Wednesday, 24 August 2016

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Friday, 5 August 2016

Confusing Experience With Construals Of Experience

Martin (1992: 545):
The linguistically constructed [field] taxonomies of humanities, social science, and science are the ones that are most appropriately referred to as technical since they function as distillations of common sense or less technical experience into uncommon sense classifications of the world.

Blogger Comments:

[1] All field taxonomies are "linguistically constructed", and in two senses.  On the one hand, field is construed by language; that is, during logogenesis, the language that realises a given contextual field intellectually constructs that field.  On the other hand, field taxonomies are linguistic construals of experience.

[2] This confuses field (context) with the language that realises field.  The confusion is thus along the dimension of stratification (symbolic identity).

[3] The nominal group 'commonsense or less technical experience' confuses experience with commonsense construals of experience.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Misconstruing Field Taxonomies As Classifications Of Personnel & Semiotic Objects

Martin (1992: 545):
The distinctive [field] taxonomies of public administration are also pragmatic, but tend to organise people (or better, subjects) rather than things (e.g. classification of personnel), and writing (e.g. files, legislation, minutes, manuals, etc.) rather than experience.

Blogger Comments:

[1] The claim here is that taxonomic classifications of such fields tend to "organise" subjects — as exemplified by a classification of personnel — rather than things.  On the other hand, in SFL theory, field refers to 'what's going on' in terms of the culture when language is used.

[2] The claim here is that taxonomic classifications of such fields tend to "organise" writing — or more accurately: semiotic objects, as exemplified by files, legislation, minutes, manuals, etc. — rather than experience.  On the other hand, in SFL theory, field refers to 'what's going on' in terms of the culture when language is used.

(It might be noted that the contrast between semiotic objects and experience is the contrast between construals of experience and experience.)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Confusing Orders Of Experience

Martin (1992: 545):
The distinctive [field] taxonomies of recreation and trades tend to be utilitarian in focus, organising in large part the special equipment and tools required and the Mediums they operate on.

Blogger Comments:

[1] Equipment and tools are parts of the material setting, not the semiotic context.  This confuses orders of experience.

[2] This construes tools and equipment, rather than people, as the Agents of such Processes.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Confusing Field And Language

Martin (1992: 545):
As far as [field] taxonomies are concerned, domestic taxonomies deal with the 'natural' order of things — the common sense construction of experience.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, in SFL theory, a field taxonomy is a classification of the types of fields in a culture that are realised by language and its attendant semiotic systems.

[2] To be clear, no field taxonomy deals with the 'natural' order of things.  On the one hand, a field taxonomy models the ideational dimension of culture as a semiotic system.  On the other, it is the ideational dimension of the language that construes experience. This confusion is thus stratificational.

[3] It is very misleading to equate the commonsense construal experience — i.e. those that don't employ ideational metaphor — with the 'natural' order of things (scare quotes notwithstanding).  On the other hand, the language that realises the field of quantum physics depends heavily on ideational metaphor, is very uncommonsense, and yet construes the physical order of Nature.

Monday, 1 August 2016

A False Dichotomy

Martin (1992: 544-5):
The activity sequences generated by the discourses of humanities, social science and especially science tend to be logical rather than sequential — if/then or so then rather than and then.  It is for this reasons [sic] that scientific sequences (e.g. how it rains) are referred to as implication sequences in Wignell et al. (1987/1990), Shea (1988) and Martin (1990).

Blogger Comments:

[1] In this modelling of field, in this instance, 'activity sequences' now refers to the language realising fields, rather than to non-linguistic behaviours (see previous post) or to the contextual fields that are realised in language.  The confusion is thus stratificational.

