Monday, 2 November 2015

Confusing Metafunctions And Confusing Context With Semantics

Martin (1992: 322-3):
But whether or not interlocutors use consequential conjunctions to intervene interpersonally in activity sequences, expectancy relations between activities are generated by a field and do obtain.  The probability of one activity following another is not usually made explicit.  The most common conjunction relating activities in an activity sequence is and, alongside the much more occasional realisation of temporal succession.  Conversely, when an unexpected activity occurs, its improbability usually is made explicit; the concessive conjunctions introduced as cancelling causal modulations in Chapter 4 (Table 4.9) are used for this purpose (Table 5.16).
Table 5.16. Concessive and non-concessive consequential relations

non-concessive
concessive
manner
by
thus
even by
but
consequence
because
so/therefore
although/even though
but/however
condition
if
then
even if
even then
purpose
in order to
so + inclination
without
even so

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses metafunctions.  Expansion relations do not realise interpersonal meaning; they realise either logical meaning (structurally in complexes) or textual meaning (non-structurally in cohesive conjunction).

[2] This continues the pervasive confusion in this chapter between experiential semantics (language) and what Martin (1992: 292) takes to be field (context): 'sets of activity sequences oriented to some global purpose'.

[3] 'Expectancy relations between activities', the 'probability of one activity following another' are modal assessments of speakers in the enactment of (interpersonal) meaning.

[4] Cf Martin (1992: 292):
A given institution comprises a large number of different activity sequences, where these are realised linguistically through temporally ordered chains of Process and Medium with their attendant participant and circumstantial roles.
[5] In SFL theory, it is the interpersonal system of MODALITY that makes improbability explicit.

[6] See previous critiques of this confusion of metafunctions here and here.

[7] See previous critiques of these misunderstandings of 'concessive' relations here here and here.

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