Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Not Accounting For A Distinctive Mode Of Development

Martin (1992: 453):
Theme selection in [6:36] is mainly restricted to the two World Wars alongside an army/navy/airforce string (assault troops, airpower, she, Battle Line).  The text's method of development in other words narrowly circumscribes its selection of Themes.  Choices for New are not restricted in this way; they open up the field of naval history, a small portion of which is being constructed in this text.
minimal news in [6:36]
topical themes in [6:36]
in World War I
World War I (4)
in World War II
World War II (5)
for the Army
both wars
for the Army
escort-of-convoy and anti-submarine work
assault troops
on the surface
with the Japanese Navy
in transports
Battle Line
on docks or in protected harbours
new tactics
had to be revived and developed


inchoate and almost negligible

a determining factor

queen of the sea

since the age of Drake

with tactics inherited from the age of sail

had to be devised

Blogger Comments:

[1] The actual topical Themes in [6:36] are as follows, with likely foci of (largely contrastive) New highlighted:

topical Theme

the United States

the nature of that participation

the earlier conflict

the latter

in both wars

in the 1917-18 conflict

between 1941 and 1945

American soldiers who engaged in World War I

in World War II

assault troops


in the latter

in World War I


Battle Line
in World War II

for which

[2] Text [6:36] contrasts the participation of the U.S. armed forces in WWI with their participation in WWII. To this end, each war-time is thematised, by turns, to provide the point of the departure that contextualises what is to follow in each clause, as the contrasts are accumulated through the text.

In contrast, merely to say that the text's method of development 'narrowly circumscribes its selection of Themes' does not begin to account for the use of theme selection in this text.

[3] Arbitrarily restricting the choices of New to the last functional element of clause structure seriously misrepresents the packaging of information in text [6:36].  The more likely foci of New information, based on reading the text aloud, are the thematic New highlighted in green, above, and the rhematic New highlighted in blue, below.

participated heavily in World War I
participation was fundamentally different from what it became in World War II
was a one-ocean war for the Navy
one-theatre war for the Army
was a two-ocean war for the Navy
one of five major theatres for the Army
a vital responsibility of the Navy was escort-of-convoy and anti-submarine work
it never clashed with the enemy on the surface
it fought some twenty major and countless minor engagements with the Japanese Navy
were taken overseas in transports
landed on docks or in protected harbours
the art of amphibious warfare had to be revived and developed
were forced to fight their way ashore
in the earlier conflict, was still inchoate
almost negligible
it was a determining factor
the battleship still reigned queen of the sea
had in changing forms, since the age of Drake
fought with tactics inherited from the age of sail
the capital naval force was the air-craft carrier taskgroup
completely new tactics had to be devised

[4] It is all the content of the text that construes the field; New merely highlights textually what the author deems unrecoverable to the reader.  Martin here confuses the textual highlighting (New) with the experiential content being highlighted.