Friday, 2 September 2016

Misconstruing Language Sub-Potentials As Constituting Context Potential

Martin (1992: 570):
For ideological reasons, mapping out the system of genres that constitute our context of culture is a pressing task — and there is no reason in principle to expect it to be a more complex one than mapping lexicogrammar.

Blogger Comments:

[1] From the perspective of SFL theory, the term 'system of genres' confuses potential (system) with sub-potentials (genres).  The confusion is along the cline of instantiation.

[2] In SFL theory, genres do not constitute the context of culture.  Genres, as language, realise context; genres as text types, realise situation types.  That is genres are sub-potentials of language that realise sub-potentials of the culture as a semiotic system.  The relation between genre (language sub-potentials) and context of culture (context potential) is therefore along two theoretical dimensions simultaneously:
  • stratification (context vs language), and
  • instantiation (potential vs sub-potential).

sub-potential / instance type
context of culture