Friday, 30 September 2016

Misrepresenting Martin (1992) On Discourse Semantics And Contextual Theory

Martin (1992: 587):
So — texts are coherent, cultures are not.  Where does this leave linguistics which is articulated as a form of social action?
Clearly one important job, which has already begun […] lies in deconstructing the naturalisation process.  Systemic functional linguistics has always adressed [sic] this concern, and English Text's development of discourse semantics and contextual theory was undertaken with this goal explicitly in mind.  What seems crucial here is a model which displays the way in which language inflects and is inflected by contextual systems; one model of this kind has been provided.

Blogger Comments:

[1] As demonstrated by the reasoned arguments in the 550+ analyses on this website, English Text's development of discourse semantics and contextual theory proceeds from multiple misunderstandings of SFL theory — misunderstandings so fundamental and pervasive that they undermine the validity of the work as theory.  In an intelligent, informed academic community that values reason and intellectual integrity, this would be a serious problem.

[2] The relation between language and context is precisely defined in SFL theory as realisation.  This is the relation of intensive identity between two levels of symbolic abstraction.

[3] The contextual model that has been provided confuses context (the culture that is realised by language) with sub-potentials of language itself (registers/genres).  The confusion is along two theoretical dimensions simultaneously: stratification and instantiation.

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