Saturday, 2 May 2015

Misconstruing Logico-Semantic Cause As Comparative Reference

Martin (1992: 101):
Relevance Phoricity – 
[3:10]   The boy ran quicklfor a few yards;
             but his dog ran farther and faster. 
[3:11]   The frog ran away
             so the boy went to find it.
[3:12]   The bofelworried
             and his dog did too.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, "relevance phoricity" is Martin's rebranding of Halliday's comparative reference.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 632-3 ):
Whereas personals and demonstratives, when used anaphorically, set up a relation of co-reference, whereby the same entity is referred to over again, comparatives set up a relation of contrast. In comparative reference, the reference item still signals ‘you know which’; not because the same entity is being referred to over again but rather because there is a frame of reference — something by reference to which what I am now talking about is the same or different, like or unlike, equal or unequal, more or less.
[2] Here Martin confuses a structural hypotactic relation of cause between clauses (logical metafunction) with a non-structural relation of cohesive conjunction (textual metafunction), and misinterprets the conjunctive Adjunct (so) as a comparative reference item, with the preceding clause as its referent.

[3] Here Martin misinterprets a conjunctive Adjunct (too) — itself misunderstood as a marker of continuity, see Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 603-5) — as a comparative reference item, with the preceding clause in the nexus of paratactic addition as its referent.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 472)
Paratactic additions are often accompanied by cohesive expressions serving as conjunctive Adjuncts such as too, in addition, also, moreover, on the other hand.

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