Thursday, 16 April 2015

Problems In Construing Cohesive Ties As Ideation Structure

Martin (1992: 24-5):
With IDEATION, a different type of discourse structure is found.  Consider the following proportionalities:
I'm a little tired of this robot :
but I'd love to try that android :: 
I'm not pleased with this robot :
but that model looks fine.
In these examples a semantic relationship is established between robot and android and between robot and model; but it is not one that depends on identity of reference as above (in both examples the related items refer to different participants).  Rather the cohesive tie is one that depends on taxonomic relationsandroid is a hyponym of robot in the first example; and model is a superordinate of robot in the second.  This type of semantic relation is more analogous with parataxis: the items related are mutually expectant — android is no more dependent on robot in the first example that robot is on android.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Again, no argument is put forward as to why these relations are structures.  They are presumed to be structures, and so the question to be addressed is merely 'what type?'.  This is the logical fallacy known as 'begging the question':
The fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question, is committed when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof.
[2] Trivial point: model is not a superordinate of robot.  For model to be a superordinate of robot, robot would have to be a type of model, in the sense that lorikeet is a type of bird.   Here model is in a token-type relation with robot — it refers to an instance of the class robot.

[3] Taxonomic relations are not analogous with parataxis.  Taxonomic relations are relations between items within a scheme of classification (and subclassification), organised on the principle of either elaboration ('hyponymic') or extension ('meronymic').  Parataxis, in contrast, refers to forms in a complex being of equal status, with regard to interdependency.

[4] Again, a non-structural relation within the textual metafunction — the metafunction that organises the other metafunctions in the creation of texts — is being construed here as if it is a structure of the logical metafunction.  This theoretical inconsistency will be further compounded by Martin reconstruing this textual system, at the level grammar, as an experiential system, at the level of 'discourse' semantics.