Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Misconstruing A Clause Beneficiary As A Nominal Group Qualifier

Martin & Rose (2007: 112):
In the following example the processes of ‘exposing’ and ‘humiliating’ become things that qualify the penalty, and are themselves qualified by their participant the perpetrator:

Blogger Comments:

Original Text:
Thus there is the penalty of public exposure and humiliation for the perpetrator.
Here Martin & Rose misconstrue an element of clause structure (Beneficiary) as an element of nominal group structure (Qualifier):

Thus
there
is
the penalty of public exposure and humiliation
for the perpetrator


Process
Existent
Beneficiary


The fact that the prepositional phrase for the perpetrator serves a function at clause rank, and not group rank, is demonstrated by the fact that, unlike a nominal group Qualifier, it can be relocated to other parts of the clause:
  1. Thus, for the perpetrator, there is the penalty of public exposure and humiliation.
  2. Thus there is, for the perpetrator, the penalty of public exposure and humiliation.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Misunderstanding Ideational Metaphor

Martin & Rose (2007: 110):
In general the drift in meaning, by means of grammatical metaphor, has been from reality as processes involving people and concrete things, to reality as relations between abstract things, as with the transference from marrying as process to marriage as thing. 
There is a set of regular principles for creating ideational metaphors — for reconstruing one kind of element as another. The most common include:
(1) a process or quality can be reconstrued as if it was a thing
(2) a process, or a quality of a process, can be reconstrued as a quality of a thing
These are ideational metaphors of the experiential type, i.e. they are concerned with elements of figures. Ideational metaphors of the logical type are concerned with reconstruing a conjunction between figures as if it were a process or thing.


Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, here Martin & Rose confuse the metaphorical realisation of a figure ("processes involving people and concrete things") as a group or word (marriage) with the elemental metaphor of a Process realised as Thing (marriage).

[2] To be clear, the actual range of elemental metaphor is set out in Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 245):
[3] To be clear, the authors' differentiation of ideational metaphor as either experiential or logical is invalidated by the inclusion of experiential categories (Process or Thing) in what they regard as logical metaphor.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Misrepresenting Data And Grammatical Metaphor

Martin & Rose (2007: 109-10):
Grammatical metaphors on the other hand involve a transference of meaning from one kind of element to another kind. A simple example in Helena’s story is the process of marrying, which is reconstrued as a quality married and as a thing marriage.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, this is only one type of grammatical metaphor, elemental metaphor (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 244-9).  More broadly, grammatical metaphor also involves the realisation of a semantic sequence as a clause or group (instead of a clause complex), the realisation of a semantic figure as group or word (instead of a clause), and the realisation of a semantic element as a word (instead of a group).  Most importantly, grammatical metaphor is a junctional construct, embodying the meanings of both the metaphorical and congruent wordings.

[2] To be clear, here Martin & Rose misrepresent the data, since 'marry' is nowhere reconstrued as a Quality, as demonstrated by the five instances of the lexical item in the original text:
  1. We even spoke about marriage.
  2. An extremely short marriage to someone else failed all because I married to forget.
  3. After my unsuccessful marriage, I met another policeman.
  4. For some it has been so traumatic that marriages have broken up.
More importantly, the authors fail to recognise the the nature of the metaphors involved, which might be unpacked a little along the following lines:
  1. figure ('us getting married') metaphorically realised as nominal group (marriage);
  2. figure ('I was married to someone else very briefly') metaphorically realised as nominal group (An extremely short marriage to someone else);
  3. sequence ('I married but we did not succeed to remain together') metaphorically realised as nominal group (my unsuccessful marriage);
  4. sequence ('people got married and later they separated') metaphorically realised as clause (that marriages have broken up).

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Misrepresenting Commentary As Analysis

Martin & Rose (2007: 108-9):
Relations between activities are as follows. First meeting, beginning to relate and marrying are parts of a ‘romance’ field that expect one another in a sequence. In the description phase, each of the young man’s qualities is expected by the romantic field, and intensified by the girlfriends’ envying. A problem is signalled by then one day he said, and then going and won’t see are parts of ‘leaving’. Helena’s reactions include feelings (torn to pieces) and action (married to forget).  The ‘consequences’ phase again begins with a setting, of which learning for the first time is expected by meeting. Then as parts of the Truth and Reconciliation field, operating overseas expects not being punished. This time Helena’s reactions include saying (can’t explain), feeling hurt and bitter, and seeing what was left. Finally saw what was left expects a description, in which we have unpacked desire as ‘wanting’, must be told as ‘wanting to tell’, didn’t matter as ‘didn’t care’, and only a means to the truth as ‘only wanted to tell truth’. These are analysed as various processes of desire, which elaborate each other in this phase.

