Sunday, 29 May 2016

Confusing Mode (Context) With The Ideational Semantics Of Registers

Martin (1992: 519):
Experientially, the distinction between texts which focus on activities and those which focus on things is also independent of the action/reflection dimension under construction here.  Activity was taken as the base line in introducing this dimension of mode above, with organisation around sequence in time as the key variable.  The same distinctions can however be applied to thing oriented discourse, with place (including composition and setting) rather than the time the critical parameter.  It is possible to comment (typically evaluatively) on people, places and things as one experiences them (monitoring); similarly one can reconstruct objects through description and generalise about them as generic classes in reports.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The fundamental confusion here is that the discussion is presented as theorising mode, the systems of the textual metafunction at the level of context.  Here, instead, the discussion is concerned with the ideational dimension of semantics (activities and things) of registers.  The confusion is thus simultaneously along three theoretical dimensions: stratification, metafunction and instantiation.

[2] To be clear, commenting (± evaluating) ≠ monitoring.

The practice of insisting that a word means whatever one wishes is termed Humpty Dumptyism.