Wednesday, 26 September 2018

David Rose On "The Attributive Nucleus"

The answer lies in their orbital (nucleus/margin/periphery) structuring. David Banks semantically re-interpeted the attributive nucleus (us + into this/ us + out) as a ‘result’ of the attributing agency (I got/gonna get), which is marginal (IFG pp350, 211, Martin 1996, Working with Discourse §3.3). 
Agency in English grammar is potentially recursive…
they made me get us into this
But 'us + into this’ remains the attributive nucleus (Medium/Carrier + Range/Attribute) … 
It's intriguing to see the intricacies of meaning made by the grammar itself.

Blogger Comments:

[1] To be clear, the answer to a transitivity question depends on the ability to understand and apply transitivity theory.  The 'orbital structuring' Rose refers to is Martin's misunderstanding of Halliday's clause nuclearity, rebranded and relocated to Martin's ill-conceived discourse semantic stratum.
  • For the misunderstandings of clause nuclearity in Martin (1992), see the relevant posts in the critique of Chapter 5 here.
  • For the misunderstandings of clause nuclearity in Martin & Rose (2007), see the relevant posts in the critique of Chapter 3 here.
  • For some of the reasons why Martin's discourse semantic stratum is ill-conceived, see Why The Argument For A 'Discourse' Semantic Stratum Is Invalid.
[2] See the previous post for the theoretical misunderstanding that invalidates Banks' analysis.

[3] To be clear, Banks' clause analysis was presented as grammatical, not semantic.

[4] On the one hand, this is deeply misleading, since it falsely implies that Rose's statement is consistent with Halliday ± Matthiessen (1985, 1994, 2004, 2014), and thereby endorsed by them.  On the other hand, it is a poor bluff, since neither of the cited pages — in any edition — says anything at all about clause nuclearity.

[5] To be clear, the discussion of nuclear relations in Working With Discourse (Martin & Rose 2007) is §3.4.  The concern of §3.3 is taxonomic relations, which is Halliday & Hasan's lexical cohesion misunderstood, rebranded and relocated by Martin from textual lexicogrammar to experiential discourse semantics.

[6] To be clear, according to Martin (1992: 319) and Martin & Rose (2007: 95), it is Range: entity that is said to be within the nucleus.  The prepositional phrase into this, interpreted as a circumstantial Attribute, does not function as Range: entity.  Circumstances, on the other hand, are said (ibid.) to be located at the periphery.

For the original, theoretically consistent model of clause nuclearity, see Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 348):

[7] To be clear, making meaning is semogenesis, and it involves all strata.   In SFL theory, grammar (wording) realises meaning (semantics).  This confusion between semogenesis and stratification derives from Martin (1992); see for example:
On the other hand, in SFL theory, the grammar not only realises meaning, it construes (intellectually constructs) it.  That is, it is the grammar that makes possible the sorts of meanings that language can make.  Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 603-4):
The central meaning-making resource in language — its "content plane" — is stratified into two systems: that of lexicogrammar, and that of semantics. The semantic system is the 'outer' layer, the interface where experience is transformed into meaning. The 'inner' layer is the grammar, which masterminds the way this transformation takes place.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

David Banks Conflating Participant And Circumstance

Alternatively (and I think I would prefer this), one could think of this as being some sort of physical action which resulted in our being in this situation. This would give something like:
us into this
Material process

'm gonna get
us out
Material process

Blogger Comments:

[1] Trivially, this flouts the descriptive convention of capitalising the function, Process, rather than its subtype, material.

[2] This conflates participant (us) and circumstance (into thisout) into a circumstance of Cause: result, realised by a nominal group.  On a material reading of such clauses, the conflation is of Goal and Location.  (On a relational reading, the conflation is of Carrier and locative Attribute.)

Interestingly, the conflation arises from confusing result, in the sense of a type of circumstance, with the (locative) outcome of a material Process; see Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 225-36).

As a consequence, both clauses are misinterpreted as intransitive instead of transitive, and the Actor as Medium instead of Agent.