Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Misconstruing Cohesive As Internal

Martin (1992: 209):
Internal and external comparison are not always easy to separate.  Text [4:116] above for example does have an external reading in which phasing processes like began and ended are argued to unveil metaphorical processes in the same way.  The following example is more clearly internal; the comparison is between two lines of argument and interpretation, not between experiential meanings:
[4:117] Thirdly there is the question of the relation of language to culture, on which we have little information in the reports on the north-west Amazon referred to above, but on which we can make some safe guesses.  For instance, it would be surprising if any of the languages concerned lacked a word for 'long house' or 'tribe', and we might reasonably expect a word for 'phratry' (though such higher-level concepts often lack names. 
Similarly, we may predict that most concepts relevant to the culture will have words in each language to express them, and that most words in each language will express cultural concepts, definable only in terms of the culture concerned.  (Hudson, 1980: 10)

Blogger Comments:

[1] The comparison relation in [4:116] — see earlier post — is cohesive but not internal.  The fact that it conjoins messages non-structurally, makes it cohesive.  In order to be an internal relation, it would have to be internal to the 'speech' event itself, as in the case of internal temporal conjunction marked by such items as firstly, secondly, thirdly.

[2] The comparison relation in [4:117] is again cohesive but not internal.  See [1] above.

[3] The opposition of 'between two lines of argument' versus 'between experiential meanings' is nonsensical.  In terms of conjunctive relations, the text begins with an internal temporal (enhancing) relation, marked by Thirdly, then makes a textual transition through an exemplifying apposition (elaborating) relation, marked by For instance, and finally makes a textual transition through manner: comparison (enhancing) relation, marked by Similarly.

The positive comparison is thus with the messages that exemplify the third point being made by the author Hudson.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Misconstruing 'Elaboration: Clarification' As 'Similarity: Reformulation'

Martin (1992: 208-9):
Invoking the conduit metaphor (pace Reddy 1979), one might argue that [reformulation] is about different ways of saying the same thing, while [comparison] is about similarities between ways of saying different things.  But since reformulations are not in any useful sense "synonymous", this formulation is somewhat misleading (as ever when content and form are dualised in functional linguistics).  It would be better to say that with [reformulation], the first formulation and the second have almost all their meaning in common; a little fine tuning is all that's required.  With [comparison] on the other hand, the meanings compared are different; but the way in which they are presented is in some respect the same… .

Blogger Comments:

[1] 'The conduit metaphor […] operates whenever people speak or write as if they "insert" their mental contents (feelings, meanings, thoughts, concepts, etc.) into "containers" (words, phrases, sentences, etc.) whose contents are then "extracted" by listeners and readers. Thus, language is viewed as a "conduit" conveying mental content between people.' [source]

[2] In SFL theory, content is "dualised" into the strata of semantics (meaning) and lexicogrammar (wording), and the latter into function and form (higher rank functions realised by lower rank forms).

[3] In SFL theory, conjunctive relations of this type are categorised as elaboration: clarification. The example previously given for reformulation (see yesterday's post), in contrast, involves elaboration: apposition.

[4] In SFL theory, the meaning of manner: comparison is simply N is like M.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Misconstruing 'Elaboration: Apposition' As 'Similarity: Reformulation'

Martin (1992: 208):
Internal similarity will be developed first. […] These can be usefully divided into two main groups […] according to whether they mark the fact that the text is reformulating meaning in order to clarify what is meant, or whether they signal that something is the same about the way in which distinct meanings are being organised.  This is the contrast between that is and similarly in [4:115] and [4:116] below. 
[4:115] The riot began shows that riot is a process term, even though it is in nominal form.
That is, the fact that riot is a noun does not mean that it cannot represent an action as its colligation with began shows. 
[4:116] The riot began shows that riot is a process term, even though it is in nominal form.
Similarly, the violence ended suddenly marks violence as a process term even though it has no corresponding verb form (Trew 1979: 123).

Blogger Comments:

[1] Neither of these examples involves internal conjunctive relations.  (The reasons are provided in previous critiques.)

[2] This confuses the enhancement category of similarity (N is like M) for the elaboration category of apposition: exposition (P i.e. Q).

[3] In SFL theory, the conjunctive relation of clarification contrasts with apposition, within the major expansion type: elaboration.

[4] Note that, hyponymically, comparison is presented here as a subtype of — more delicate than — similarity.  (If similarity, then either comparison or reformulation.)  This is the reverse of the logically coherent relation: if comparison, then either similarity or difference.

