Monday, 6 April 2015

David Rose On 'Semantics Instantiating Grammar'

The main problem with your argument is that it hinges on this partial quoting of me
in (b), semantics is 'merely instantiating grammar systems in text’
This section of my analysis actually discussed ‘discourse semantic systems’ not ‘semantics'
The models differ in their view of discourse semantic systems, such as conjunction, ideation, appraisal 
In a) discourse semantic systems are not possible, as semantics is consumed with grammatical functions, in b) they merely instantiate grammar systems in texts, In c) grammatical structures realise higher rank functions, but structure and function are properties of both grammatical and semantic strata

Blogger Comments:

[1] Semantics does not instantiate grammar, regardless of whether Rose is discussing semantics or 'discourse semantic systems'.  Instantiation is the relation between system and instance, not the relation between strata, such as semantics and grammar.

Using the verb 'instantiate' is problematic, because it does not serve as an attributive Process, and instantiation is an attributive relation.  Rose's use of the verb results in a construal of discourse semantic systems as less abstract, a lower stratum, than grammar systems:

discourse semantic systems
grammar systems
in texts

Process: identifying

[2] The 'discourse semantic systems' conjunction and ideation are Martin's (1992) rebranding of two of Halliday's lexicogrammatical resources of cohesion: conjunction and lexical cohesion (see Halliday & Matthiessen 2004: 524ff).  Martin took Halliday's textual lexicogrammatical systems and reconstrued them as ideational systems — conjunction is logical, ideation is experiential — on a higher stratum of content.  Doing so violated the meaning of both stratification and metafunction.

[3] Appraisal is a genuine interpersonal semantic system realised in, and construed by, the lexicogrammar.  Viewed from below, it lies within evaluation, between grammar and lexis.  Halliday (2008: 49):
With options in the way something is evaluated (“I approve / I disapprove”) or contended (“I agree / I disagree”), the borderline between grammar and lexis is shaded over; systems of appraisal, as described by Martin & White (2005), represent more delicate (more highly differentiated options within the general region of evaluation.

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