Sunday, 6 December 2015

Multiplying A Misunderstanding Of The External Vs Internal Distinction

Martin (1992: 377-8):
The proportionalities among these "external" and "internal" aspects of IDEATION, IDENTIFICATION  and CONJUNCTION are as follows:
organising field :
organising text ::
message part relation :
meta-message relation ::
participant reference :
text reference ::
external conjunction :
internal conjunction

Blogger Comment:

[1] This continues the misunderstanding of the distinction between internal and external expansion relations, and exports the misunderstanding to other proposed discourse semantic systems.

Internal relations are those that are internal to the exchange, obtaining between propositions (interpersonal) rather than figures (experiential).  A memorable example of an internal relation, deployed logically in a clause complex, is the line from Monty Python's Life Of Brian:
If it's not a personal question, are you a virgin?
Martin confuses internal relations with those that are, in SFL terms, textually cohesive — though not consistently — as these pages demonstrate.

[2] The systems of ideation, identification and conjunction are said to be developed as the discourse semantic counterparts of lexical cohesion, reference and conjunction in the lexicogrammar.  In SFL, all three lexicogrammatical systems are types of cohesion, the non-structural resource of the textual metafunction, and so are all 'meta' in the sense of being concerned with the organisation of the ideational and the interpersonal meanings in the creation of text.

[3] Although participant reference is presented as a resource of the textual metafunction at the level of discourse semantics, it is here presented as 'organising' (i.e. in SFL: construing) the ideational dimension of context.  As previously demonstrated, this relates to mistaking cohesive relations for covariate structures, which in turn leads to confusing the system of referring with the elements ("participants") referred to.