Conclusion: the contrast being presented as two subtypes of (internal) similarity — reformulation and comparison — is actually, in SFL theory, the contrast between elaboration: apposition: expository and enhancement: manner: comparison.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Confusing Internal With Cohesive, Similar With Elaboration, Different With Adversative

Martin (1992: 207-8):
Internal comparative relations are a resource for organising meanings with respect to similarity and difference.  The comparison involved is a textual one; it is not oriented to how meanings are alike or unlike with respect to field.  One way to see this is to take the same experiential meaning and recast it internally as in [4:113] and [4:114] below.  In [4:113] a text is developed in which Dr. Metherell's conservative politics are presented in opposition to his interest in 'reforming' education — the text is organised to challenge the idea that conservatives don't in fact turn back the clock.  In [4:114] on the other hand a text is presented in which Dr. Metherell's reforms are presented as an elaboration of his conservative nature — the text takes it for granted that reactionary Ministers of Education will undo liberal reforms.
[4:113] Dr. Metherell's a conservative;
             he wants to preserve the status quo.

             On the other hand he does want education to change,
             and his approach has alienated many parents and teachers.

[4:114] Dr. Metherell's a conservative;
             he wants to preserve the status quo.  
             That is, he does want education to change,
             and his approach has alienated many parents and teachers.
The internal conjunction in these two texts codes different ideologies — different attitudes to what conservative governments do; but as far as external relations are concerned, what Dr. Metherell is up to experientially in the two texts remains the same.

Blogger Comments:

(Presumably the terms SIMILARITY and DIFFERENCE were intended to be in reverse order.)

In terms of SFL theory, the conjunctive relations demonstrated here are neither internal nor comparative.  In terms of conjunctive cohesion:
[4:113] is extension: addition: adversative
[4:114] is elaboration: apposition: expository.

[1] This is a definition of cohesive conjunction in general, not internal conjunction in particular.  External conjunctive relations involve textual relations between 'external phenomena', whereas internal conjunctive relations involve textual relations that are internal to the communication situation itself.  See previous critiques here and here.

[2] This confuses difference (means: comparison) with adversative (extension: addition), as the term 'opposition' suggests.

[3] This confuses similar (means: comparison) with expository (elaboration: apposition), as the term 'elaboration' suggests.

In terms of cohesion, the lexical antonymy of status quo and change is inconsistent with the conjunctive elaboration.

[4] Cohesive conjunction does not 'code ideology' — it deploys the categories of expansion as a non-structural text-forming resource.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Confusing Negative Addition With Negative Polarity

Martin (1992: 205-6):
External additive relations, like external comparative ones, form a small resource compared with temporals or consequentials.  The basic distinction is between addition and alternation.  With addition, there is a positive/negative system opposing and to nor, in spite of morphological appearances which make it look like a negative realisation of or (Our Corgi didn't win nor did the Dachshund means that 'the Corgi didn't win and that the Dachshund didn't either').  All additive relations have correlative paratactic realisations [both…and, neither…nor, either…or].
[4:105] [addition:positive]
             a.  Our Dachshund performed well.  And she looked splendid on the day.
             b.  Besides performing well our Dachshund looked splendid on the day.
             c.  – 
[4:106] [addition:negative]
             a.  She didn't move at all well in the ring.  Nor did she stand still when tabled.
             b.  Alongside not moving well in the ring, she didn't stand still when tabled.
             c.  – 
[4:107] [alternation]
             a.  You could go down to Melbourne.  Or you could go in the Easter Show.
             b.  If you don't go down to Melbourne, you could go in the Easter Show.
             c.  –

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, addition, alternation and variation are the three main categories of extension relations between clauses.  In contrast, in Martin's model:
  1. both addition and alternation are subsumed under the category additive
  2. variation subtypes are construed as subcategories of adversative, and 
  3. adversative — a subcategory of addition in SFL — is construed as a subcategory of comparison — a subcategory of the enhancement category manner in SFL.

Halliday & Matthiessen

additive: positive
addition: positive
additive: negative
addition: negative


[2] The logical relation here is positive, not negative addition — hypotactic negative addition does not occur in English.  The negation here is realised as polarity in verbal groups, not as a logical relation between clauses.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Using Clause Simplexes To Theorise Conjunctive Relations

Martin (1992: 204):
There are two variations on [similarity], one conditional and one temporal, where apparently hypotactically dependent clauses cannot appear initially in the clause complex:
SIMILARITY (conditional)
[4:99]  Ben looked
            as if he'd just won the Best of Show. 
SIMILARITY (temporal)
[4:100] Ben looked
            like when he won Best of Show.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Neither of these is a clause complex; each is an attributive clause.  If Ben looked were a clause, it would be one without an Attribute.

In the first, an embedded clause serves as Attribute:

[[as if he'd just won the Best of Show]]
Process: attributive
Attribute/Manner: comparison

In the second, an embedded clause complex (with Mood ellipsis) serves as Attribute:

[[like (he did) || when he won Best of Show]]
Process: attributive
Attribute /Manner: comparison

[2] Both Attributes construe comparison (as if, like).

