Monday, 27 June 2016

Misconstruing The Realisation Of Tenor

Martin (1992: 528):
As with register systems in general, tenor systems put certain types of meaning at risk and for the most part it is a pattern of interpersonal choices across a text which is meaningful, not the individual choices themselves.  Indeed, the notion of reciprocity implies that a number of choices have to be examined from the perspective of different participants for tenor to be realised at all.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses functional varieties of language (registers/text types) with the culture as a semiotic system that is realised in language (and other semiotic systems).  The confusion is thus along two semiotic dimensions simultaneously: stratification (context vs language) and instantiation (system vs instance type).

[2] The "risks" that meaning is exposed to are never actually specified.  To be clear, risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of value.

[3] All interpersonal choices are meaningful, whether as meanings realised in wordings, or as wordings realising meanings.  Each selection is an instantiation of the system during logogenesis; patterns of selections are termed logogenetic patterns (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 524-31; Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 593-603).

[4] The realisation of tenor in language does not depend on what linguists examine, let alone on the perspectives taken.

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