Friday, 26 August 2016

Misrepresenting Longacre

Martin (1992: 561-2):
It is important to compare Longacre's features [for cross-classifying text types] with those used by Hasan when classifying text structures with respect to contextual configurations. … Longacre's chronological dimension can be related to Hasan's field features, his prescription to her tenor and his dialogue/monologue opposition to her mode.  In effect Longacre has selected features from different aspects of Hasan's contextual construct (i.e. field, mode and tenor variables) and integrated them into a single matrix in order to classify genres.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Longacre's (1976) ± chronological framework classifies text types according ideational semantics whereas Hasan (1977, 1985/9) specifies the ideational dimensions of the culture (field) that identify a text type.  The difference between them is thus stratal. (semantics vs context).

[2] Longacre's ± prescription is concerned with the rôle played by language.  In SFL theory, this is mode, not tenor.  The difference between them is thus metafunctional (textual vs interpersonal).

[3] As Martin reports it, Longacre's monologic vs dialogic opposition distinguishes narrative from drama, respectively.  That is, it distinguishes text types according to whether the projection of the author contain a single voice (a narrator), or many voices (dramatis personæ).  On the other hand, Hasan's monologic vs dialogic opposition is concerned with the number of authors (speakers) of the text.  The difference between them is thus in terms of orders of experience (second-order vs first-order).

[4] As the three previous points clearly demonstrate, this is not true.  Longacre (1976) did not select features of Hasan's (1977, 1985/9) context and integrate them into a single matrix to classify genres.

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