Saturday, 24 October 2015

Reclassifying Function According To Form

Martin (1992: 316-7):
It is sometimes argued that Manner adverbs should be treated as circumstances in light of the fact that they all have alternative prepositional phrase realisations.  Note however that in order to be expressed as a prepositional phrase, these qualities of events must be nominalised, making the circumstantial realisation the marked one:
Ben ran quickly : Ben ran with considerable speed ::
Ben won easily : Ben won with ease ::
Ben slept fitfully : Ben slept in fits and starts :
Ben winced painfully : Ben winced in great pain
The prepositional realisations will be taken here as enhancing Processes, and the adverbial realisations as enhancing Events.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, priority is given to the view 'from above', the meaning realised by the wording, not to the view 'from below', how the wording is realised at lower ranks.  Here function is being classified according to form, rather than form classified according to function.  That is, the account is formal rather than functional.

[2] The argument here is that a "marked" realisation of a circumstance of Manner: quality (a prepositional phrase) is reason to treat the "unmarked" realisation (an adverbial group) as something different — as an element of the verbal group.  By the same logic, a "marked" realisation of Theme is reason to treat an "unmarked" realisation of Theme as something other than Theme.

See yesterday's post for a theoretical explanation for the different realisations of Manner: as adverbial group or prepositional phrase.

[3] This continues the earlier confusion of markedness and congruence.  See previous clarification  (30/4/15) here.

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