Saturday, 2 May 2015

Misconstruing A Textual Relation (Reference) As A Logical Relation (Dependency)

Martin (1992: 100):
This means that in principle a nominal group may depend on three distinct aspects of its context, as in [3:7]:
[3:7]   The boy found two frogs.
           One was smaller than the other.
           The boy took the smaller one home.
There, the smaller one depends on two frogs for the recovery of experiential content of its Head (redundancy phoricity); it as well depends on the other for recovery of the participant compared to it in terms of size (relevance phoricity); and it depends on one where the identity of the smaller frog was first established (reminding phoricity).

Blogger Comments:

This illustration accumulates the misunderstandings ([1] and [4]) and rebrandings ([5], [6] and [7]) of the foregoing discussion, and adds two further confusions ([2] and [3]).

[1] Here again the nominal group in which a reference item occurs is mistaken for the reference item, with the result that reference is misunderstood as a relation between nominal groups.

[2] The new confusion that is smuggled in here, without supporting argument, is the misinterpretation of the relation between the reference item and the referent as one of dependency.  That is to say, a textual relation is misconstrued as a logical relation.  The theoretical inconsistency is thus one of metafunction.

[3] Here Martin misinterprets his subtypes of phoricity (reference and substitution) as aspects of "context".  That is, he confuses the type of relation (phoricity) with the type of referent ("context").

[4] Here Martin uses 'context' to mean co-text, or more precisely, the instantial system being established in the unfolding of the text (logogenesis).  Previously, Martin has used 'context' to also mean the material setting, and in the final chapter he reinterprets context — in the SFL sense of the culture as a semiotic system — as varieties of language (register and genre).

[5] To be clear, Martin's 'redundancy phoricity' is his rebranding of cohesive substitution, misunderstood as a type of reference.

[6] To be clear, Martin's 'relevance phoricity' is is his rebranding of comparative reference.

[7] To be clear, Martin's 'reminding phoricity' is his rebranding of co-reference, personal or demonstrative.

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