Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Text [3:1] — Problems With Martin's 'Semantics Of Reference' Analysis [9]

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)
a watch

xi. It does not realise a participant; see 3.4.1 below.

Blogger Comments:

[1] 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.

[2] As previously explained, Martin's 'presenting' reference is neither reference nor textual; instead, it labels the first instantiation of an experiential participant in a text. The confusion is one of metafunction.

[3] To be clear, in SFL theory, it does realise a participant, Carrier. 

[4] See the critique of this discussion, 'Participants and nominal groups' (pp129-34), for the misunderstandings on which the preceding claim is made.

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