Thursday, 19 May 2016

Confusing Material Order Phenomena With Textual Semiosis

Martin (1992: 516-7):
Experientially mode mediates the degree to which language is part of or constitutive of what is going on.  In text [4:2] for example, most of the meanings are made verbally (excepting the exophoric reference discussed above).  At the dog show itself however, language would have a much smaller rôle to play in the showing area, where most of the meaning is realised through action, not words. … Showing a dog and describing how a dog is shown are in other words very different modes.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses metafunctions.  The system of mode, and thus all its feature oppositions, is a resource of the textual metafunction.

[2] In SFL theory, mode does not "mediate".  Oppositions such as constitutive vs ancillary are features of mode.  Mode enables both field and tenor.

[3] This dimension of mode — the opposition of constitutive vs ancillary — corresponds to Hasan's (1985/9: 58) system of LANGUAGE RÔLE:
First, there is the question of the LANGUAGE RÔLE — whether it is constitutive or ancillary.  These categories should not be seen as sharply distinct but rather as two end-points of a continuum.
[4] The exophoric references, of course, were also made verbally.  Exophoric reference is a linguistic resource.  In this case, the exophoric references were made to manual gestures on a table surface.

[5] This confuses material order phenomena: what people do, with semiotic order (meta)phenomena: what people say.  This confusion is further confounded by associating the material doing with Hasan's language rôle (textual semiosis).

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