Manual Systemic Functional Grammar of Spanish: A Contrastive Study with English

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This book offers a systemic-functional account of Spanish, and analyses how Spanish grammatical forms compare and contrast with those of English. The.
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Review This work is welcome as a long-awaited comprehensive account of the Spanish clausal resources inspired by the work conducted by MA. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.

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Write a customer review. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Each system has two or more terms or output features representing a grammatical alternation e. This simultaneous selection defines a paradigm, as shown by the two-dimensional matrix in Table 1.

The cells in the table represent intersections of terms from the simultaneous systems, and the tabular representation is a useful way of capturing available or unavailable combinations. Throughout the book we will use both the system network and the two-dimensional table matrix as representational mechanisms of paradigmatic options. TYPE Wh-int.

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This type of specification is called a realization statement, since it states how features in the Introduction Table 1. In general, system features have an associated realization statement, usually represented inside boxes immediately below the systemic feature. A realization statement specifies a structural fragment in the context of a feature of the system network Matthiessen a: For example, in Figure 1. It also specifies that the order must be: first the optative marker, followed by the Predicator and the Finite Subjunctive as obligatory elements.

Different types of realization statements e. Structures are thus conceived not as isolated patterns of language, but as realization of systemic choices. Instead, what one finds is the dimension of rank, along which the systemic resources within each stratum semantics, lexicogrammar and phonology are distributed. Rank is a dimension which orders units into a compositional hierarchy, known as the rank scale Halliday However, as will be explained in different parts of the book, word morphology is frequently used in Spanish, as in other inflectional languages, to realize certain grammatical categories.

This principle assumes that language is organized into different modes of meaning or metafunctions: interpersonal, ideational and textual. The ideational metafunction is concerned with construing experience and has two modes: experiential and logical. The interpersonal metafunction is concerned with enacting interpersonal relations through language. The textual metafunction is concerned with organizing ideational and interpersonal meaning as text in context. Each metafunction defines a metafunctional domain or component in the grammar — the ideational domain, the interpersonal one and the textual one.

These are reflected in the grammar across different ranks, such as clauses, groups or words, creating functional subdomains or grammar regions. In our account of the Spanish lexicogrammar we focus on the main experiential, interpersonal and textual functional regions of the Spanish clause as well as on those of groups and phrases. As will be shown in the different chapters, our account will be presented both from the systemic and the structural perspectives. The systemic perspective implies looking at clusters of relatively independent choices from different metafunctional domains or regions.

The structural perspective implies looking at the different forms of realization associated with ideational, interpersonal and textual resources. Thus, in SF theory ideational resources are associated with particulate forms of realization, construing experience as components or constituents. Interpersonal resources are associated with prosodic forms of realization. Textual resources are associated with periodic forms of realization, organizing semiotic reality as waves of information Caffarel et al.

However, given the representational problems associated with the task of representing prosodic and periodic modes of expression, we will use the particulate form of realization to represent experiential, interpersonal and textual structures, thus showing how different structures map onto each other.

Also, we have used the results of previous corpus-based studies to ensure the empirical basis of the descriptive and the contrastive claims. The methodology used for the creation of the SF description of Spanish and the contrast with English is based on both qualitative and quantitative textual analysis.

Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 are dedicated to the highest unit in the rank scale, that is, the clause, while Chapter 6 is dedicated to the grammar of groups and phrases to complement the grammatical description with a view from below the clause. The chapters dedicated to the grammar of the clause foreground its privileged position in SF-based grammatical descriptions.

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Thus, Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 are dedicated to the exploration of the lexicogrammatical resources for construing different metafunctional meanings in the Spanish clause. Chapters 2 and 3 explore the resources for construing ideational meanings. These are meanings concerned with our interpretation of the world around us, and also inside ourselves.

They can represent relations between processes logical , or represent the processes themselves experiential. Chapter 3 explores the resources for construing our external and internal experience as a configuration of a process, participants involved in the process and circumstances attendant on it. Finally, Chapter 5 explores the resources for construing textual meanings, that is, those concerned with the presentation of ideational and interpersonal meanings as text in context.

Here, we study the thematic organization of the Spanish clause and the phenomenon of information structuring. The description includes the textual analysis of selected extracts from different text types to illustrate the behaviour of the categories proposed.

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Chapter 6 is dedicated to the grammar of groups and phrases. Here we focus on those units that rank immediately below the clause and which can be regarded as the building blocks to construct clauses. We study the properties of the nominal, the verbal, the adjectival and the adverbial groups, as well as those of prepositional phrases in Spanish. The analysis emphasizes Introduction 9 the ideational features of the different structures of each type of group, since these meanings seem to be dominant while the others are only occasionally present.

Each chapter has a similar structure. The first section of each chapter provides a brief introduction to the different resources for construing different metafunctional meanings in the Spanish clause. The rest of the sections present a more detailed description of the main systems and their realizations in Spanish, followed by a contrastive section dedicated to the presentation of the main differences between Spanish and English, both at the paradigmatic and the syntagmatic level. The description is illustrated with numerous examples and extensive textual analysis, as the text is interpreted in systemic terms as instantiating the system.

Finally, each chapter concludes with a summary section foregrounding the main aspects of the description. Notes 1 2 3 The contrastive account with English presented in this book differs in many respects from other available Spanish—English contrastive descriptions. Winters Our approach is functional and discourse-oriented, analysing structural differences as the result of different metafunctional tensions operating in the process of discourse production.

Also, the profile of Spanish presented here clearly differs in purpose and scope from available collections of different contrastive English—Spanish studies e. The presentation here is sketchy and partial, since we just focus on those dimensions of SF theory which are more relevant for the current description of Spanish.