[2] 'Logical vs sequential' is a false dichotomy.  Leaving aside the fact that, in SFL theory, 'sequence' refers to two or more figures related logically through expansion or projection, the relations here are all logical:
  • if…then construes a hypotactic logical relation of expansion: enhancement: condition;
  • so then construes a logical relation of expansion: enhancement;
  • and then construes a paratactic logical relation of expansion: enhancement: temporal.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Misconstruing Behaviour As A Register Of Language

Martin (1992: 543):
Domestic sequences tend to be implicit — they are not usually written down, or taken notice of in any way by mature speakers, and are learned by doing, under the guidance of caregivers by children.

Blogger Comment:

Here 'sequences' refers to (material order) behaviour, not (semiotic order) language, nor the context realised by language.  The model being developed here is purported to be field, the ideational dimension of the culture as semiotic, realised in language, so the confusion is one of orders of experience.

The inconsistency is compounded by Martin's misconstrual of this behaviour as register, a subpotential of language.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Misconstruing Mode As Field

Martin (1992: 542):
Taking the nature of socialisation and lexical specialisation into account, a provisional classification of fields can be provided.  The first cut is between fields depending on oral transmission and those depending on writing; this opposes home, recreation and trades to public administration, humanities, social science and science (or in more general terms, oral cultures to literate ones).

Blogger Comments:

[1] The 'oral' vs 'writing' distinction is a distinction of mode (textual), not field (ideational).  The confusion is thus in terms of metafunction.

[2] Many trades, of course, require some form of (literate) tertiary education.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Why Chomskyan Linguistics Has Power

Martin (1992: 541-2):
Note that this taxonomy [Fig. 7.18 Superordination taxonomy for theories of language] is uninflected for power, which rests for obvious reasons with theories that naturalise discourses of ethnicity, gender, generation and class by positing an arbitrary relation between form and meaning, thereby rendering language a transparent conduit through which these discourses are poured.

Blogger Comments:

The claim here is that:
  1. Chomskyan Linguistics has power over other theories;
  2. Chomskyan Linguistics naturalises discourses of ethnicity, gender, generation and class;
  3. the means of this naturalisation is the construal of the relation between syntax and semantics as arbitrary;
  4. the result of this naturalisation by such means is that language is construed as a transparent conduit through which these naturalised discourses are poured;
  5. the reason why this should confer power on Chomskyan Linguistics is obvious.

= b
[[that this taxonomy is uninflected for power]]
for obvious reasons
theories [[[that naturalise discourses of ethnicity, gender, generation and class || by positing an arbitrary relation between form and meaning, || thereby rendering language a transparent conduit [[through which these discourses are poured]] ]]]]
Process: mental
Phenomenon: fact
Attribute: possession
Carrier: possessor

x b manner
x c result
discourses of ethnicity, gender, generation and class
an arbitrary relation
between form and meaning
a transparent conduit [[through which these discourses are poured]]



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.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Misrepresenting Barthes And Confusing Material & Semiotic Orders Of Experience

Martin(1992: 538-9):
Focussing on narrative theory, Barthes does not take the step of theorising paradigmatic relations among activity sequences, for which the notion of field is developed here.  A field such as linguistics for example involves a large number of sequences: lecturing, evaluation, supervising, writing, editing, meetings, committees, seminars, conferences, research activities, referee's reports, community work, administration and so on.  More than one of these may well succeed another as a series of micro-sequences, but there is more to their interrelationships than this constituency analysis suggests.  All are related to participation in the field of linguistics, sharing a large number of taxonomies of both the superordinate and compositional variety.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This misrepresents Barthes' sequences, which are language structures, as Martin's activity sequences, which are misconstrued by Martin as context, which in turn is misconstrued by Martin as register.  The confusion is thus simultaneously along the two theoretical dimensions of stratification and instantiation.

