Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Commonality Of Reference Structures And Negotiation Structures

Martin (1992: 156):
Reference structures make use of semantic dependency structures of this kindPhoric items depend on the co-text they presume, but are not themselves predicted by it.  Given a nominal group realising a participant in a text, there is no way of knowing whether or not it will be presumed, aside from the occasional selection of presenting reference marking certain participants as central to a discourse (signalled through this, these, a certain and certain).  The dependency relation between presuming and presumed is thus very like that between a tracking or challenging move and the move on which it depends.

Old Blogger Comments:

[1] The use of dependency (logical metafunction) for reference (textual metafunction) creates a theoretical inconsistency.  It misconstrues textual meaning as ideational meaning.

[2] The dependency relations do not form structures; they merely obtain between units.

[3] Martin's insight here is that a reference item depends on there being a referent to refer to.  To be clear, this is distinct from the SFL notion of dependency, and from the functional relation between the reference item and its referent.

[4] Martin's insight here is that there is no way of predicting which elements in a text will subsequently be referred to.

[5] As explained in previous posts, "presenting reference" does not involve reference. It is the first appearance of a potential referent. See Misconstruing The Absence Of Reference As "Presenting" Reference.

[6] For the confusions on which this false claim is based, see Confusing Experiential Content With Textual Reference.

[7] To be clear, Martin's argument is: A is very much like B, where
  • A = a reference item depends on there being a referent to refer to, and
  • B = an interruption (tracking or challenging move) depends on there being a move to interrupt.

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