Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Confusing Instantiation With The Syntagmatic Axis

Martin (1992: 126):
As with the tracking and challenging options presented in Chapter 2, these retrieval categories broach upon a dynamic as opposed to a synoptic perspective on participant identification (see Martin 1985a).  The choices reviewed are relevant to both decisions a speaker must make when selecting phoric or non-phoric items and to processes the listener must go through to recover any information which is presumed.  And it is the particular point that has been reached in the syntagmatic unfolding of a text that is critical to any decisions made.  No attempt will be made to model IDENTIFICATION as a dynamic system here.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, to 'broach' means to raise (a difficult subject) for discussion.

[2] To be clear, Martin's "dynamic as opposed to synoptic perspective" confuses instantiation during logogenesis with a (dynamic) perspective on the syntagmatic axis; see [5] below.

[3] As previously explained, the term 'participant identification' confuses ideational denotation with the identifiability of textual reference items.  The inconsistency is one of metafunction.

[4] To be clear, the selection of features during logogenesis by speaker and addressee is the process of instantiation.

[5] The notion of a "syntagmatic unfolding of a text" confuses the syntagmatic axis with logogenesis (the unfolding of text).  Logogenesis is 'the instantiation of the system in text' (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 18) — 'the creation of meaning in instantiation, maintained as a changing instantial system' (op cit.: 385).

[6] To be clear, the term system is shorthand for 'system–&–process' (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 507).  In modelling IDENTIFICATION as a system, Martin has unwittingly modelled it as a dynamic system.

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