Sunday, 3 May 2015

Confusing Reference With Ellipsis And Deixis

Martin (1992: 105-6):
Both the [presenting/presuming] and the [total/partial] oppositions are neutralised with the interrogative pronouns who and what as can be seen in the range of answers possible to the questions in [3:19] and [3:20]:
[3:19] Who did you see?
           — Everyone/someone/John
[3:20] What did you see?
           — Everything/something/the cat
When it functions as a Deictic however, the interrogative what is selective; in [3:21] partial reference is strongly predicted in the reply [which is always phoric and will be taken up under presuming reference below].
[3:21] What books did you bring?
            — Just a few I needed / the ones I like.  (cf. — ??All of them.)

Blogger Comments:

[1] As explained in previous posts, "presenting reference" does not involve reference.  It is the first appearance of a potential referent.  See Misconstruing The Absence Of Reference As "Presenting" Reference.

[2] As explained in the previous post, the 'total/partial opposition' is an experiential distinction in referents, not in the textual system of referring potential.

[3] To be clear, the cohesion here is ellipsis, not reference; but see [4].

[4] This continues the confusion between deixis and reference.  See Cohesion In English (Halliday & Hasan 1976: 70) for the distinction between 'referential' and 'interrogative' determiners.

[5] This confuses "prediction" with reference.

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