Thursday, 22 October 2015

Reducing All Verbal Group Complex Relations To Extension

Martin (1992: 315-6):
With verbal groups, extension combines events.  Halliday (1985: 255-69) categorises a wide variety of verbal group complexes with respect to both expansion and projection.  He reserves the category of extension for conation… 
For purposes of lexical cohesion analysis however, all verbal group complexes will be treated as involving extension here, in order to bring out proportionalities of the following kind:
(phrasal verb : verbal group complex : event x quality ::)
look into : keep looking : look carefully ::
run into : attempt to run : run quickly ::
see through : happen to see : see clearly ::
go over : promise to go : go reluctantly

Blogger Comments:

[1] Extension — in common with projection, elaboration and enhancement — relates verbal groups logically in a verbal group complex.

[2] The logical grammatical structure of verbal group complexes is not a factor in analysing cohesive (textual nonstructural) relations between lexical items.

[3] To treat all verbal group complexes as involving extension — for whatever reason — is to miscategorise the instances that do not involve extension, and to misrepresent the category 'extension'.  Three of the four examples do not involve extension, and one does not even involve expansion:
  • keep looking is elaboration: phase: time: durative
  • happen to see is enhancement: modulation: cause: reason
  • promise to go is projection: proposal: locution

[4] Any proportionalities that depend on a falsehood are themselves false.  Moreover, no argument is provided for the value of cross-categorising types of expansion with phrasal verbs, verbal group complexes, and clause fragments.

[5] As related by enhancement, these examples are each Process and Manner circumstance within a clause realising a figure.

General Observations:
  • The concern here is purported to be discourse semantics, but the focus is merely on (rebranding) the grammar.
  • The concern here is purported to be the experiential metafunction, but the focus is on (rebranding) logical relations.