Sunday, 3 May 2015

Confusing Textual Reference With 'Transcendent' Reference

Martin (1992: 110):
Names are phoric and when the identity of the participant to which they refer is not recoverable participant identification breaks down.  Note the attested repair in [3:31] as the speaker realises her addressee is not a member of the community that can uniquely identify John (data from Guenter Plum; see Plum 1988):
[3:31] …Friends of my parents had a beagle and John hadn't seen a beagle (that's my husband) so he went and looked at one… 

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, names are not "phoric" in the sense of textual reference, but in the sense of language referring to things (meanings) outside language.  This is the view of meaning as transcendent, the view of Martin's source, Du Bois (1980), which is epistemologically inconsistent with the view of meaning as immanent, the view of SFL theory.

[2] To be clear, in text [3:31], that makes anaphoric demonstrative co-reference to John, and he makes anaphoric personal co-reference to John. The notion of John 'referring' is the misunderstanding of textual reference identified above in [1].

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