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, this misrepresents mere commentary as analysis.  As Halliday (1985: xvii) pointed out:
A discourse analysis that is not based on grammar is not an analysis at all, but simply a running commentary on a text … the exercise remains a private one in which one explanation is as good or as bad as another.
Moreover, Martin & Rose use the metaphor of 'expecting' to make (sometimes ludicrous) bare assertions masquerading as theoretical analysis:
  1. meeting, beginning to relate and marrying expect one another in a sequence;
  2. the romantic field expects each of the young man’s qualities;
  3. the girlfriends’ envying intensifies the young man’s qualities;
  4. meeting expects learning for the first time;
  5. operating overseas expects not being punished;
  6. saw what was left expects a description.
See a previous post for the authors' misunderstanding of the text in their unpacking of what they regard as metaphor.

Original Text:
My story begins in my late teenage years as a farm girl in the Bethlehem district of Eastern Free State. As an eighteen-year-old, I met a young man in his twenties. He was working in a top security structure. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We even spoke about marriage. A bubbly, vivacious man who beamed out wild energy. Sharply intelligent. Even if he was an Englishman, he was popular with all the 'Boer' Afrikaners. And all my girlfriends envied me. Then one day he said he was going on a 'trip'. 'We won't see each other again...maybe never ever again.’ I was torn to pieces. So was he. An extremely short marriage to someone else failed all because I married to forget. More than a year ago, I met my first love again through a good friend. I was to learn for the first time that he had been operating overseas and that he was going to ask for amnesty. I can’t explain the pain and bitterness in me when I saw what was left of that beautiful, big, strong person. He had only one desire - that the truth must come out. Amnesty didn't matter. It was only a means to the truth.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Misapplying Their Own Model Of Nuclear Relations [3]

Martin & Rose (2007: 107-9):

Blogger Comments:

To be clear, ignoring the theoretical problems with the Martin & Rose rebranding of Halliday & Matthiessen's (1999: 165-76) degrees of participation and involvement as nuclear relations, and ignoring their replacement of the metaphors in the original text, the following discrepancies between their model and their application of their model can be noted:

Clause Element
Martin & Rose Model
Martin & Rose Analysis
as a farm girl
peripheral
nuclear
in the Bethlehem district of Eastern Free State
peripheral
(omitted)
As an eighteen-year-old
peripheral
nuclear
with all the 'Boer' Afrikaners
peripheral
(omitted)
through a good friend
peripheral       
nuclear
for the first time
peripheral       
nuclear


Original Text:
My story begins in my late teenage years as a farm girl in the Bethlehem district of Eastern Free State. As an eighteen-year-old, I met a young man in his twenties. He was working in a top security structure. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We even spoke about marriage. A bubbly, vivacious man who beamed out wild energy. Sharply intelligent. Even if he was an Englishman, he was popular with all the 'Boer' Afrikaners. And all my girlfriends envied me. Then one day he said he was going on a 'trip'. 'We won't see each other again...maybe never ever again.’ I was torn to pieces. So was he. An extremely short marriage to someone else failed all because I married to forget. More than a year ago, I met my first love again through a good friend. I was to learn for the first time that he had been operating overseas and that he was going to ask for amnesty. I can’t explain the pain and bitterness in me when I saw what was left of that beautiful, big, strong person. He had only one desire - that the truth must come out. Amnesty didn't matter. It was only a means to the truth.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Misrepresenting A Text In Rewording Grammatical Metaphors

Martin & Rose (2007: 107-9):
These unpacking strategies are used in the following analysis, Table 3.6. 

