Saturday, 5 December 2015

Claiming That Conjunctive Relations Are Realised By Nouns

Martin (1992: 377):
This use of messages and message parts in a kind of meta-discursive relation to preceding and subsequent meanings in text is not unlike the function of text reference or that of internal conjunction.  Indeed, meta-message relations often work in conjunction with demonstratives and closely resemble text reference; and internal conjunctive relations are often realised through what Francis calls A-nouns.
[5:54]  Ben lost in straight sets; it really upset him. 
[5:55]  Ben lost in straight sets; that result really upset him. 
[5:56]  Ben lost in straight sets; in that respect I hardly recognised him.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The 'meta' aspect here relates to the second-order status of the textual metafunction in relation to the ideational and interpersonal metafunction.  Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 398):
The textual metafunction second–order in the sense that it is concerned with semiotic reality: that is, reality in the form of meaning. This dimension of reality is itself constructed by [the] other two metafunctions: the ideational, which construes a natural reality, and the interpersonal, which enacts an intersubjective reality. … The function of the textual metafunction is thus an enabling one with respect to the rest; it takes over the semiotic resources brought into being by the other two metafunctions and as it were operationalises them …
This second–order enabling nature of the textual metafunction is seen both at the level of context, where mode (the functions assigned to language in the situation) is second–order in relation to field and tenor (the ongoing social processes and interactant rôles), and the level of content — the semantics and the lexicogrammar, where the systems of theme and information, and the various types of cohesion, are second–order in relation to ideational and interpersonal systems of transitivity, mood, and the rest. 

[2] In each of the three examples, cohesive relations are effected through reference items: it (personal), that (demonstrative).

[3] This continues the confusion of cohesive conjunction with "internal" conjunction.  Here the cohesive conjunctive relation marking the textual transition is enhancement: matter: positive (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 543).

[4] By definition, conjunctive relations — the textual deployment of types of expansion — are not realised by nouns.  There is no conjunctive relation in the example given ([5:55]), internal or otherwise.

[5] This misconstrues the noun result as an A-noun (Francis 1985).  All the A-nouns listed were names of projections, and so second-order construals (construals of construals of experience).  The noun result is not the name of a projection; it is simply a first-order construal of experience.