[2] This confuses what people do (lecturing etc.) with what people say (sequences). The confusion is thus between material and semiotic orders of experience.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Misrepresenting Barthes

Martin (1992: 538):
Barthes continues by pointing out that activity sequences have names, and may be encapsulated by the name to form part of another sequence.  This suggests in effect that the notion of constituency can be applied to the compositional relations among activity sequences (and Barthes in fact provides an appropriate tree diagram for the first episode of Goldfinger):
It (a sequence) is also founded a maximo: enclosed on its function, subsumed under a name, the sequence itself constitutes a new unit, ready to function as a single term in another, more extensive sequence.  Here, for example, is a micro-sequence: hand held out, hand shaken, hand released.  This Greeting then becomes a simple function: on the one hand, it assumes the rôle of an indice (flabbiness of Du Pont, Bond's distaste); on the other, it forms globally a term in a larger sequence, with the name Meeting, whose other terms (approach, halt, interpellation, sitting down) can themselves be micro-sequences. (1977: 102-3)
The meeting sequence in other words has as one of its nuclei another sequence — greeting:

meeting (greeting):
approach ^ halt ^ interpellation ^ (hand held out ^ hand shaken ^ hand released) ^ sitting down

Blogger Comments:

[1] For Barthes, it is a sequence of language that has a name.  Martin's activity sequence is misconstrued as context (field) which, in turn, is misconstrued as register.

[2] The (tautological) claim here is that part-whole relations (constituency) can be applied to part-whole (compositional) relations.

[3] To be clear, Barthes claim is that (micro-)sequences can be embedded in other sequences.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Not Acknowledging Barthes As Intellectual Source

Martin (1992: 537-8):
Barthes goes on to point out that sequences involve both expectancy and risk. Recognition of an activity sequence implies an expectation that one of its events will follow another, but the succession is not necessary.  It is always possible for expectations to be countered, which creates the context for concessive conjunctive relations. Counterexpectation is a critical feature of narrative genre (and one that does not come naturally to young writers who generally fail to put succession at risk):
However minimal its importance, a sequence, since it is made up of a small number of nuclei (that is to say, in fact of 'dispatchers'), always involves moments of risk and it is this that justifies analysing it.  It might seem futile to constitute into a sequence the logical succession of trifling acts which go to make up the offer of a cigarette (offering, accepting, smoking, lighting), but precisely at every one of these points, an alternative — and hence a freedom of meaning — is possible. … A sequence is thus, one can say, a threatened logical unit, this being its justification a minimo.  (1977: 102)

Blogger Comments:

[1] Martin (1992: 322-4) proposes 'expectancy' as an activity sequence relation (e.g. here).  He does not acknowledge Barthes as the source of the idea.  At the symposium to honour the late Ruqaiya Hasan, Martin falsely accused Hasan of not acknowledging Mitchell as one of her sources (evidence here).

[2] The highly fanciful notion of meaning 'at risk' is finally clarified here for the first time and sourced to Barthes.  In terms of SFL theory, it simply means the speaker is always free to instantiate a different option during logogenesis.  The risk is to the feature and it is the risk of not be selected.   All features are thus "put at risk" outside the moment of instantiation.  "Pretentious?! Moi?!"

[3] The perspective on language here is that of the addressee, not the speaker.

[4] This is relevant only for the semantics of specific text types, mainly fictional.  The discussion here is purported to be establishing a model of field (context), the ideational dimension of cultural potential in general — which Martin misconstrues as register.

[5] In SFL theory, concessive conjunctive relations are a specific type of causal-conditional relation, served by items such as yet, still, though, despite this, however, even so, all the same, nevertheless (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 614).  Martin misunderstands and misapplies the concessive enhancement relation, as demonstrated, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

[6] It is worth pointing out that Barthes' construal of nuclei that make up a sequence as 'dispatchers' is imaginative fiction, not semiotic theory.  Barthes otherwise presents the relation as 'made up', but in sense of composition, not fiction.

[7] Barthes' claim is that it is the fact that the speaker is always free to instantiate a different option during logogenesis that justifies both the sequence and its analysis.  This is, of course, no less true, or false, of any instance of language.

[8] Note that, in this misquoting of Barthes, the carcinogenic cause of heart disease is not lit until after it is smoked.