Blogger Comments:

Original Text:
My story begins in my late teenage years as a farm girl in the Bethlehem district of Eastern Free State. As an eighteen-year-old, I met a young man in his twenties. He was working in a top security structure. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. We even spoke about marriage. A bubbly, vivacious man who beamed out wild energy. Sharply intelligent. Even if he was an Englishman, he was popular with all the 'Boer' Afrikaners. And all my girlfriends envied me. Then one day he said he was going on a 'trip'. 'We won't see each other again...maybe never ever again.’ I was torn to pieces. So was he. An extremely short marriage to someone else failed all because I married to forget. More than a year ago, I met my first love again through a good friend. I was to learn for the first time that he had been operating overseas and that he was going to ask for amnesty. I can’t explain the pain and bitterness in me when I saw what was left of that beautiful, big, strong person. He had only one desire - that the truth must come out. Amnesty didn't matter. It was only a means to the truth.
To be clear, the authors' "unpacking of metaphor" is merely the following rewordings:

Original Text
Rewordings By Martin & Rose
It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship
Helena and young man began relating beautifully
An extremely short marriage to someone else failed
Helena married someone else extremely briefly
he was going to ask for amnesty
the young man was going to ask not to be punished for his crimes
He had only one desire
the young man wanted only one thing
the truth must come out
the young man wanted to tell the truth
Amnesty didn't matter
the young man didn't care not to be punished
It was only a means to the truth
the young man only wanted to tell the truth

It can be seen that the final three rewordings misunderstand the original text, and include the unpacking of a technical term, amnesty, which is no longer metaphorical.  Moreover, in replacing the original wordings, Martin & Rose have misrepresented the text by ignoring the junctional quality of grammatical metaphor. Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 283):
However, we have shown that the metaphorical version is not simply a meaningless (i.e. synonymous) variant of some more congruent form; it is 'junctional' — that is, it embodies semantic features deriving from its own lexicogrammatical properties.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

On Grammatical Metaphor

Martin & Rose (2007: 107):
As with metaphor in general, grammatical metaphors are read on two levels at once, a grammatical meaning and a discourse semantic meaning, and this double meaning may have several dimensions. …
In technical and institutional fields, grammatical metaphors become naturalised as technical terms. It may not be necessary to unpack these, unless we are trying for pedagogic purposes to relate technical terms to everyday meanings. For example, amnesty could be unpacked in commonsense terms as ‘not punish for crimes.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, ideational grammatical metaphor involves a directional remapping of meaning onto wordingHalliday & Matthiessen (2014: 712-3):
… grammatical metaphor within the ideational metafunction involves a ‘re-mapping’ between sequences, figures and elements in the semantics and clause nexuses, clauses and groups in the grammar. In the congruent mode of realisation … a sequence is realised by a clause nexus and a figure is realised by a clause. In the metaphorical mode, the whole set of mappings seems to be shifted ‘downwards’: a sequence is realised by a clause, a figure is realised by a group, and an element is realised by a word.
Semantically, a metaphorical wording realises the junction of the meanings of the metaphorical and congruent wordings, such that, within the semantic stratum, the meaning of the congruent wording is realised by the meaning of the metaphorical wording. Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 288):
The correspondence that is construed through grammatical metaphor is an elaborating relationship: an identity is set up between two patterns … In this identity, the metaphorical term is the ‘Token’ and the congruent term is the ‘Value’ … The identity holds between the two configurations as a whole; but … the components of the configurations are also mapped one onto another …
The metaphorical relation is thus similar to inter-stratal realisation in that it construes a token–value type of relation. Here, however, the relation is intra-stratal: the identity holds between different meanings, not between meanings and wordings. The metaphor consists in relating different semantic domains of experience …
[2] To be clear, technical terms have lost their junction with more congruent agnates, and can no longer be unpacked.  Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 286):
Almost all technical terms start out as grammatical metaphors; but they are grammatical metaphors which can no longer be unpacked. When a wording becomes technicalised, a new meaning has been construed — almost always, in our present-day construction of knowledge, a new thing (participating entity); and the junction with any more congruent agnates is (more or less quickly) dissolved.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Misrepresenting New Information

Martin & Rose (2007: 107):
Nominalisations are a common form of grammatical metaphor. Reconstruing a process as a Thing has the twin advantage that i) Things can be classified and described with the rich resources of nominal group lexis, including many kinds of evaluation, and ii) the nominalised process and its qualities can be presented as the starting point or end point of the clause, as its Theme or New information.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, not all nominalisations are metaphorical; see, for example, Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 286) on technical terms.

