Sunday, 5 April 2015

Misrepresenting Grammatical Metaphor

Martin (1992: 17):
Stratifying the content plane provides one mechanism for handling semantic layering of this kind.  The level of grammar can be used to provide an interpretation of the "literal" meaning of metaphorical structures and the meaning of congruent ones; the level of semantics can then be deployed to construct additional interpretations for metaphorical expressions (their "figurative" or "transferred" meaning).

Blogger Comment:

This is not the SFL model of grammatical metaphor.  In SFL theory, having two content plane strata provides the distinction between meaning and wording, so that an incongruent realisation relation between them — grammatical metaphor — can be accounted for.

As Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 283) point out, the metaphorical form is junctional: it also embodies semantic features deriving from its own incongruent lexicogrammatical properties.  That is, grammatical metaphor is a means of simultaneously construing the meanings of both the congruent and incongruent grammatical realisations.

These two meanings are themselves in an elaborating token-value relation within the semantic stratum, with the metaphorical Token realising the congruent Value (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 288).

Importantly, although grammatical metaphor does motivate the stratification of the content plane, it does not motivate a discourse semantic stratum.

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