Friday, 15 May 2015

Mistaking Manner For Extent And Confusing Circumstances With Comparative Reference Items

Martin (1992: 154):
Comparative adverbs realise relevance phoricity; they function as Circumstances [sic] of Extent and Manner in clause structure and presume events.  Both relevant events and supersets of events are presumed.  The network of oppositions is outlined in Fig. 3.16; typical realisations are shown in the network and illustrated in [3:94] through [3:99].
Extent [quantity:difference]
Ben ran five miles;
Carl ran farther.
Manner [quality:semblance]
Ben ran very fast;
Carl didn't run as fast.
Extent [quantity:difference:superset]
The runners ran long distances;
Carl ran farthest.
Manner [quality:difference:superset]
The sprinters ran fast heats;
Ben didn't run fastest.
Extent [quantity:purposive]
You had to set a record to place;
Ben ran fast enough.
Manner [quality:purposive]
You had to run a record time to win;
Carl ran too slow.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, 'relevance phoricity' is Martin's rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) comparative reference, misunderstood and relocated from non-structural lexicogrammar (cohesion) to structural discourse semantics.

[2] This mistakes circumstances of Extent and Manner (clause rank experiential functions) for comparative reference items (a non-structural textual functions).  Moreover, it will be seen below that none of the examples provided are instances of Extent.

To be clear, the grammatical domains of comparative adverbs that function as reference items are the nominal group and the adverbial group.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 633):
[3] The notion of "presuming events" — Martin is not referring here to the verbal group function 'Event' — demonstrates that Martin has little understanding of the principles underlying comparative reference.  Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: ) explain:
Whereas personals and demonstratives, when used anaphorically, set up a relation of co-reference, whereby the same entity is referred to over again, comparatives set up a relation of contrast. In comparative reference, the reference item still signals ‘you know which’; not because the same entity is being referred to over again but rather because there is a frame of reference – something by reference to which what I am now talking about is the same or different, like or unlike, equal or unequal, more or less.

[4] In addition to being devised on the basis of the above-mentioned theoretical misunderstandings, a number of further problems with the network in Figure 3.16 Phoric circumstances of extent and manner can be identified.
  • The system has no entry condition; the entry condition for IDENTIFICATION is 'participant', so including the entry condition would have exposed the theoretical inconsistency of having types of circumstance ('manner/extent') as a more delicate feature.
  • None of the features in the network have been argued for in the text, let alone validated on the basis of evidence.  On the contrary, they have merely been attached to the six examples as labels.
  • The more delicate features are distinctions in experiential meaning (quantity, quality, purposive), and the undefined term 'superset' derives from misconstruing ordinatives (last) and superlatives (fastest, farthest) as serving a comparative function.

[5] To be clear, these realisations are neither structural realisations (the dimension of axis) nor lexicogrammatical realisations (the dimension of stratification); they are merely examples of items that are said to serve the particular feature.

[6] To be clear, none of these is an instance of Extent.  The experiential function of farther, farthest and fast enough is Manner.

[7] To be clear, superlatives (farthest, fastest) do not function as comparative reference items.

[8] Here Martin misinterprets clause complexes as single clauses, and claims that the respective circumstances (fast enough, too slow) "presume" the respective purpose clauses (to place, to win).  However, in terms of cohesion, these are both instances of ellipsis, as restoring the elided items makes plain:
||| You had to set a record || to place. |||
|| Ben ran fast enough [[to place]]. || 
||| You had to run a record time || to win. |||
|| Carl ran too slow [[to win]]. ||
In terms of Martin's own model, these are instances of redundancy phoricity, not relevance phoricity — redundancy phoricity being Martin's rebranding of ellipsis-&-substitution, misunderstood as a type of reference, and relocated from non-structural lexicogrammar to structural discourse semantics.

Confusing Circumstances Of Location With Demonstrative Reference Items

Martin (1992: 153-4):
3.6 Location And Manner
Because the point of departure for this chapter has been participant identification, closely related IDENTIFICATION systems realised through demonstrative and comparative adverbs have not yet been considered.  The demonstrative adverbs function as Circumstances [sic] of Location in clause structure (e.g. Come here.) or as Qualifiers in nominal groups (e.g. that guy there); they are realised by here, there, now and then.  Each involves reminding phoricity, presuming location in space or time.  They function both exophorically and endophorically; and where endophoric here and there may presume text (see Halliday and Hasan 1976: 74-75).  The paradigm of oppositions is a simple one, exemplified in [3:90] through [3:93] below.

here there
now then
I'm at work;
bring it here.
He's a bit off.
— You're right there.
It's past noon;
do it now.
I got a computer in 88;
writing was harder before then.

