Saturday, 28 November 2015

A Summary Of Discourse Systems Inconsistencies

Martin (1992: 372-3):
This chapter concludes the presentation of the four major discourse systems developed in this book.  Lexical relations represent the discourse semantics of experiential meaning.  The association of discourse systems with metafunctions and their unmarked realisations in lexicogrammar can now be summarised as in Table 5.26.

Table 5.26. Unmarked realisations for discourse semantics systems in lexicogrammar
(discourse system)
group rank experiential grammar;
lexis as delicate grammar;
clause complex: logico-semantics & interdependency
nominal group: deixis
clause: mood

Blogger Comments:

[1] The discourse semantics model of experiential meaning is a "development" of the lexicogrammatical system of lexical cohesion, a system of the textual metafunction, mixed up with the notion of lexis as most delicate grammar.  It involves units, message parts, that are related logically and/or interpersonally.

[2] This continues the confusion between markedness and congruence.  The realisation of semantics in lexicogrammar is either congruent or incongruent (metaphorical).  A pattern is either unmarked (typical), as when Theme conflates with Subject in a declarative clause, or marked, as when Theme conflates with a functional element other than Subject in a declarative clause.

[3] If the discourse system of ideation were an experiential system at the level of semantics, it would be realised by an experiential system at the level of lexicogrammar — and a theoretical requirement would be the inclusion of realisation statements that specify the relations between the two stratal systems.  Here, the lexicogrammatical realisations are said to include lexis as most delicate grammar and (only) one type of lexical cohesion, collocation, a non-structural system of the textual metafunction.  The model is claimed to be a development of lexical cohesion, but this is omitted from the list of lexicogrammatical realisations.

[4] The discourse system of conjunction is claimed to be a logical system at the level of semantics, and to be realised in the lexicogrammar by the logico-semantic and interdependency relations of the clause complex.  However, it makes no distinction between logical deployments of expansion (creating complexes) and textual deployments of expansion (cohesively marking transitions between messages).  Moreover, the logical relation of projection is omitted altogether from the semantic model — because, in fact, the model takes the textual deployment of expansion (cohesive conjunction) as its point of departure for logical semantics.  The discourse semantics system also omits the logical relation of elaboration in cases where the interdependency relation is hypotaxis.  For the rich panoply of miscategorisations of logical relations, see most of the critiques of Chapter 4.

[5] The discourse system of identification is claimed to be a textual system at the level of semantics.  If this were so, its realisations would involve the textual systems at the level of lexicogrammar, such as those of theme, information and cohesion.  Even if the textual metafunction is reduced for discourse semantics to merely 'reference as semantic choice', the realisation of the system of identification in lexicogrammar would be the cohesive system of reference.  As demonstrated in previous posts, by treating cohesive relations as structures, the discourse system of identification confuses the system of referring with the items thus referred to.

[6] In SFL theory, the semantic system realised by the lexicogrammatical system of mood is termed speech function.