[2] To be clear, the "rich resources" of the grammatical unit nominal group, including 'evaluations', are grammatical. Lexis is specified by the most delicate features of lexicogrammatical systems.

[3] This is misleading, because it is untrue. To be clear,
  • information is not a system of the clause,
  • any element of a clause can be highlighted as New information, not just the 'end point', 
  • more than one element of a clause may be highlighted as New information, 
  • there may no element of a clause highlighted as New information, and
  • nominalisation is not a prerequisite for highlighting information as New.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Reducing All Grammatical Metaphor To Elemental Metaphor


Martin & Rose (2007: 106-7):
Difficulties arise when processes are nominalised so that activities are coded as if they were things. An example is the nominal group the beginning of a beautiful relationship, in which the activity of two people relating to each other is nominalised as the Thing relationship, and so too is the phasing of this activity, as the Focus the beginning of... Halliday describes such patterns as grammatical metaphors, in which a semantic category such as a process is realised by an atypical grammatical class such as a noun, instead of a verb. In order to analyse such nominalisations in activity sequences, we can unpack them back to the processes from which they are derived, as follows:

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, by 'activity' here, Martin & Rose mean 'process'.  The problem with the term 'activity' is that it takes a material perspective on all processes.  Clearly, other process types, which are not activities, such as the 'relational' and 'existential', can also be "coded as if they were things" (possession, existence).

[2] To be clear, inceptive time-phase is realised grammatically at group rank as a relation of elaboration between verbal groups in a complex (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014: 569).

[3] To be clear, the term 'Focus' is the authors' rebranding of Halliday's 'extended Numerative', though applied by them (inconsistently) to nominal groups where Thing and Head are not conflated; see Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 390-6). 

[4] To be clear, this reduces grammatical metaphor to one type: the elemental (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999: 244-9). More broadly, ideational grammatical metaphor involves a directional remapping of meaning and wording. Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 712-3):
… grammatical metaphor within the ideational metafunction involves a ‘re-mapping’ between sequences, figures and elements in the semantics and clause nexuses, clauses and groups in the grammar. In the congruent mode of realisation … a sequence is realised by a clause nexus and a figure is realised by a clause. In the metaphorical mode, the whole set of mappings seems to be shifted ‘downwards’: a sequence is realised by a clause, a figure is realised by a group, and an element is realised by a word.

[5] To be clear, in this instance of grammatical metaphor, a semantic figure is realised by a nominal group serving as Identifier/Value of the clause It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

When A Sequence Of Activities Is Neither An Activity Sequence Nor A Series Of Events

Martin & Rose (2007: 106):
 
In this text, activities are taxonomically related by part or class; goannas are first classified as hunters, and the activities run, climb, swim are implicitly construed as components of hunting. But there is no implied series of events, rather the sequence is expected by the field of animal behaviours, and the descriptive report genre, so that feeding behaviours are expected by hunting behaviours, followed by breeding behaviours.


Blogger Comments:

Reminder:
All goannas are daytime hunters, They run, climb and swim well. Goannas hunt small mammals, birds and other reptiles, They also eat dead animals. Smaller goannas eat insects, spiders and worms. Male goannas fight with each other in the breeding season. Females lay between two and twelve eggs.
[1] As noted in the preceding post, the taxonomic relations between Processes that Martin & Rose propose in this analysis do not withstand close scrutiny.

[2] To be clear, Martin & Rose claim that this text involves 'activities' and a 'sequence', but not an 'activity sequence' on the grounds that there is no implied 'series of events'.

[3] To be clear, goannas are classified as 'daytime hunters', and this class membership is construed by the attributive clause.

[4] To be clear, this misunderstands the text.  The processes run, climb and swim are not construed as parts of 'hunting' any more than they are construed as parts of 'escaping predators'.  The point made in the text is that they do such things well.

[5] To be clear, fields and genres do not expect anything, because they are not conscious beings.  If this misleading metaphor is unpacked, then the claim is that people who are familiar with the field of animal behaviours and people who are familiar with report genres expect the sequence of activities — as opposed to an activity sequence or series of events — in the text.

