Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Basic Choices In Identification

Martin & Rose (2007: 157):
In simple terms then, what we see here are a range of resources for introducing participants into a discourse and for keeping track of them once there. We can express this as a set of choices, first between introducing participants and tracking them; and second, within tracking, between pronouns, names, and entities with ‘the’. These choices are shown in Figure 5.1. (Note that this is not drawn as a system network, as we need to expand the discussion before we’re ready to draw the system for identification.)

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, 'introducing participants into a discourse' is a speaker projecting experiential meaning, whereas 'keeping track of them once there' is a listener (or text linguist) processing the experiential meanings projected by the speaker.

[2] To be clear, this confuses what speakers do (introducing participants) with what listeners do (tracking participants in the speaker's text) and presents the confusion as choices of the speaker.

[3] To be clear, this confuses reference items (pronouns, 'the'), which serve a textual function, with experiential meanings (names, entities).

It will be seen in the posts that follow that Martin's model of identification ('the semantics of reference') confuses the referent, as experiential meaning, with the reference item that makes a textually cohesive relation. This results in each reference chain involving relations between referents — as experiential meanings — rather than involving textually cohesive relations between reference items and their referents.

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