For a detailed discussion of the theory see Halliday , , Caffarel et al. Chapter 2 The grammar of ideation I: Logical metafunction 2. In the description of the logical resources of Spanish, we will be looking at the way in which this language links clauses together to form clause complexes. Logico-semantic relations have in fact a fractal nature, that is, the same linking resources are available, and therefore exploited, not only at clause-complexing level but also at group- and phrasecomplexing level as well as in the relation holding between Circumstantial Transitivity and Nuclear Transitivity see Halliday and Matthiessen —, —, — Since in this book we are mainly focusing on the clause, this chapter will be devoted to the relations holding within clause complexes.

Logico-semantic relations at transitivity, that is, intraclausal, and group levels will nevertheless be dealt with in Chapters 3 and 6, respectively. Perhaps the simplest and most straightforward way of presenting the basic systems of clause complexing is by referring to the system network provided by Halliday and Matthiessen for English — since the same relations hold in Spanish — and explain the resources there specified by means of examples in Spanish.

Figure 2. When they are in hypotactic relation, it means that the clauses are assigned unequal status, only one of the clauses being able to stand on its own. As in the rest of book all examples are, unless indicated to the contrary, from the CREA corpus. As we can see, whereas the alpha clauses in 1, 2 could stand freely, the same cannot be said of the beta clauses. On the other hand, both clauses in the clause complexes 3, 4 may have a life of their own.

Incidentally, examples 1—4 introduce the convention that is used to indicate the different kinds of taxis, namely Greek letters for relations of dependency hypotaxis and numbers for relations of independency parataxis. As shown in Figure 2.


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We can now look again at examples 1—4 in the light not only of the tactic interdependencies holding in them but also of the different logico-semantic relations they exemplify. Thus, 1 and 3 instantiate expansion whereas 2 and 4 instantiate projection. Thus, both the alpha and beta clauses in 1 refer to the use of heavy weaponry in a military operation, the beta clause specifying the consequences that use brought about.

In example 3 , and differently from 1 , both clauses refer to different elements of experience, the action of following behind being added to that of bursting in. These two examples incidentally show a differentiating characteristic of paratactic and hypotactic relations: whereas in the former the primary clause always precedes the secondary clause, the relation is on the other hand often reversible if hypotactic, as illustrated by 6. Note the double quotes to 14 Systemic Functional Grammar of Spanish indicate locution versus the single quotes for idea.

As with symbols of expansion, they are placed before the symbol for tactic relation and are independent from the quotes that may be used for purposes of punctuation in paratactic projections. In a wider approach as the one taken in SFL and therefore here, it refers to the possibility of using any kind of logico-semantic and tactic resource for clause complexing, as the ones so far seen. Thus, at clause level, all examples 1—6 above use logical clause-complexing resources only once, which contrasts with examples 7 and 8 below, where clausecomplexing resources are exploited twice in each.

In 7 we can see an example of extension with two clauses related paratactically, the secondary clause consisting at the same time of another clause complex, brought about by projection, in which the relationship between the projecting clause and the locution is hypotactic. In 8 , in turn, the projection takes place, again hypotactically, between the primary and the secondary clause, and it is within the latter that the logico-semantic resources are exploited again, in this case hypotactic enhancement.

As pointed out by Halliday and Matthiessen ; see also Halliday and Martin , spoken language presents a higher degree of grammatical intricacy than written language. This means that clause-complexing resources are more recursively exploited in the former, whereas the latter is characterized by its lexical density, that is, logico-semantic resources are exploited at group and phrase, rather than at clause, level.

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This is achieved by means of the grammatical metaphor known as nominalization. Examples 9a and 10a below illustrate this difference; the former contains heavily loaded nominal groups which could be unpacked as shown in 9b , thus becoming more spoken-language-like, whereas 10a epitomizes spoken language and could be turned into a more written-language-like process by resorting to a nominalization such as the one proposed in 10b. Note how the clause complex in 10a becomes a simple clause in 10b , exactly the reverse of the transition from simple clause to clause complex in 9.

Before bringing this introductory section to an end, something should be said about the criteria to tell hypotaxis from parataxis, as there are some cases in which it may not be at first sight easy to know which tactic relation is holding. Let us compare for that purpose examples 11 and 12 ; why is it that whereas the conjunction pues introduces a secondary clause paratactically related to the primary clause, puesto que, with a similar causal meaning, implies a hypotactic relationship?

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With the other kinds of expansion, that is, extension and elaboration, as well as with projection the distinction between hypotaxis and parataxis is quite clear-cut, as a cursory look at examples 1—4 above attests. This is why we are going to resort to a criterion which mostly applies to enhancement, as well as to extension, but, as we do not need it for the other tactic relations, is good enough for us. This criterion, called reversibility, has also been used for languages such as English Halliday and Matthiessen or French Caffarel and is, as we are going to see, as applicable to Spanish as to those languages.

This leaves us with paratactic relations being characterized by their non-reversibility.


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  4. The contrast is perfectly illustrated by 11, 12 : clause complexes in Spanish do not typically start with the conjunction pues the same as in English they do not start with for ; conversely clause complexes with puesto que as those in English with since, as or because can choose either the progressive or the regressive form of expression, thus showing the paratactic relation holding in them. Drawing on this, we could reexpress 12 as 13 below, whereas the hypotaxis in 11 , conversely, does not easily welcome the sequence expressed in If Spanish speakers were to use such sequence, pues would give way to other conjunctions such as puesto que or como.