Thursday, 7 May 2015

Misinterpreting Substitution-&-Ellipsis As Reference

Martin (1992: 135):
In addition, redundancy phoricity is operative [in nominal group structure], with one/ones substituting for the Thing, or with ellipsis presuming elements of structure left-wards from the Thing. Substitution is exemplified in the second clause of [3:70], ellipsis in the third.

Do you have any other woks?

— We have those other two large aluminium ones.

Those two would be nice.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, "redundancy phoricity" is Martin's rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) substitution and ellipsis, misunderstood as a type of reference, and relocated from non-structural grammar to structural discourse semantics.  Moreover, ellipsis sets up a cohesive relation that is grammatical, not semantic.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 635):

But unlike reference, which is itself a semantic relation, ellipsis sets up a relationship that is not semantic but lexicogrammatical — a relationship in the wording rather than directly in the meaning.
[2] To be clear, substitution and ellipsis are not limited to the nominal group.  The three grammatical domains are the clause, the verbal group and the nominal group (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 635-6).  Martin's "redundancy phoricity" does not account for the discourse semantics of substitution and ellipsis in the clause and verbal group.

[3] To be clear, in SFL terms, those illustrates demonstrative anaphoric co-reference.

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