Thursday, 20 August 2015

Misapplying Textual Reference To Logical Dependency

Martin (1992: 240):
In all of the examples considered so far, messages have been shown to depend retrospectively on preceding ones.  Conjunctive structures have been treated in other words as typically anaphoric, as reference chains.  Conjunctions do sometimes point forward however.  This happens in correlative paratactic structures like that in [4:189] where either predicts an ensuing alternative just as or predicts a preceding one. … A small number of internal conjunctions operate in this way; for example first and on the one hand.  In [4:192] first predicts a succeeding argument, just as second presumes a preceding one.
[4:192] a.  I'd say it's a material process.
            b.  First, the tense is [present-in-present].
            c.  Second, the Agent is not conscious.
            d.  Finally, this process can't project.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, 'the different kinds of pointing', phora, are features of reference, a nonstructural resource of the textual metafunction.  Here they are applied to conjunction, which is construed as a structural resource of the logical metafunction.

[2] Phoric relations are here construed as obtaining between a conjunction in one message and another message within the same conjunctive structure, and the 'pointing' is interpreted as predicting prospectively (cataphora) or presuming retrospectively (anaphora).

However, whereas anaphoric and cataphoric reference point forward or backward in the text to where the identity presumed by the reference item can be recovered, in this use of the terms for conjunctive relations, the pointing forward of backward in the text is merely to the location of the conjoined message.