Before we can go to the analysis of mood and modality
itself, let us go back to the constituents of the
clause, which was introduced in the third lecture notes. We may want to
note here again that an unmarkeddeclarative clausemay consist of the following: Subject,
Finite, Predicator, Complement,
(See below for the definition of the marked/unmarked distinction in linguistics).
These constituents can be illustrated with the example below:
for my students
As mentioned in the earlier lecture, and as can be seen from the
The subject and complement are
typically realised by nouns or nominal groups.
The finite by the tensed element of the verb.
The predicator by the non-tensed (or non-finite) element or elements of the verb or verbal
The adjunct by an adverb,
adverbial group, or prepositional phrase.
also note that
The subject has a relationship of
grammatical concord (or, in other words, a grammatical
relationship of number) with the finite element.
That the finite and predicator elements are
both present in a simple finite verb: e.g., the verb
write in 'I write handouts for my students' has
both a finite and a predicator.
Another important feature to note is the nature of the
As the above example indicates, the complement may
perform the function of a direct object to the
The exception to this is the verb 'to be', and
other related verbs performing an intensive function,
which are usually regarded as intransitive, but may have a noun,
noun group, or adjective following them. The constituent
which follows the intensive verb is also described as the
complement of the clause.
same term, the complement is used because of their similar syntactic positions.
Only a clause in the active voice with a
complement following it can be passivised,
including, according to Halliday, clauses with intensive
verbs (but the latter is controversial, and you can, if you
want, disagree with Halliday on this).
further note that the adjunct is optional.
But if what looks like an adjunct is
obligatory, such as the constituent in a clause which has a ditransitive
verb, and is an
assumed (or unmarked) constituent in a
passive clause (as shown in the example given in the
previous paragraph), then it should be regarded as the complement. The adjunct in a passive,
is usually regarded as such because it is optional, and there are many instances where it can be
removed through agent-deletion. Apart from clauses with
ditransitive verbs, there are a few other minor instances
where the what looks like an adjunct is actually obligatory (such as in relation to
the verb 'behave'), and should therefore be regarded as a complement.
The presence of the adjunct depends on the level of
description that the writer or speaker needs, thus making it
useful for the analysis of the writer's or speaker's
As you know, there is no necessity for the Subject - Finite - Predicator - Complement - Adjunct
pattern to be present in the given order in a simple declarative
clause in the active voice. One feature of the English
language which you may have noticed, is the fact that you may
shift some elements of the clause about. This is a factor which
may be of relevance for theme-rheme analysis, which we
will do later in the semester. For instance, the above example
can be written as:
ii) 'For my students, I am writing handouts',
iii) 'Handouts I am writing for my students'.
In the instances here, the adjunct (more appropriately,
the circumstantial adjunct) in ii), and the
complement in iii) are fronted or thematised.
the idea of thematization in itself is not very difficult
to understand, we may note here, in advance of our lectures on
theme-rheme, that another word used to describe the
fronted element of the clause is theme. We may also note
that everything else which follows the theme in a single
clause, is the rheme. In other words,
'I' in example i),
the (circumstantial) adjunct 'For my
students' in example ii), and
the complement 'Handouts' in
are all themes, and each of the rhemes
is formed by all the other constituents within the clause which
follow the theme, as illustrated below:
A concept found in linguistics to indicate
whether a linguistic element or pattern is or is not commonly
found, is that of markedness. Hence
Clause i) is unmarked, as the subject usually
coincides with the theme in a declarative clause.
The themes in ii) and iii) are marked, as the
themes, going against what is usually the case, do
not coincide with the subjects.
Due to the fact that
instances of thematised complements in declarative clauses
are less common than those in which (circumstantial)
adjuncts are thematised, iii) can be
described as being more marked than ii).
You may have noticed that I have used the term
circumstantial in parentheses in relation to the
adjuncts above. Apart from circumstantial adjuncts,
we also have modal and conjunctive adjuncts in
Hallidayan linguistics. (There will be more discussion on these
adjuncts later this semester; students who are interested
may want to look at pp. 49-52, 81-3 and 302-9 of the
first edition of Halliday's Introduction,
pp. 48-52, 80-4, 323-30 of the second edition, or pp.
81-4, 125-33, 145-50, 260-80, 355-6, 359-60
of the third [n.b.: page references to the first edition will
henceforth be in
italics, those to the second in bold
letters, and those to the third underlined]).
Our interest here is with the significance of the
various types of adjuncts in the analysis of the structure
of the clause. For this purpose, a very brief and basic
definition of these adjuncts in terms of what Halliday
calls the three metafunctions of language may be helpful.
The modal adjuncts, which belong to the interpersonal
metafunction of language, refer to the speaker's
judgment of the relevance of the message.
The conjunctive adjuncts, which belong to the textual
metafunction of language, largely function (as their
metafunctional designation implies) to relate the significance or
connection of one sentence or clause with another;