By Inger Lassen
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Additional info for Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals: A Survey of Style and Grammatical Metaphor (Document Design Companion Series, V. 4)
As will be clear from what has been said above, it is not possible within Systemic Functional theory to separate the two notions since one would not be able to function without the other. The same observation may be made for the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual metafunctions, and yet they are usually discussed as separate phenomena. Fully aware that this was not the original intent behind the theory concerning paradigmatic and syntagmatic orientation, I shall, in what follows, nevertheless treat grammatical metaphors as instances of either a syntagmatic or a paradigmatic orientation on the simple basis of understanding that syntagmatic forces have a horizontal orientation while paradigmatic forces have a vertical orientation in the clause.
Types of complexity in spoken and written language As noted by Halliday (1994: 349), speech and writing have diŸerent ways of constructing complex meaning. Stated in simple terms, written language tends to be lexically dense in the sense that there are many lexical items per ranking clause, while spoken language tends to be lexically sparse with fewer lexical items per ranking clause. At the same time written languge has been shown to be grammatically simpler than spoken language in that the information carrying elements tend to be packed in fewer clauses per syntagm (Halliday, 1987: 64).
The principle of paradigmatic metaphor It is the tension between the mental representation and its non-realization in the text that creates the type of grammatical metaphor that we will henceforth refer to as paradigmatic. As shown in Figure 2, no syntagmatic process can be identiªed, but instead the ellipted verb is forms a paradigmatic opposition to the gap it leaves behind in the clause. But what insight might we hope to gain from studying these syntagmatic and paradigmatic forces? The obvious answer to this question seems to point towards text accessibility, which is the area we have been concerned with all along.
Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals: A Survey of Style and Grammatical Metaphor (Document Design Companion Series, V. 4) by Inger Lassen