Sunday, 3 May 2015

Some Of The Problems With Martin's Comparison Systems

Martin (1992: 118-9):
Comparison systems are formulated systemically in Fig. 3.8.  The feature [comparison] is cross-classified with respect to two systems: the [general/experientialised] comparison system which distinguishes between making the dimensions of quantity or quality explicit or not, and the [semblance/difference] system which opposes comparison in terms of how they are unalikeThe feature [experientialised] is then itself cross-classified according to whether the dimension of quantity or quality is relevant and whether another participant or a proposal is presumed (again, the recursivity of the [quality] feature is not shown).

Blogger Comments:

[1] As a network, the system in Figure 3.8 is presented as a portion of the overall system of IDENTIFICATION, 'reference as semantic choice', which is said by Martin to be realised structurally rather than non-structurally — the latter being the case with the lexicogrammatical analogue.  Despite this, it provides no realisation statements that specify how its features are realised structurally at the level of discourse semantics, nor any realisation statements that specify how these features are realised at the level of lexicogrammar.

Moreover, as explained in previous posts, the theorising on which the system is based is invalidated by its many theoretical misunderstandings and inconsistencies, including (but not limited to):
  • mistaking nominal groups for reference items,
  • mistaking the system of nominal group deixis for the system of reference,
  • mistaking construing experience for textual reference,
  • mistaking interpersonal functions of the nominal group for textual functions,
  • not accounting for comparative reference realised in the domain of adverbial groups.

[2] As previously explained here, Martin's opposition of general vs experientialised is a misunderstanding and rebranding of Halliday's comparative reference opposition of general vs particular on the grammatical stratum as a discourse semantic opposition. 

[3] As previously explained here, the similarity vs difference opposition — with similarity rebranded by Martin as semblance — is not the basis of all comparative reference, merely the general (vs particular) type. More importantly, Martin misleadingly presents these ideas as if they are his own; see Halliday & Hasan (1976: 76).

[4] As previously explained hereMartin's "experientialised" comparison is a rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976: 76) 'particular (non-deictic)' comparison, and Martin's 'quantity' vs 'quality' opposition is a rebranding of their 'numerative' vs 'epithet' opposition, with these grammatical distinctions rebranded as discourse semantics. Most importantly, Martin misleadingly presents these ideas as if they are his own.

[5] To be clear, the participant vs proposal opposition is incongruously labelled ' –' vs 'purposive' in Figure 3.8.  As previously explained here and here, the latter of these options mistakes interpersonal functions of the nominal group for comparative reference, mistakes propositions for proposals and presents a comparative relation between items where there is none.

[6] As previously explained here, this mistakes logical modification in the nominal group for textual reference.

No comments:

Post a Comment