaluate them, one cost is that it ntay be hard to recover who is doing what to

whorn; another is that this type 0f discourse can be very hard to read


understand. Unpacking ideational rnetaphors as we have shown here can help to reveal how they construe reality and is one key strategy for teaching language learners how they work.

other kinds of abstract things include thosc that are specializ-ed to social institutions such as the law, many of which we find in Tutu's exposition (offence, hearing, applications, t'iolation, arnnesty). These arc examples of aclrninistrative technicality. A third type includes abstractions that refer to senliotic cntities feattres of language (e.g. question, issue, Ietter, extract). semiotic entities can be referred to in any field, but become rnore common irr written discourses, anct of course proliferate in fields like linguistics. A fourlh type of abstraction narnes dimensiorrs of meaning, such as the terms for classes and parts that we discussed under taxonomic relations above (e.g. kind, class, part, cttlour, time, manner, way, cause),we can refer to these as'generic entities'; they featrrre in all knds olfields, but specialized and technical fields tend to have their own sets of generic ternrs, such as the linguistics categories word class, structure, functon, genre and many

ln addition there is a third class of entities that are derived from ideational


Working with Discourse

metaphor, including two general types of metaphoric entities - those derived from processes (e.g. relationship, marriage, exposure, humiliution), and those derived

from qualities (e.g. justice, truth, integrity, biilerness, security\. Kinds of concrete, abstract and metaphoric entities are sunlmarized in Table 3.7.
Table 3.7 Knds ol entities
rruJefinite pronorns
sor ttc /a r t,' no lh | ry ibudy /a


cvcryday specialrzed technicl abstract institutional semiotrc generic metphoric process quality concrete

rnan, gtrlfriend, face, hands, apple, house, hill

nattock, lathe, gearbox

tnflation, metfunctrcn, gene

question, ssue, letter, extract colour, time, manner, way, knd, class, part, cause relatonshp, marriage, exposure, humiliation

justice, truth, integrity, bitterness, security


rle :
The term 'instantiated' rcfcrs to instances of a semiotic systent in a text. We are treatirg 'applying for' here as a phrasal verb realizing an effcctive nraterial process. 'I'he process likely to lead to a nsctrriuge ttf justice is intcrpreled as 'cause a
nriscar riage'.

1 2 3