Thursday, 28 July 2016

Confusing Composition And Superordination

Martin (1992: 540-1):
As noted in Chapter 5, alongside activity sequences, the participants involved in sequences are organised into taxonomies of two basic kinds: composition and superordination.  The compositional taxonomy in Fig. 7.17 for members of an Australian linguistics department for example organises participants who play some part in all of the sequences reviewed above.

Blogger Comments:

[1] As noted previously here, Martin confuses composition with superordination taxonomies.

[2] This "compositional" taxonomy (meronymic) is largely one of superordination (hyponymy).  This can be demonstrated by presenting the claims made by Fig. 7.17:
  • an Australian linguistics department consists of two parts: salaried staff and students;
  • salaried staff consist of two parts: academic and non-academic;
  • academic consists of two parts: Head and scaled;
  • scaled consists of two parts: lecturing and tutoring;
  • lecturing consists of five parts: Professor, Associate Professor, Reader, Senior Lecturer and Lecturer;
  • tutoring consists of two parts: full-time and part-time;
  • full-time consists of two parts: Senior Tutor and Tutor;
  • non-academic consists of two parts: clerical and technological;
  • clerical consists of three parts: secretarial, administrative and keyboard operator;
  • technological consists of two parts: programmer and technician;
  • post-graduate consists of two parts: research and coursework;
  • research consists of two parts: PhD and MA;
  • MA consists of two parts: MA Hons and MA Pass;
  • undergraduate consists of four parts: I, II, III and IV Hons;
  • both II and III consist of two parts: pass and honours.

Cf. a spoon consists of two parts: the handle and the bowl.

[3] This is an error of Aristotelian logic.  Not all participants play some part in all of the sequences.  All participants play some part in some sequences.

[4] The confusion here is between playing a part in a sequence and being a part of a whole.