The Thought Occurs

Friday, 21 October 2016

Errors In 'Working With Discourse' (Martin & Rose 2003) — [2]

Martin & Rose (2003: 75):
But there are processes of sensing that can project.  These include processes like 'seeing', 'hearing', 'thinking' and 'feeling':
I heard he was working
I saw that he was leaving 
I forgot whether he left
I was to learn that he had been operating overseas 
I didn't want him to leave
I wish he wouldn't go

Blogger Comments:

The only processes of sensing that can project other figures are those of thinking (cognition) and desiring (desideration).  Here Martin & Rose misconstrue desiring as feeling (emotion), and falsely claim that processes of perceiving (perception) can project.  The 'perceiving' examples do involve projections (metaphenomena), but these are not projected into semiotic existence by the perceiving process.


[[he was working]]
Process: mental: perceptive

[[that he was leaving]]
Process: mental: perceptive

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 137-8):
Sensing projects ideas into existence; the projection may take place either through cognition or through desideration, for example:

I just thought —> I’d tell you that I’d appreciate it.
I think —> I’ll give it up.
They want —> me to crawl down on my bended knees.
Thus the idea ‘I’ll give it up’ is created by the process of thinking; it does not exist prior to the beginning of that process.  Similarly, the idea ‘me to crawl on my bended knees’ is brought into hypothetical existence by the process of wanting.  In contrast, perceptive and emotive types of sensing cannot project ideas into existence.  That is, ideas do not arise as a result as a result of someone seeing, hearing, rejoicing, worrying, grieving or the like.  However, these two types of sensing may accommodate pre-existing projections, i.e. facts, for instance:

It assures me [[that I am as I think myself to be, that I am fixed, concrete]].
I was impressed, more or less at that point, by an intuition [[that he possessed a measure of sincerity the like of which I had never encountered]].
We heard [[that you kindly let rooms for gentlemen]].
Thus ‘that I am fixed, concrete’ is construed as something already projected (hence we could add assures me of the fact that) and this fact brings about the emotion of assurance.

Note again that this is the ideational semantics of Halliday & Matthiessen (1999), not the discourse semantics of Martin (1992), and that, contrary to the claim that discourse semantics is concerned with meaning 'beyond the clause', the discourse analysis of Martin & Rose does not go beyond the meaning that is realised by the clause grammar.

Postscript: It has since been found that there are so many egregious errors in Working With Discourse that a blog has been established — see here — in order to undo as much of the damage as possible.