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Misconstruing Subtractive And Replacive Variation (Extension) As Subtypes Of Comparison (Enhancement)

Martin (1992: 204):
In addition to the kind of contrast illustrated in [4:95], there are replacement and exception categories to consider.  With replacives (e.g. instead of, in place of) the blurry line between contrast and alternation discussed in 4.2.2 above is hardest to draw:
[4:97]  We had a good day
            except for losing the Best of Show award. 
[4:98]  We won Best of Show
            instead of missing out as usual.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, the logical relation in [4:97] is extension: variation: subtractive ('except').  Its meaning is X but not all X.

[2] In SFL theory, the logical relation in [4:98] is extension: variation: replacive ('instead').  Its meaning is not but Y.

The basic opposition that is proposed for contrast within 'external comparison' (enhancement) is thus actually between subtractive variation (extension) and replacive variation (extension).

Note that the entry condition to this opposition, 'contrast', corresponds in SFL theory to a subtype of addition (adversative), which opposes variation and alternation within extension.

[3] The logical meaning of alternation is X or Y; the logical meaning of 'contrast' (adversative addition) is X and conversely Y.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Misconstruing Adversative Addition (Extension) As Manner: Comparison (Enhancement)

Martin (1992: 203):
The external comparison network is a small one; the basic opposition is between [contrast] and [similarity]:
[4:95]  Whereas usually we win
            this time we lost. 
[4:96]  As usually happens
            we won.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses the notion of contrast (A in contrast to B) with the notion of dissimilarity (A is unlike B).

[2] In SFL theory, the logical relation in [4:95] is extension: addition: adversative ('but').  Its meaning is X and conversely Yusually we win and conversely (but) this time we lost.  (The logical relation in [4:96] is manner: comparison — N is like M).

The basic opposition that is proposed for 'external comparison' (enhancement) is thus, in SFL terms, between adversative addition (extension) and manner: comparison (enhancement).

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Argument For Comparison As A Major Logical Category

Martin (1992: 203):
Taking into account these textual patterns and the fact that a similar/different opposition is basic to all other discourse semantic systems, comparison will be set up as a major category of conjunctive relation here.  The congruence of the like/unlike opposition across discourse systems is shown below. 

Table 4.11 Contrast and similarity across discourse semantic systems

(Halliday 1985: 69)

Blogger Comment:

[1] As demonstrated in previous critiques, the analysis of 'these textual patterns' is compromised by the logical error of confusing different/unlike with contrastive/adversative.

[2] The opposition of similar/different and of like/unlike demonstrates the semantic distinction between adversative (opposition) and dissimilar (different/unlike) — dissimilar is one of the elements in opposition.

[3] Difference is the basis of semiosis itself, not just discourse semantic systems.  Similarity is the basis of agnation, including metaphorical agnation.

Conclusion:  The argument for setting up comparison as a major category of conjunctive relations rests on two misunderstandings:
  1. confusing enhancement: manner: comparison with extension: addition: adversative, and
  2. presenting a fundamental feature of all semiosis as specific to discourse semantic systems.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Confusing Dissimilar (Enhancement) With Adversative (Extension)

Martin (1992: 202-3):
Consider now a modified version of this part of the interview:
[4:94] a. With the bigger breeds of dog, they're stood on the ground.
          b. With the smaller breeds such as Dachshunds, they're stood on the table.
          c. Likewise breeds with similar stature like the Corgis, all the Toy-breeds, and this type of thing are tabled,
          d. so as the judge can handle them more easily.
This text focusses on similarity as well as difference.  Lexical cohesion (the co-hyponymy of Dachshunds with Corgis and Toy-breeds and the repetition of table (table, tabled), comparative reference (similar stature) and an explicit conjunction (likewise) make the comparison clear.
Halliday and Hasan (1976) treat the contrastive relation in [4:94: a–b] as closely related to concession (under the general adversative category) and the similarity in [4:94: b–c] as a kind of additive.  Halliday (1985) on the other hand treats contrast as related to additive relations under the heading extension and similarity as closely related to temporals and causals under the heading enhancement. …
These interpretations fail to bring out the very similar ways in which IDENTIFICATION and IDEATION participate in the realisation of both contrast and similarity (as exemplified in [4:84sic] above…

Blogger Comment:

This continues the category error of conflating different (dissimilar) with contrastive (adversative).  The logical meaning of dissimilar is N is not like M, whereas the logical meaning of adversative is X and conversely Y.  In SFL theory, the logical relation of dissimilar is a subtype of manner, within enhancement, whereas the logical relation of adversative is a subtype of addition, within extension.  That is, dissimilar and adversative belong to different major categories within expansion.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Confusing Enhancement (Manner: Comparison) With Extension (Adversative Addition)

