The Thought Occurs

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Deconstructing Martin's "Commitment Of Meaning"

1. commit = do (see below)

to commit

In this usage, to commit meaning is simply to mean.
To commit more meaning is simply to mean more;
to commit less meaning is simply to mean less.

What 'more' and 'less' mean in this usage depends on which of the (unidentified) dimensions of SFL theory are being referred to.  For example,

expansion: more elaborated, extended or enhanced meaning;
specificity: more specific or more general meaning (not to be confused with delicacy);
abstraction: more abstract or concrete meaning;
and so on.

2. commit = pledge or bind (see below)

It is this sense of commit that, at first glance, seems to push to commit meaning beyond the mere sense of to mean.  However, as can be seen from the usages below, if this were the case, the form would be along the lines of to commit oneself to (a) meaning.

verb: commit; 3rd person present: commits; past tense: committed; past participle:committed; gerund or present participle: committing
  1. 1.
    perpetrate or carry out (a mistake, crime, or immoral act).
    "he committed an uncharacteristic error"
    synonyms:carry out, doperformperpetrate, engage in, enactexecuteeffect,accomplishMore
  2. 2.
    pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy.
    "they were reluctant to commit themselves to an opinion"
    synonyms:pledgedevoteapplygivededicatebindobligate More
  3. 3.
    transfer something to (a state or place where it can be kept or preserved).
    "he composed a letter but didn't commit it to paper"
    • consign (someone) officially to prison, especially on remand.
      "he was committed to prison for contempt of court"
      synonyms:consignassignsenddeliverconfine More
    • send (a person or case) for trial in a higher court.
      "the magistrate decided to commit him for trial"
    • send (someone) to be confined in a psychiatric hospital.
      "you guys would have had me committed"
      synonyms:hospitalizeconfineinstitutionalize, put away, lock away, lock up;More
    • refer (a parliamentary or legislative bill) to a committee.