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.

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