Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Implicitly Endorsing Serious Misunderstandings Of Theory: Martin's Internal Conjunctive Relations

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 41):
The orientation towards tenor is thus likely to be reflected in the semantic organisation of texts operating in ‘recommending’ and ‘exploring’ contexts in the use of fairly global internal relations – called internal conjunctive relations (see Halliday & Hasan, 1976; Martin, 1992) or internal rhetorical relations (see Mann & Matthiessen, 1991).

Blogger Comment:

Ethically, this is another Lie of Omission that undermines both the learning and development of the theory in the community.

Here, the significant omission here is that Martin (1992) does not understand the distinction between internal and external conjunctive relations, as demonstrated here.

The reason why this undermines the learning, and therefore the development, of Systemic Functional Linguistic theory is that, for the newcomer and the less theoretically-oriented, it functions as an endorsement of work whose inconsistencies derive from misunderstandings of Halliday's theory. This affects the brighter students all the more, since they will be able to see the inconsistencies, but risk internalising them as failures of their own understanding, thereby undermining their confidence with regard to theory.

In terms of academic practice, and intellectual integrity, citing poor work, merely because it is work purported to be done within the SFL framework, owes more to the nepotism of organisations like the Freemasons than to a scientific approach to theory-building.

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