Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Misunderstanding Stratal Relations And Confusing Text Type (Genre) With System (Potential)

Martin (1992: 560):
Once posited as potentially divergent patterns of realisation, particulate, prosodic and periodic aspects of generic structure are not difficult to find.  More problematic is the question of how to model and integrate them once observed.  In particular this raises questions about the role played by genre in mapping field, tenor and mode choices onto each other in ways which capture teleological aspects of generic structure.  Current formulations of genre as system do not resolve these issues, but are nevertheless pursued below.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This is not in the least problematic.  The modes of realisation are the models, and the text, as semantic unit, provides the domain of application, just as the clause does in the lexicogrammar.

[2] This is a non-sequitur.  The modelling and integration of structure types is logically distinct from what follows; see [3].

[3] Translating into SFL theory, this becomes:
  • the rôle played by text type
  • in configuring contextual features
  • in ways that capture purpose-directed aspects
  • of the semantic structure of different text types.
In the first instance, this misunderstands the relation between contextual configurations and text type (genre).  Different text types realise different configurations of field, tenor and mode.

In the second instance, field, tenor and mode features do not "map onto each other"; selections from the three systems specify a given context (situation or situation type).

In the third instance, the notion of teleology is as redundant for text structure as it is for clause structure.  This confuses purpose with function.  In functional linguistics, structures have functions.

[4] The formulation of genre as system confuses subpotential (text type) with potential (system).  That is, it confuses a point of variation midway along the cline of instantiation with the system pole of that cline.  As such, such a formulation cannot resolve these non-issues — merely add to the confusion and theoretical inconsistency.