Friday, 11 December 2015

Misconstruing 'A Realises B' As 'A Is A Metaphor For B'

Martin (1992: 378):
Finally (point (iv) above) lexicogrammar has been taken as naturally related to field, and thus as a resource of metaphors for interpreting this register variable.  The concept of taxonomy was derived from Carrier°Attribute and Classifier°Thing structures; the notion of nuclear configurations was abstracted from TRANSITIVITY and experiential grammar at group rank; and the idea for activity sequences was taken from extending and enhancing clause complexes.

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 [1] In 'point (iv) above', A realises B is interpreted as A symbolises B, which is the only accurate interpretation, out of the four provided.

Process: relational: identifying: intensive: symbol

However, this is then misinterpreted as equivalent to A is a metaphor for B.  Symbolisation is only metaphorical when there is an incongruent realisation between the two levels of symbolic abstraction; congruent realisations are not metaphorical.

[2] SFL takes the relation between semantics and lexicogrammar as natural.  As previously demonstrated, Martin's "field" is actually within ideational semantics.

[3] This confuses incongruent relations between content strata in the linguistic model with the use of metaphor by a theorist while creating a model.

[4] As previously explained, field is not a register variable.  Field is the ideational dimension of context; context is more symbolically abstract than language; language realises/symbolises context.  Register is language, not context; register is a functional variety of language that realises/symbolises a functional variety on context (a situation type).

[5] Hyponymic and meronymic taxonomies are constructed on the expansion relations of elaboration and extension, respectively.  These relations also obtain within clauses and within groups.  In this chapter, like the last, they were misinterpreted.

[6] As previously demonstrated, these involved mistaken applications of the expansion relations of elaboration and extension.

[7] Activity sequences were misconstrued as context, rather than semantics.  It is semantics that is realised by lexicogrammar.  In SFL theory, clause complexes in the lexicogrammar realise sequences in the semantics (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 104-127).

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