While it may be true that people who are familiar with the field may have such expectations, it is less likely to be true of people who are merely familiar with report genres; but, more importantly, the expectations of readers are irrelevant to what the author of the text actually wrote.  Text analysis is the analysis of text.

[6] To be clear, the authors' claim here is that 'hunting behaviours' expect 'feeding behaviours' followed by 'breeding behaviours'.  A sympathetic unpacking of this incongruous metaphor might be that people who are familiar with the field of animal behaviour and people who are familiar with report genres expect the sequence — but not 'activity sequence' or 'series of events' — 'hunting, feeding, breeding'.

However, people who are actually familiar with animal behaviour know that most hunts are unsuccessful and are thus not followed by feeding, and that feeding is a frequent activity that is only rarely followed by breeding (during the mating season).

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Misapplying Their Own Model Of Nuclear Relations [2]


Martin & Rose (2007: 105-6):
Some texts or text phases consist of activities but do not construe activity sequences; rather their primary function is classifying and describing. An example is the behaviour phase of the Goannas report above. A nuclear and activity analysis for this phase is displayed in Table 3.5. The central column includes both Process and Range:class/part. The nuclear column to the left includes both Agent in effective clauses and Medium in non-effective clauses, while the nuclear column to the right includes Range:entity/quality. 


Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, the claim here is that the text in question construes activities, but does not construe activity sequences, despite the fact that the text consists of a sequence of activities, and despite the fact that Martin & Rose analyse the taxonomic relations between 'central' elements of different activities, as they do for activity sequences.

[2] For clarification, the text is:
All goannas are daytime hunters, They run, climb and swim well. Goannas hunt small mammals, birds and other reptiles, They also eat dead animals. Smaller goannas eat insects, spiders and worms. Male goannas fight with each other in the breeding season. Females lay between two and twelve eggs.
[3] To be clear, the 'central' column omits the attributive Process of the first 'activity' are, and includes the Manner circumstance well, which in the authors' scheme is peripheral (in the verbal group).  Moreover, it makes false claims about the relations between its elements, specifically that:
  • there is a part-whole relation between daytime hunters and run, climb and swim well;
  • there is a part-whole relation between run, climb and swim well and hunt;
  • the material Processes hunt and eat are co-hyponyms of 'behaviour';
  • the material Processes eat and fight are co-hyponyms of 'behaviour';
  • the material Processes fight and lay are co-hyponyms of 'behaviour'.

[4] To be clear, the agency of the clause, effective or middle, was not presented as a factor in determining the nuclearity of elements.  Moreover, in the authors' own scheme (p95), Agents (Goannas, They, Smaller goannas, Females) are marginal, not nuclear.

[5] To be clear, there are no instances of Range:entity/quality in the the right-hand 'nuclear' column.  As the analysis below shows, the only element that is not a Medium is the Accompaniment circumstance, which, on the authors' scheme, is peripheral, not nuclear.

All goannas
are
daytime hunters
Medium Carrier
Process
Range Attribute
nuclear
central
central

They
run, climb and swim
well
Medium Actor
Process
Manner: quality
nuclear
central
peripheral

Goannas
hunt
small mammals, birds and other reptiles
Agent Actor
Process
Medium Goal
marginal
central
nuclear

They
also
eat
dead animals
Agent Actor

Process
Medium Goal
marginal

central
nuclear

Smaller goannas
eat
insects, spiders and worms
Agent Actor
Process
Medium Goal
marginal
central
nuclear

Male goannas
fight
with each other
in the breeding season
Medium Actor
Process
Accompaniment: comitative
Location
nuclear
central
peripheral
peripheral

Females
lay
between two and twelve eggs
Agent Actor
Process
Medium Goal
marginal
central
nuclear

Ignoring all the misunderstandings and inconsistencies in the authors' nuclear relations model, as previously identified, if they had analysed the text using their own model, it would have looked as follows:

marginal
central
nuclear
peripheral

are
All goannas

daytime hunters

run, climb and swim
They
well
Goannas
hunt
small mammals, birds and other reptiles

They
eat
dead animals

Smaller goannas
eat
insects, spiders and worms


fight
Male goannas
with each other
in the breeding season
Females
lay
between two and twelve eggs