Sunday, 28 February 2016

Assigning A Text To The Wrong "Genre"

Martin (1992: 446-7):
Being a procedural text, most clauses in [4:2] take people as their point of departure… . Unmarked topical Theme selection is not deployed to scaffold [4:2]'s staging or development (although it does reflect its genre).  Instead marked Themes, both phrasal and clausal, are used to stage the dog showing procedure.

Blogger Comment:

[1] The clauses in (genuine) procedural texts take procedures — (typically material) processes — as their point of departure, and feature imperative mood (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 98; Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 479).  The clauses in text [4.2] take people as their point of departure, and feature indicative mood. This reflects the fact that this text is actually a recount of a procedure.  A recount of a procedure is a recount, not a procedure.

These two text types differ in terms of the situation type they realise.  The context of the recount text [4.2] is 'reporting', whereas the context of a procedural text is 'enabling' (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 219).

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 356):
The notion of procedure can be taken as a summary gloss of the domain; it is a macro-operation, consisting of a number of atomic micro-operations. It is dominated by procedures (algorithms, figures of doing) that lead to some specific goal: the dominant cause is purposive. An agent or agents try to produce, assemble, repair, etc.. 
From the interpersonal point of view, the notion of procedure can also be taken as a gloss on the interaction between the writer and the reader, it is a macro-proposal, consisting of a number of instructions or directions to the reader.
[2]  A dependent clause in regressive clause nexus is not a marked topical Theme of a clause.  See previous posts.