Blogger Comments:

[1] On the one hand, Location and Manner are experiential functions, not textual functions.  On the other hand, Martin's network for this discussion, Fig. 3.16, is instead concerned with Extent and Manner, and does not account for Location.

[2] As previously demonstrated, throughout this chapter on 'reference as semantic choice', Martin misinterprets textual reference as ideational denotation — where the ideational denotation, also contrary to SFL theory, is of meanings transcendent of language.

[3] To be clear, Martin's unit of IDENTIFICATION, the entry condition to his system of IDENTIFICATION is 'participant'.  The switch to circumstances here thus creates a fundamental inconsistency in the model that is not addressed.  Martin's network for this discussion, Fig. 3.16, lacks an entry condition to disguise this anomaly.

[4] To be clear, given that the 'point of departure for this chapter has been participant identification', the reason for excluding nominal groups like that guy there from that discussion does not ring true. 

[5] Contrary to Martin's claim, the temporal demonstratives do not refer.  Halliday (1985: 294):

The temporal demonstratives now and then also function as cohesive items, but conjunctively rather than referentially.
[6] To be clear, 'reminding phoricity' is Martin's rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) co-reference, demonstrative and personal.

[7] This confuses experiential location with textual location.  As reference items, here and there only refer endophorically, anaphorically or cataphorically.  Examples provided by Halliday (1985: 294) include:
So here's a question for you.  How old did you say you were?
… she said: "but it wouldn't be all the better his being punished".  "You're wrong there, at any rate," said the Queen.
[8] Martin's paradigm is actually just part of the larger set of systematic distinctions devised by Halliday (1985: 295), reproduced in Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 629) as:


[9] Trivially, these terms are in reverse order.

[10] To be clear, this is not a referential use of here.  See [7] above.

[11] As mentioned above in [5], temporal demonstratives do not refer, but can function in another cohesive system, conjunction.  In Martin's second example, [3:93], this is the function of the conjunctive Adjunct before then.  In Martin's first example, [3:92], however, now simply serves as a circumstantial Adjunct.

Eight Problems With Martin's Nine Notes To His Analysis Of Text [3:89]

Martin (1992: 151):
Information presumed through text reference and extended reference is not shown in the diagram, but is taken up in the following notes; information indirectly presumed by another time, last time and lighter (in [3:89:xxii]) is similarly treated.
  1.  Both of the potential participants (the sacks and the sugar) in this Pre-Numerative structure are presumed in [3:89].
  2.  that presumes the projection that the sacks were much lighter than they were before as a fact (text reference).
  3.  that again presumes the same projection as a fact (text reference).
  4.  Another time is another setting in time marker, presuming the previous episode via bridging.
  5.  Last time — again, setting in time, bridging from the previous episode.
  6.  lighter — than they were in xviii; involving bridging as the relevant information about the sacks' weight was implicit there.
  7.  it presumes he went in the stream as an act (extended reference).
  8.  that presumes the projection that the sacks got ver heavy as a fact (text reference).
  9.  that presumes an indefinite amount of information here as a fact — minimally clauses xxxii through xxv, but probably the whole story, especially if xxxii and xxxviii are taken as Coda as far as narrative structure is concerned (see Chapter 7 below).

Blogger Comments:

[1] This might be taken to suggest that this diagrammatic technique is an inadequate means of representing reference chains.

[2] To be clear, these "potential participants" are the Head (sacks) and Thing (sugar) of the nominal group realising the actual participant (Goal) some sacks of sugar.

[3] To be clear, only sacks serves in the (extended) Numerative structure; sugar serves as Thing.

[4] To be clear, Martin's distinction between participant reference and text reference clearly demonstrates that participant reference means Frege's reference: the ideational denotation of meanings outside the text.

[5] To be clear, the reference here is comparative, and made by the reference item another.  Martin's rebranding of comparative reference is 'relevance phoricity', which is overlooked here.

[6] As previously explained, Martin's "bridging" is a confusion of grammatical reference and lexical cohesion.

[7] To be clear, the nominal group last time, which serves as a circumstance, not participant, contains no reference items.

[8] To be clear, here lighter is an instance of lexical cohesion, repeating an item in [xiv] that makes structural cataphoric comparative reference: lighter than they were before.

