Contextualisation: bringing circumstantial meanings up to discourse semantics – a first step

Shoshana Dreyfus

This presentation explores a region of ideational meaning that has been named contextualisation. Contextualisation refers to meanings that are circumstantial in nature, but range beyond the rank of the clausal constituent of circumstance in both directions: up to clause rank and down to below or within constituent rank. This paper brings together and extends the work of Halliday & Matthiessen (2004) on expansion and circumstantiation, and the work of Martin (1992) within the discourse semantic system of ideation. Each type of contextual meaning is defined structurally, ie according to rank, and semantically, according to type. Analysis of contextual meanings is conducted on a small corpus of four texts: all introductions to journal articles, in order to demonstrate the use in understanding how these texts make meaning.


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