Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Misrepresenting Inconsistency As Consistency

Martin (1992: 384-5):
Hasan's componential/organic, grammatical/lexical and co-reference/co-classification/co-extension oppositions do not conflict with English Text's proposals, but simply represent a more delicate consideration of the categorisation of text forming resources at issue here.  The componential/organic opposition is reflected in the discourse semantic units proposed by English Text, with NEGOTIATION and CONJUNCTION linking moves and messages respectively, and IDENTIFICATION and IDEATION linking participants and message parts.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This is manifestly untrue.  Hasan's model is broadly consistent with SFL theory and locates these oppositions within the system of cohesion, a resource of the textual metafunction.  In contradistinction, Martin's model is inconsistent with the basic parameters and architecture of SFL theory, as the preceding and following posts demonstrate, and his four systems are presented as being of each of the four metafunctions.

[2] The difference between the two models is clearly not one of delicacy of categorisation, not least because they are located on different strata.  Hasan's oppositions are made at the level of lexicogrammar within the textual metafunction:
  • The componential/organic opposition distinguishes reference, substitution–&–ellipsis and lexical cohesion from conjunction.
  • The grammatical/lexical opposition distinguishes grammatical cohesion (reference, substitution–&–ellipsis and conjunction) from lexical cohesion.
  • The co-reference/co-classification/co-extension oppositions classify the type of cohesive tie relation in the 'componential relations' set of cohesive resources ((reference, substitution–&–ellipsis and lexical cohesion).
[3] The componential/organic opposition between two types of non-structural textual cohesion is not "reflected" in the discourse semantic units of the four metafunctional systems.  Specifically, because:
  • a paradigmatic opposition of two options is not "reflected" in four syntagmatic units;
  • a non-structural system is not "reflected" in the structures of systems;
  • the textual metafunction is not "reflected" in the interpersonal, experiential and logical metafunctions.

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