Eight Problems With Martin's Six Notes To His Analysis Of Text [3:88]

Martin (1992: 150):
  1.  the glass jar — the first example of addition in the text; the presumed information is neither directly recoverable nor implied.
  2.  the next morning — in narrative, setting in time often involves relevance phoricity of this kind, bridging from the setting in time here by lying in bed asleep.
  3.  the window — bridged from laying at the bottom of his bed, implying a room with a window.
  4.  the woods — apparently bridged from came out; introducing this participant non-phorically was not felt appropriate by most children (cf. there was a woods out the back and…)
  5.  the next minute — setting in time bridging as in note 2 above.
  6.  the water — the second example of addition in the text; the identity of this participant is not recoverable from the co-text.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, in SFL theory, these are instances of homophoric demonstrative reference, which is not cohesive, made by the reference item the.

[2] As previously explained, this sense of "addition" is derived from confusing the experiential construal of participants with the textual reference to referents. The theoretical inconsistency is one of metafunction.

[3] To be clear, in SFL theory, these are circumstances (Location: time), not participants.

[4] To be clear, there is no "relevance phoricity here".  As previously explained, 'relevance phoricity' is Martin's rebranding of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) comparative reference, and the next morning includes no comparative reference items.

[5] As previously explained, Martin's "bridging" is a confusion of Halliday & Hasan's (1976) reference and lexical cohesion, both misunderstood.

[6] Even if this made sense, lying in bed asleep does not appear in the text.

[7] If laying at the bottom of his bed implies "a room with a window", the linguistic explanation for the implication lies in the cohesive use lexical relationsbed and window are co-meronyms of 'bedroom' (a hyponym of 'room' and a meronym of 'house', 'hotel, 'motel' etc.).

[8] It is understandable if most children felt there was a woods inappropriate, since a is singular, whereas woods is plural.  The appropriate form, in this instance, would be either 'a wood' or 'woods'.

The Analysis Of Text [3:88]: An Attempt To Hide A Theoretical Inconsistency

Martin (1992: 147):
The reference structure of [3:88] is presented in Fig. 3.14. … The two participants in possessive nominal groups are aligned with their respective chains with a dotted line showing that the identity of the participant realised in the Thing is recoverable via the participant by which it is possessed (e.g. his bed in [3:88i]).  Where the Thing participant has already been identified (as with his pet frog in 3:88xxvii]), it is shown as well as presuming preceding items in this chain.  Note that the analyses of reference structure consist only of phoric items and any non-phoric items they presume; non-phoric items which are not included since they do not enter into semantic dependencies related to participant identification.  In [3:88] only four minor participant chains, the glass, the rock, the reindeer and the baby frogs are introduced non-phorically.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This is inconsistent with both Martin's own model and SFL theory, according to which, a participant is realised by a nominal group, not the Thing (bed) of a nominal group.

[2] This is inconsistent with both Martin's own model and SFL theory, according to which, a participant is realised by a nominal group, not the Deictic (his) of a nominal group.  The function of the inconsistency is to hide the fact that Martin's model, in mistaking nominal groups (e.g. his bed) for reference items (e.g. his), necessarily leads to the nominal groups Tommy, he and his bed all realising the same identity.

[3] To be clear, Martin has, to this point, used the term 'phoric nominal group'.  In switching to the term 'phoric item', Martin signals that he is aware of the problem that arises from mistaking a nominal group for a reference item, and hopes to hide that fact from the reader.

[4] Trivially, unknown to Martin, there is a fifth minor participant chain that fits his criterion:

a hollow tree
the tree

The Re-Initiation Of Generic Reference Chains

Martin (1992: 145-6):
Finally, a comment on generic chains.  The second paragraph of [3:16] above has been extended to illustrate the way in which these chains are re-initiated each time a non-phoric nominal group is used to realise the generic group in question.  The group cool deserts does this twice in the extended version of [3:16].  Recalling that the is not phoric in generic groups, this is a common textual pattern.
Cool deserts are found further polewards in the deep interiors of large continents like Eurasia or where mountains form rain-shadows, which keep out rain bearing winds that might otherwise bring wet conditions… [For much of the year they may not look like deserts because they are lightly covered with snow.  But the snow is not very deep and because it does not melt and run off gives a false impression of how wet cool deserts are.  In winter they simply save whatever precipitation they get.  Cool deserts can in fact be every bit as dry as the Sahara and some of them are even drier.]
This means that as far as reference structure is concerned, [3:16] includes three independent chains, all realising the same generic participant.  Since cool deserts is not a phoric group, it cannot be shown to depend on previous realisations of this participant; but the chains can be aligned directly under one another by way of showing that the same participant is being realised, though not continuously presumed.  This strategy brings out the experiential similarity between generic and specific chains alongside their textual differences.

