Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Text [3:1] — Problems With Martin's 'Semantics Of Reference' Analysis [2]

Martin (1992: 127, 128):
The nominal groups in [3:1] are listed below. Each is coded for the IDENTIFICATION choices made and the type of reference to the context where these choices are phoric. The analysis will be annotated for purposes of discussion, rather than presented in detail.

(terminal features)
(where phoric)
the zoo

ii. Deixis omitted, presumably because of attention lapsing due to handwriting struggles; not an appropriate selection for this context.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, it is the first instance of the zoo (the title) in which the makes homophoric reference.  In this second instance, the makes anaphoric reference to the title.

[2] This is Martin's rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) demonstrative reference, misunderstood, and relocated from lexicogrammar to his discourse semantic stratum.

[3] This again mistakes interpersonal deixis for textual reference.  To be clear, only non-interactant (3rd person) pronouns and determiners function as personal reference items, since these alone mark identifiability.  The identities of the interactants (1st & 2nd person) are given by their rôles in the speech event (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 606).  The confusion is one of metafunction.

[4] This mistakes ideational denotation for textual reference.  The target noun rhinoceros does not function as a reference item because it does present an item as identifiable.  The confusion is one of metafunction.

[5] This is not an explanation, especially given the ability of the child to write the elsewhere.  The use of the capital letter, together with the absence of deixis, suggests that the child was uncertain as to whether Rhinocerous constitutes a proper name.  Note that Martin nowhere identifies the word as misspelt.

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