Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Inverting The Stratification Hierarchy

Martin (1992: 505):
Martin's alternative proposal is that text structure is generated at the level of genre, as in Ventola's systemic formulation of Mitchell's work above.  Genre networks would thus be formulated on the basis of similarities and differences between text structures which thereby define text types.  As part of the realisation process, generic choices would preselect field, mode and tenor options associated with particular elements of text structure.  Text structure is referred to as schematic structure in Martin's model, with genre defined as a staged, goal-oriented social process realised through register (see Martin 1984b, 1985a, 1985b, Martin, et al. n.d., Ventola 1987: 63-66).

Blogger Comments:

[1] From the perspective of SFL theory, Martin's proposal confuses semantics (text structure) with text type (genre) and misconstrues text type as context.

[2] From the perspective of SFL theory, this inverts the stratification hierarchy, since choices of text structure (semantics) are realised by field, tenor and mode options (context).  Martin misconstrues this semantic structure as genre, and context as register.

[3] In SFL theory, the term 'schematic structure' comes from Hasan (e.g. 1984: 79), where it means an instance of generic structure potential; that is, the semantic structure of an actual text.  Martin makes no acknowledgement of this source.

[4] From the perspective of SFL theory, genre (text type) and register are the same phenomenon viewed from different poles of the cline of instantiation.  Stratifying genre and register misconstrues them as different levels of symbolic abstraction.  Stratifying them as context, confuses (types) of language with context (the culture as a semiotic system).