Sunday, 3 May 2015

Confusing The Referent With The Reference System And Reference With Lexical Cohesion (Hyponymy)

Martin (1992: 102-3):
The realisation of the [presenting/presuming] system and the probability of phoric options being chosen is very much affected by a third system [generic/specific], which cross-classifies [presenting/presuming] and [comparison/–].  Generic reference is selected when the whole of some experiential class of participants is at stake rather than a specific manifestation of that class.

Blogger Comment:

[1] To be clear, Martin provides no realisation statements in any of networks that feature his [presenting/presuming] system, namely Fig. 3.2 (p102), Fig. 3.3 (p105), Fig. 3.4 (p106), Fig. 3.5 (p110), Fig. 3.6 (p112) or Fig. 3.9 (p120).

[2] To be clear, the probability of features being selected (instantiated) varies according to register.

[3] There are two confusions here.  On the one hand, the [generic/specific] distinction is a distinction in the referents, not in the means of referring (the system of reference).  On the other hand, a cohesive relation between a class and a member of a class is an instance of lexical cohesion, subtype: hyponymy (elaboration + attribution).

[4] To be clear, 'the whole of some experiential class of participants' confuses the class with the members of the class ('whole', 'participants'), thereby undermining Martin's distinction between generic and specific.

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