Monday, 21 March 2016

Confusing Metafunctions And Axes

Martin (1992: 462):
The challenge here is to interpret the meaning of Subject from a discourse perspective, by looking at the way in which discourse structures interact with Subject selection.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses metafunctions.  Subject is an interpersonal function whereas discourse semantics has been demonstrated here to be largely a misunderstanding of Halliday and Hasan's model of lexicogrammatical cohesion, a non-structural resource of the textual metafunction.  The meaning of Subject is interpersonal, not textual.  Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 528):
The “textual” metafunction is the name we give to the systematic resources a language must have for creating discourse: for ensuring that each instance of text makes contact with its environment. The “environment” includes both the context of situation and other instances of text.
[2] This confuses axes, and therefore levels of symbolic abstraction, since syntagmatic structures realise paradigmatic selections.

[3] As has been previously demonstrated here, the discourse "structures" reworked from Halliday and Hasan's model of lexicogrammatical cohesion are not structures, but cohesive relations.