Sunday, 3 January 2016

Misunderstanding The Textual Metafunction And Misrepresenting Context As Register

Martin (1992: 402-3):
And it follows from setting up a text-focussed discourse semantics of this kind (as opposed to a speech act-focussed pragmatics or a proposition-focussed semantics) that systems on this stratum will be concerned with text integrating relations. This does not mean that all discourse systems need therefore to be treated as metafunctionally textual. The grammatical systems that discourse systems are abstracted with respect to need to be taken into account. In addition, the relation of discourse systems to register variables is an important consideration.
Interpreted as an interface between context and grammar, discourse semantics can be seen to have its own metafunctional organisation, reflecting both the organisation of the lexicogrammatical resources realising its meanings as well as the organisation of context into the register variables tenor, mode and field.

Blogger Comments:

[1] In SFL theory, all systems "concerned with text integrating relations" are systems of the textual metafunction, by definition.  Ideational and interpersonal systems are not "concerned with text integrating relations". Any discourse semantic system that is "concerned with text integrating relations" is a system of the textual metafunction.  Any discourse semantic system that is not of the textual metafunction is not "concerned with text integrating relations".

[2] This would go without saying if the meaning of stratification and metafunction were properly understood.

[3] This continues the misrepresentation of context, a semiotic system that is more abstract than language, as register, a functional variety of language that realises a functional variety of context: a situation type.