Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Misrepresenting The Grammatical Realisation Of Discourse Semantic Identification

Martin (1992: 403-4):
IDENTIFICATION is abstracted from nominal group DEIXIS, and alongside the lexicogrammatical systems of SUBSTITUTION and ELLIPSIS is a powerful measure of contextual dependency and thereby strongly associated with MODE.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The discourse semantic system of identification is presented as the semantics of reference.  However, rather than being theorised at a more abstract level than this cohesive system, a reworking of it has merely been moved to a different location within the theory.

[2] The nominal group system of deixis realises an orientation to the '"speaker-now", the temporal–modal complex that constitutes the point of reference of the speech event' (Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 314).  The system of identification is a reworking of the non-structural cohesive system of reference, not the structural system of deixis.

[3] This discussion (p33) misconstrued context as co-text and material setting.  See original critique here.

[4] The "association" of these systems with the contextual system of mode is not due to their being 'a powerful measure of contextual dependency'.  Substitution–&–ellipsis and reference (the source of identification) are both systems of the textual metafunction, and mode is the contextual stratum system of the textual metafunction.

[5] In SFL theory, the realisation of the contextual system of mode in textual meaning and wording varies according to register.

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