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By Betty Devriendt, Johan van der Auwera, Louis Goossens

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The difficulty of proposing any such measure is exacerbated by the lack of absolutely explicit criteria for the drawing of system networks in Halliday's work. Those systemicists who have attempted to define such criteria and to use them in evaluating the metafunctional hypothesis (notably Fawcett 1980: 34-38; Martin 1984) have reached predictably uncomfortable conclusions. Fawcett's work led him to propose no fewer than 8 functional components (regarded by Gregory (1987) as related to Halliday's on a scale of "delicacy"), and he has effectively abandoned the metafunctional hypothesis as a theoretical construct in his later computationally-oriented work.

The ideational options, it is said, tend to be realised through configurations of discrete constituents, the interpersonal options by prosodic structures in the clause, and the textual options by "culminative" structures associated with unit boundaries. More recently, these claims have been repeated, and amplified, by Matthiessen (1991). Again, however, there are problems, as documented in Asp (1992) (see also Butler, forthcoming, for a discussion in relation to the interpersonal metafunction).

94-106. Halliday, Michael A. K. 1961 "Categories of the theory of grammar", Word 17: 241292. 1966 "Some notes on 'deep' grammar", Journal of Linguistics 2: 57-67. 1968 "Notes on transitivity and theme in English, Part 3", Journal of Linguistics 4: 179-215. ), New horizons in linguistics, 1. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 140-165. 1978 Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold. 1979 "Modes of meaning and modes of expression: Types of grammatical structure and their determination by different semantic functions", in: David J.

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