Martin (1992: 202):
Within the framework of systemic functional approaches to discourse, comparative relations are the most controversial category to be developed here; … they are not treated as a major category of logical relation by either Halliday and Hasan [1976] or Halliday [1985].  To explore this question, it will be useful to return to text [4:2].
[4:2] p. With the bigger breeds of dog, they're stood on the ground,
        q. because it's easier for the judge to handle them.
       r. With the smaller breeds of dog, such as Corgis, all the Toy-breeds, Dachshunds and this type of thing we — as our turn comes,
        s. we stand our dog on the table.
As noted in Section 4.1 above, there is a clear relationship of contrast between p–q and r–s.  This is coded through the comparative reference (bigger vs smaller) and the lexical cohesion (most clearly ground vs table); and the contrast is highlighted by the marked Themes in p and r.  As noted in 4.2.4 above the contrast could have been made explicit in [4:2] with a conjunction such as but.

Blogger Comment:

[1] This confuses two distinct logical relations, whose meanings are N is like M and X and conversely Y.  In SFL theory, the former is classified as enhancement: manner: comparison, and the latter as extension: additive: adversative ('but').

[2] This fundamental confusion is one factor that explains why this approach is "controversial", not least because it undermines the logical validity of what follows.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Misconstruing Positive Condition As Concessive

Martin (1992: 200):
Concessive conditionals can be further subclassified according to the universality of the contingency denied.  Single, alternative and universal concessive contingency is illustrated below:
[4:81]  Even if we get that judge again
            we'll win. 
[4:81]  Whether we get that judge again or not
            we'll win. 
[4:81]  Whichever judge we get
            we'll win.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Neither the 'alternative' nor the 'universal' agnate involves the logical relation of condition: concessive — if P then contrary to expectation Q.  Both involve the logical relation of positive condition — if P then Q.  Winning is not contrary to expectation under either condition.

[2] This confuses enhancement (condition) with extension (alternation).  Here the logical relation of extension: alternationX or Y — is realised in the clause nexus forming the condition (whether … or not).

 Therefore, the difference between the three conditionals is not "according to the universality of the contingency denied".

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Misconstruing Adversative Extension As 'Concessive Purpose'

Martin (1992: 199):
The hypotactic proportionalities can be exemplified as follows:
Ben improved his time by training hard :

Ben didn't improve his time even by training hard :: 
Ben improved his time because he trained hard :

Ben didn't improve his time even though he trained hard :: 
Ben will improve his time if he trains hard :
Ben won't improve his time even if he trains hard :: 
Ben can train hard in order to improve his time :

Ben can train hard without improving his time

Blogger Comments:

In SFL theory, the logical meaning of condition: concessive is if P then contrary to expectation Q.  It may be ordered concession^consequence or consequence^concession.

[1] The logical relation here does not involve manner: meansN is by means of M.  A manner agnate would be Ben didn't improve his time by means of training hard.  The logical relation here is simply condition: concessive as in Ben didn't improve his time even though he trained hard.

[2] The logical relation here does not involve cause: reason (Martin's 'consequence') — because P so result Q.  A reason agnate would be because he trained hard Ben didn't improve his time.  The logical relation here is simply condition: concessive.

[3] The logical relation here does not involve cause: purpose — because intention P so action Q.  The logical relation here is not even a type of enhancement, but the type of extension termed addition: adversative — X and conversely Y — as in the paratactic agnate Ben can train hard and not improve his time.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Misconstruing Concession As Manner

Martin (1992: 198-9):
It remains to consider concessive relations, which will be taken here as crossclassifying manner, consequence, condition and purpose rather than as a fifth consequential category.  The reason for this is that concessives function as a kind of "anti-modulation", cancelling the potentiality or obligation which would otherwise enable or determine the consequential relation between events.
The opposition is illustrated for manner relations in [4:79] and [4:80]; in [4:79] entering the right shows was enough to win, but in [4:80] the enablement is cancelled — entering the right shows was not sufficient to win.
[4:79]  By entering the right shows,
            we won. 
[4:80]  Even by entering the right shows,
            we didn't win.

 Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, the logical relation of concession is a type of condition, with the logical meaning of if P then contrary to expectation Q.  As such, it does not cross-classify the other enhancement relations, as demonstrated more fully in tomorrow's posting.

[2] This confuses the logical relation of concessive condition with the interpersonal system of modality.

[3] This confuses interpersonal modality ("enablement") with sufficient conditions — here contrasted with insufficient conditions rather than necessary conditions.

[4] The logical relation here does not involve manner: means — N is by means of M.  A manner agnate would be we didn't win by means of entering the right shows.  The logical relation here is simply condition: concessive as in we didn't win even though we entered the right shows.