Thursday, 17 March 2016

Misconstruing A Grammatical Reference Item As An Accumulation Of New Information

Martin (1992: 459):
Hyper- and macro-News, like hyper- and macro-Themes are more prominent in written than spoken English.  However, just as marked Themes were shown to functional [sic] in parallel ways to hyper-Themes in spoken mode, so extended reference can be shown to function in parallel ways to hyper-News.  Two excerpts from text [4:2] are re-presented below to illustrate this point.  This in [4:2ff & ii] and that in [4:2aaa & ccc] are used to accumulate the actions in the activity sequences that have gone before in a way which complements their scaffolding with marked Themes as discussed in 6.3.2.  Extended reference is in other words to hyper-New as marked Theme is to hyper-Theme:
Synoptic : Dynamic ::
hyper-Theme : marked Theme ::
hyper-New : extended reference

Blogger Comments:

[1] In text [4:2], or any other text, the grammatical items this and that do not "accumulate" (or summarise) previous New information.  As instances of anaphoric demonstrative reference, they refer back to earlier information, which may have been presented as Given and/or New.

[2] For Martin, activity sequences in the text are misconstrued as field, the ideational dimension of context, and this, in turn, is misconstrued as register.

[3] Glossing Martin's terms, these proportionalities become:
  • an anaphoric demonstrative reference item in spoken mode is to
  • a paragraph summary in written mode as
  • a marked Theme of a clause in spoken mode is to
  • a topic sentence in written mode.