Thursday, 27 August 2015

Misrepresenting The Discourse Systems Of Conjunction & Identification

Martin (1992: 265-6):
In this chapter, an account of a third major discourse system, CONJUNCTION, has been presented; in addition the relatively minor system of CONTINUITY was briefly reviewed.  CONJUNCTION represents the discourse semantics of clause complex relations, much as IDENTIFICATION underlies nominal group DEIXIS and NEGOTIATION underlies MOOD.  The association of these discourse systems with metafunctions and their unmarked realisation in lexicogrammar is summarised in Table 4.16.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The discourse system of continuity is presented as system of the logical metafunction.  It was demonstrated in earlier posts that most markers of continuity were not conjunctions marking logical relations, but adverbs serving as adjuncts that realise interpersonal functions.  (It was also shown that elements serving experiential and textual functions were also misconstrued as continuity items.)

In SFL theory, continuity refers to a cohesive system, a non-structural resource of the textual metafunction, that marks relations by means of continuatives.  (In the discourse semantic model of conjunction, this SFL textual system was subsumed under the logical relation of addition.)

[2] Contrary to this claim, the proposed system of conjunction does not represent the discourse semantics of clause complex relations.  It was demonstrated in previous posts that the model does not discriminate between structural logical relations between clauses in a clause complex and nonstructural textual relations of conjunctive cohesion between (groups of) messages.  In the former case, it was shown that the model represents a logically invalid reorganisation of clause complex relations; in the latter case, since it is not clause complexes that are being modelled, it is not a model of clause complex relations.

[3] Contrary to this claim, as demonstrated in previous posts, the system of identification is not a discourse model of the use of deixis in the service of cohesive system of reference.  Whereas grammatical reference is a system for marking the identifiability of elements in a text, discourse semantic identification is instead concerned with tracking the persistence of specific instantial participants through a text.

[4] Contrary to the theoretical architecture of SFL theory and the principle of symbolic abstraction, this use of the term 'underlies' places the higher level of symbolic abstraction (the discourse semantic systems of identification and negotiation) below the lower level of symbolic abstraction (the grammatical systems of deixis and mood).

[5] In SFL theory, cohesive conjunction is a system of the textual metafunction, not the logical metafunction.

[6] This again confuses markedness — as in: Subject is the unmarked Theme in declarative clauses — with congruence: non-metaphorical realisations of the semantics in the lexicogrammar.

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