Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Misconstruing Stratification

Martin (1992: 55, 56):
Where grammar is conceived as making meaning, there is no need to add an extra layer of interpretation to the semantics to simply re-label these functions. …
The general point here is that if the grammar, or the phonology for that matter, does the work, so be it.  The model developed here does not dualise meaning and form and so does not have to re-state the contributions made by phonology and lexicogrammar to text structure at the level of semantics.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses semogenesis with stratification.  The grammar making meaning is semogenesis.  In terms of stratification, the grammar realises meaning; grammar (wording) is construed as a lower level of symbolic abstraction than semantics (meaning).

[2] In proposing a level of symbolic abstraction above the grammar, it is necessary to make explicit both the system of choices at the level of semantics (meaning), and how they are congruently realised at the level of lexicogrammar (wording).  The reason it is necessary is because it is this that provides the baseline for examining incongruent realisations — grammatical metaphor — the major means of expanding meaning potential.

[3] SFL theory contrasts meaning with wording, as in the content plane strata, semantics and lexicogrammar, and form with function, as in the grammatical rank scale, where functions at a higher rank are realised by forms at the rank below.

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