Friday, 26 February 2016

Confusing Writing Pedagogy With Linguistic Theory

Martin (1992: 444):
The interaction patterns considered to this point have focussed on written text; the compositional scaffolding discussed depends for its development on a degree of consciousness not associated with spontaneous spoken monologue… — although professional public speakers do make use of scaffolding of a not unrelated kind.  Spontaneous spoken text however unfolds dynamically; it is not configured as a thing, with an elaborated part/whole structure.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This is misleading.  Text [6:35] was falsely presented as a text in written mode, despite the fact that it was actually a written transcript of an interview (spoken mode).  See the evidence at Falsifying Data: Misrepresenting An Interview Transcript As A Writing Exercise.

[2] As the term 'scaffolding' makes clear, this model of method of development — using macro-Theme (Introductory Paragraph) and hyper-Theme (Topic Sentence) — is actually a model of writing pedagogy.

[3] The "degree of consciousness" not associated with spoken monologue — or indeed spoken dialogue — is the possibility, afforded by written mode, of planning and editing a text, with the further option of using a model of writing pedagogy.

[4] Professional public speakers who write their speeches beforehand can also make use of the scaffolding offered by writing pedagogy.

[5] All texts unfold dynamically — since unfolding is a process, it would be hard to unfold any other way.  In SFL theory, this semogenic (meaning-making) process is modelled as logogenesis: the unfolding of the text at the instance pole of the cline of instantiation.

[6] To claim that a written text is 'configured as a thing' is to confuse the text as material object (e.g. ink on paper, etc.) with the text as semiotic object (an instance of a linguistic content).

[7] On the contrary, even spontaneous spoken text is highly structured.  As Halliday (1985: 79) explains:
The spoken language is, in fact, no less structured and highly organised than the written. It could not be otherwise, since both are manifestations of the same system.

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