Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Misconstruing Concession As Manner

Martin (1992: 198-9):
It remains to consider concessive relations, which will be taken here as crossclassifying manner, consequence, condition and purpose rather than as a fifth consequential category.  The reason for this is that concessives function as a kind of "anti-modulation", cancelling the potentiality or obligation which would otherwise enable or determine the consequential relation between events.
The opposition is illustrated for manner relations in [4:79] and [4:80]; in [4:79] entering the right shows was enough to win, but in [4:80] the enablement is cancelled — entering the right shows was not sufficient to win.
[4:79]  By entering the right shows,
            we won. 
[4:80]  Even by entering the right shows,
            we didn't win.

 Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, the logical relation of concession is a type of condition, with the logical meaning of if P then contrary to expectation Q.  As such, it does not cross-classify the other enhancement relations, as demonstrated more fully in tomorrow's posting.

[2] This confuses the logical relation of concessive condition with the interpersonal system of modality.

[3] This confuses interpersonal modality ("enablement") with sufficient conditions — here contrasted with insufficient conditions rather than necessary conditions.

[4] The logical relation here does not involve manner: means — N is by means of M.  A manner agnate would be we didn't win by means of entering the right shows.  The logical relation here is simply condition: concessive as in we didn't win even though we entered the right shows.