Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Reference Without Referents

Martin (1992: 125):
Finally, it may be that more than [one] referent is available, rendering a phoric group ambiguous:
[3:60]  The boy put his hat and coat on;
            it was black.
These additional options, covering bridging, addition and ambiguous reference are added to the IDENTIFICATION network in Fig. 3.11.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The term 'phoric group' confuses a (non-structural) reference item (phoric) with a (structural) rank unit (group), and misrepresents both as discourse semantic instead of grammatical.

[2] To be clear, this misrepresents what is indeterminate reference for the addressee (and analyst) as ambiguous reference on the part of the speaker, and compounds the error by making ambiguous reference (labelled 'multiple') a systemic option — available to the meaner — in the network (Fig. 3.11).

[3] As previously demonstrated, "bridging" is a confusion of two (misunderstood) types of textual cohesion, reference and lexical cohesion, rebranded, and relocated from lexicogrammar to discourse semantics.

[4] As previously explained, this sense of "addition" is derived from confusing experiential participants with textual reference items.  The theoretical inconsistency is one of metafunction.  This leads to the absurdity, in the system network (Fig. 3.11), of reference with "no referent'.

[5] To be clear, the network is invalidated by all the theoretical misunderstandings and inconsistencies on which it is based.  Moreover, as a system, it doesn't specify its entry condition, nor any realisation statements that specify how choices are realised syntagmatically at the level of discourse semantics, nor how choices are realised lexicogrammatically.

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