Saturday, 12 September 2015

Inconsistencies Of Structure And Metafunction

Martin (1992: 290):
The problem of semantic units has been a recurrent one throughout Chapters 2, 3 and 4.  Stratifying the content pla[n]e makes it possible to distinguish move or message from clause, and participant from nominal group, although in a functional grammar, semantic units will obviously be founded on grammatical ones.  The issue arises once again here, with respect to the nature of the discourse semantic units lexical cohesion is analysed between.

Blogger Comments:

[1]  In SFL theory, units have internal structure: figures have elements of structure such as Senser, Process and Phenomenon.  In discourse semantics, on the other hand, the units participant and message don't have internal structure; instead, they are the elements that are related.  This inconsistency is necessary because, as previously explained, these discourse semantic structures are not actually structures.

[2] The discourse semantic unit move, on the other hand — inconsistent with the other discourse semantic units, message and participant — is presented as a unit with internal structure and one which realises elements of structure at a higher rank, exchange (op cit: 46-59).

[3] In SFL theory, a message is a unit of the textual metafunction at the level of semantics.  In discourse semantics, messages are the units that are said to be logically related to each other.

[4] In SFL theory, a participant is an experiential category.  In discourse semantics, participants are units of the textual metafunction — despite the fact that the textual metafunction is concerned with the organisation of the ideational and interpersonal metafunctions, not with the construal of experience (e.g. as participants).