Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Mistaking Ideational Denotation For Textual Reference

Martin (1992: 125):
At times the information presumed by phoric nominal groups may not be retrievable from the context, verbal or non-verbal.  Where this is confusing, interlocutors may interrupt through one or other of the tracking options described in Chapter 2 (cf. [3:30] above):
[3:59]  John hadn't seen a beagle…
           — Who?
           — My husband, John.
           Anyway, so he went and looked at one…
More commonly interlocutors interlocutors [sic] simply process the phoric item as a first mention; Haviland and Clark refer to this strategy as addition.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This again mistakes nominal groups for reference items, and misrepresents these grammatical forms and functions as discourse semantic.  The theoretical inconsistency is one of stratification.

[2] To be clear, reference items refer endophorically (inside the text) or exophorically (outside the text).  Endophoric reference is to linguistic meaning in the co-text, exophoric reference is to linguistic meaning other than those in the particular text.  Context, on the other hand, is the culture as semiotic system, instances of which are realised by instances of language (texts).  By 'non-verbal context', Martin means the material setting, misconstrued from the SFL perspective, as transcendent meanings (outside semiotic systems).  Note that later, in Chapter 7, Martin mistakes context (culture) for register (context-specific language).

[3] This again mistakes ideational denotation for textual reference.  The theoretical inconsistency is one of metafunction.

[4] To be clear, a 'phoric item' is a textual reference item.  Here it is again confused with an experiential participant construed by a nominal group.  The theoretical inconsistency is again one of metafunction.

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