Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Misconstruing The Meaning Of Internal Conjunctive Relations

Martin (1992: 229-30):
With comparatives and concessives, internal relations are clearest when lines of argumentation are being compared, contrasted or conceded.  These relations often range retrospectively over a number of clauses in a text… .  Note that there is no single message in [4:161] which can be compared externally with Similarly, a plural object affects the status of the statement; it is the same point that is being made and this is what the internal relation is about:
[4:161]  Now there are innumerable hand–to–hand fights going on with this fearsome loaf.  Plurals have a kind of imprecision that singulars do not.  Take
Bugner fights Ellis tonight.
Bugner and Ellis fight tonight.
In the first there must be a single action (the singular imposing unity on what could otherwise be regarded as many related action [sic]).  In the second they may be fighting different opponents, in different bouts, at different times, perhaps even in different continents. 
Similarly a plural object affects the status of the statement: Shirley fights seventeen three-bob loaves.

Blogger Comments:

This misrepresents the meaning of internal conjunctive relations as those between "lines of argumentation".

Internal relations are those that conjoin the interpersonal meanings of messages, and external relations are those that conjoin the experiential meaning of messages.  Here the conjunctive relation is clearly between the experiential meanings, as "it is the same point being made" acknowledges.