Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Misunderstanding Stratification And Realisation

Martin (1992: 505):
The common ground between the two models lies in the correlation proposed between schematic structure and field, mode and tenor options; for both Martin and Hasan staging redounds with social context.  Keeping in mind that realisation is not theoretically directional in systemic models, there is nothing substantive in the fact that whereas for Hasan, choices in field, mode and tenor are realised by schematic structure, for Martin schematic structure is realised through these same components of register.

Blogger Comment:

This seriously misunderstands stratification and realisation.  Strata are relative levels of symbolic abstraction, with higher levels realised by lower levels.  Contra Martin, higher levels do not realise lower levels; e.g. lexicogrammar does not realise phonology.

In Hasan's model, context is realised by semantics —configurations of field, tenor and mode features are realised in text structure.

In Martin's model, semantics is realised by context — i.e. schematic (text) structure is realised by field, tenor and mode — with the complications that semantics is misconstrued as genre, and context is misconstrued as register.

It is manifestly untrue that this represents "common ground between the two models".