Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals: A by Inger Lassen

By Inger Lassen

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Table 5 gives an overview of Halliday’s metafunctions and their sub-categories. Table 5. Features of coherence Ideational Interpersonal Experiential Logical Clause: transitivity Paratactic and hypotactic relations Textual (Structural) Clause: Mood, modality Clause: theme Verbal group: tense Verbal group: Person Verbal group: voice Nominal group: epithesis Nominal group: attitude Nominal group: deixis Adverbial group: circumstance Adverbial group: comment Adverbial group: conjunction (Nonstructural) Information distribution Cohesion: Reference Information focus Substitution Ellipsis Conjunction Lexical cohesion (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 29) It will appear from Table 5 that cohesive features are not regarded as structural.

A central stratum in the construal of grammatical metaphor is the stratum of lexico-grammar. To Halliday the lexico-grammatical stratum is the stratum where human experience is transformed into meaning, and grammar does this through Figures. A Figure is deªned as “a complex semantic unit of which the organizing 13 14 Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals concept is that of a process” (1995a: 6; 1995b 8). For this process to happen, Entities participating in the Process are needed as are Circumstantial elements such as when, how or why the Process happens.

G. the police (Actor) arrested (Process) the suspect (Goal) . As distinct from syntagmatic relations, and yet closely related because they are in Hasan’s words “diŸerent perspectives on the same phenomena” (Hasan 1996: 107), paradigmatic relations represent potential choices that can be made when speaking or writing. In the example above, it is not possible to leave out any of the categories Actor, Process or Goal. It is, however, possible to say instead the police (Actor) released (Process) the prisoner (Goal), making a set of diŸerent semantic choices.

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