Blogger Comments:

[1] As previously explained, the distinction between generic and specific reference, which Martin (1992: 103) defines as: 
Generic reference is selected when the whole of some experiential class of participants is at stake rather than a specific manifestation of that class …
though labelled as a relation of delicacy (generic vs specific), confuses part-whole relations ('whole') with token-type relations ('manifestation of a class'), the former, the extending logical relation of composition, the latter, an elaborating logical relation of instantiation; see Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 145-6).

[2] The claim here is that a nominal group breaks a reference chain of the participant it realises simply because it doesn't include a reference item itself.  Even in terms of Martin's model, where a reference chain is a chain of nominal groups denoting the same identity, this is is nonsensical, since the presence or absence of the has no bearing on the identity of the participant being realised.

In terms of SFL theory, each of the six highlighted personal reference items in [3:16] — they they they they them— makes anaphoric reference to cool deserts.

[3] This again misunderstands ideational denotation ("realising participants") as textual reference.

[4] This is manifestly untrue.  Whenever the appears in a "generic" nominal group, such as the cool deserts, it is either homophoric, anaphoric or cataphoric (including Martin's "esphoric", as in the cool deserts we talked about earlier).

[5] This is a bare assertion, made without evidence from corpora, based on a falsehood; see [4].

[6] To be clear, no argument has been made for why a reference chain can be interpreted as a structure.  In the source of Martin's ideas, Hasan (1985: 84), such cohesive chains are not presented as structures.  Moreover, a structure is the internal syntagmatic organisation of a unit, such as the Theme^Rheme structure of a clause, whereas Martin's structure is a succession of related units (participants).

[7] This again mistakes nominal groups ("phoric") for reference items.

Misrepresenting Halliday & Hasan On Reference

Martin (1992: 145):
Except for structural cataphora (esphora), the chains are neutral with respect to grammatical structure; semantic dependency is noted between between items irrespective of clause or sentence boundaries.  The analysis of reference contrasts in this respect with that exemplified in Halliday and Hasan (1976: 340-55), which looks at cohesive ties between, not within, sentences. Here , as far as participant identification is concerned, the discourse structure of [3:85], [3:86] and [3:87] is treated as identical.
The boy was tired.
However, he kept looking.
Although the boy was tired,
he kept looking.
The boy kept looking in spite of his fatigue.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This is doubly misleading; see two earlier misleading statements in this regard (p19) here and here.

Firstly, in SFL theory, reference is, of course, "neutral with respect to grammatical structure" because, as a system of cohesion, it is not a structural relation.  Halliday & Hasan (1976: 8, 14):
Cohesive relations have in principle nothing to do with sentence boundaries. … Cohesion as we have said is not a structural relation; hence it is unrestricted by sentence boundaries …
Secondly, the reason why the text analyses in Halliday & Hasan (1976: 340-55) focus on referential relations between sentences was clarified by them (1976: 9), as already quoted by Martin (p19):
it is the intersentence cohesion that is significant, because that represents the variable aspect of cohesion, distinguishing one text from another.
The two sentences that immediately follow this excerpt in Halliday & Hasan (ibid.) — but which Martin omitted — are:
But this should not obscure the fact that cohesion is not, strictly speaking, a relation 'above the sentence'.  It is a relation to which the sentence, or any other form of grammatical structure, is simply irrelevant.
The reader can decide whether Martin's misrepresentation of Halliday & Hasan is merely accidental, or, rather, deliberate and strategic.

[2] To be clear, nowadays in SFL, the sentence is construed as a graphological unit rather than a lexicogrammatical one.

[3] To be clear, in the source of Martin's ideas, Halliday & Hasan (1976), all three texts display instances of anaphoric personal co-reference, contrary to the false implication of Martin.

[4] As previously demonstrated for another example, this analysis is inconsistent with Martin's model of participant identification as a relation between nominal groups.  On Martin's model, the relation obtains between the boy and his fatigue, which demonstrates the absurdity that results from mistaking nominal groups for reference items.