Thursday, 13 February 2014

David Rose On The Projection Of Meaning And Wording

David Rose 18:17 to sys-func:
What Im asking is for help in seeing blindspots in my own reasoning 
E.g. my interpretation of 'Meaning is construed in the linguistic system as a whole' is that meaning is construed in relations between systemic potentials and instantiated structures at all ranks and strata of the linguistic system
From that perspective, restricting 'meaning' to one stratum and 'wording' to another sounds more like the folk model, as in 'what's that (word) mean?' or 'can you say that (meaning) in other words?' 
Similarly, construing hypotactic ideas as 'meaning' vs paratactic locutions as 'wording' resembles the folk model in which thoughts pre-exist the words that express them
This model is repeated throughout IFG3 section 7.5 on projection, with analogues from the folk model, such as cartoons, as in Fig 7-20. As far as I can see, none of the description of the grammar of projection depends on this model (the description of 'Reporting speech, quoting thought' explicitly contradicts it), but the model appears to have the same status of linguistic fact as the grammatical description
My difficulty is that I can't see the evidence in the grammar that 'in the case of a wording, where a phenomenon of experience is construed first as a meaning and then in turn as a wording'... that 'A wording is, as it were, twice cooked.' (p451) 
Can anyone else?

Blogger Comments:

Blindspot [1] is more in theoretical understanding, than reasoning. In the technical sense, there are no "instantiated structures". Instantiation is a relation between the system of potential and an instance of a system (i.e. actualised feature selections and realisation statements of a system of potential). Axially, a system is paradigmatic, a structure is syntagmatic.  The relation between system and structure is realisation, not instantiation, as explained previously here here and here.

Blindspot [2] is, again, more in theoretical understanding, than reasoning. The theoretical purpose of the stratification hierarchy is to parcel out the complexity of language into different orders of symbolic abstraction.  The strata, as different levels of abstraction, are different angles, or vantage points, on a single phenomenon (language).  They are not, for example, analogous to geological strata; they are not modules.

Blindspot [3] is, again, more in theoretical understanding, than reasoning. As levels of symbolic abstraction, strata are not ordered in time: higher strata do not precede lower strata.  The relation between strata, realisation, as the term 'realise' suggests, is an intensive identifying relation; it is not a temporal circumstantial identifying relation.

Blindspot [4] is as much in reasoning as in theoretical understanding. Halliday and Matthiessen's discussion of 'Reporting Speech, Quoting Thought' (2004: 453-7) does indeed contradict Rose's misreading that the level of projected content, meaning or wording, depends on the mode of projection, hypotactic or paratactic, rather than the level of projection, sensing or saying. This would have led most other readers to question their own grasp of the material.  (In reporting speech, a wording is presented as a meaning (op cit: 453), and in quoting thought, a meaning is presented as a wording (op cit: 456).

Blindspot [5] is more in epistemological understanding, than reasoning. Linguistic 'facts' are the data that are modelled, not the models themselves.  For example, in biology, the Theory of Natural Selection is not a fact; the data of evolution are the facts and the theory is an attempt to account for them.

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