Saturday, 24 December 2016

Relating Mode To Orientations Of Language To Field And Tenor

Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 38):
However, we can relate these particular categories [of rhetorical mode] to the orientation of the text (i) towards the field of the situation, (ii) towards the tenor or (iii) towards some mixture of both.

Blogger Comment:

Note that this new addition to IFG by Halliday's reviser, Matthiessen, misrepresents the stratificational relation between context and language.

The relation between an instance of language (text) and an instance of context (situation) is realisation, which is a subtype (symbolic identity) of an intensive identifying (Token-Value) relation. 

an instance of language
the field, tenor and mode of its situation
Process: intensive

'Orientation', on the other hand, means the alignment or positioning of something relative to other specified positions.  An alignment relation between a Token and a Value is circumstantial (spatio-temporal), not intensive.

an instance of language
the field and tenor of its situation
Process: circumstantial: spatio-temporal

Consequently, the spatio-temporal relation of 'orientation' — like other circumstantial relations, such as cause — is inconsistent with the theoretical meaning of stratification.