Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mistaking Numeratives And Epithets For Reference Items

Martin (1992: 113):
For selective Deictics the basic distinction has to do with selection on the basis of order, as realised through ordinative Numeratives and selection on the basis of quality, as realised through superlative EpithetsOrder is realised through ordinal numerals (first, second, third, etc.) or position in time and space (e.g. next, last, final, ultimate, penultimate etc.)Quality is realised through superlative adjectives, where these are not simply attitudinal; note that in He made the dumbest moves the superlative morphology is not phoric if the dumbest moves simply means 'some very dumb moves worth exclaiming about'.  The opposition between order and quality is illustrated in [3:35]:
[3:35]          Which one will we take?
ORDER            — The next one/the last one/the penultimate one etc.
QUALITY         — The biggest one/the flattest one/the reddest one etc.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This continues the mistaking of nominal group deixis (interpersonal metafunction realised structurally) for reference (textual metafunction realised non-structurally), and the rebranding of the grammatical misunderstanding as discourse semantics.

[2] This continues the mistaking of the construal of experience as participants realised by nominal groups (experiential metafunction) with the cohesive resource of reference (textual metafunction), and the rebranding of the grammatical misunderstanding as discourse semantics.

[3] The claim here is that order is realised by position in time and space.  On the one hand, this presents a definition as an interstratal relation; on the other hand, it reverses the levels of abstraction in the definition such that the Token ('order') is realised by the Value ('position in time and space').

[4] To be clear, in SFL theory, all of these function as ordinative Numerative; see Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 375).

[5] Note that 'superlative' means expressing the highest or very high degree of a quality, and that, in SFL theory, superlatives do not function as reference items, since they do not present an identity as recoverable.

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