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[Xmca-l] Re: [Rstlist] RST versus issue trees?



David

     I apologize in taking so long in getting back to this; my email account has been essentially inaccessible for a week.

    Thanks for this analysis! I will pass it on.

Ed

> On Apr 12, 2017, at  4:48 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Ed:
> 
> What happens to an "issue tree" when a branch breaks, either because the
> wind is too strong or the branch is too long? Here are some
> non-metaphorical examples of what I mean, taken directly from the links you
> provided:
> 
> "There are some well known indicators that expressed thought has a
> branching structure. The outline, for example, and the nesting of blog
> comments are both tree structures. There are also various so-called “mind
> mapping” techniques. My discovery is that this structure is precise, well
> defined and universal.Actually it is not quite this simple because
> sometimes a statement will refer to a body of prior statements rather that
> a single one, but that is an advanced topic. The real question is, how is
> this useful to know?"
> 
> There are some not very well known indicators that the author is being a
> sloppy thinker here. For example, an outline is actually a list. It can be
> nested, but it isn't always. And nesting isn't always an example of
> branching structure (it's usually an example of embedding, which is
> something quite different). "Mind-mapping" can include branching
> and nesting, but the original idea was that it was supposed to include
> everything, whether connected or not, and then you clear away things that
> are not connected.
> 
> Our author doesn't clear away any of this. To his credit, though, he does
> hesitate a little over the sheer audacity of "My discovery...".  But then
> he provides us with the classic business-school fake-out: I know the
> answer, but it's too advanced for you; it's for my high-paying customers.
> Here's a question you Art of the Deal 101 types really WILL care about: how
> can I USE this? Since we are not business school types, but academics, we
> might consider this as his answer:
> 
> "For some time I have been working on a basic model of scientific progress
> (or, since “progress” is a value-loaded term, a model of how science
> progresses)."
> 
> Now, you can see that the material in parentheses is indeed an answer to a
> question which the imaginary interlocutor might have about the first
> clause, to wit:
> 
> "What the hell do you mean, progress? You call this progress?"
> 
> We shall leave aside, for the moment, the naïve assumption that words like
> "model", "scientific", "working", and even "for some time" are not value
> loaded in precisely the same way. You can certainly see that his idea
> that turning a noun into a verb makes it less value-loaded is risible.
> 
> I think RST is a much more serious approach, Ed. The problem that David
> Wojick is TRYING to address with his sloppy thinking is a key one: it's
> Vygotsky's genetic law ""How does communication lead to
> co-generalization?"), the problem Bernstein raised ("How does the outside
> become the inside?" which is actually a NON-dualist question), and an
> essential problem of speech development in children ("How does dialogue
> become narrative, in artistic thinking, and how do verbalized perceptions
> give rise to hierarchies of invisible concepts"?).
> 
> So for example:
> 
> a)
> 
> BEAST: "I'm ugly."
> BELLA: "Yes, you are. But you are gentle."
> 
> 
> b)
> 
> BEAST: "I'm ugly, but I'm gentle.
> 
> 
> c)
> 
> BEAST: "Despite my ugliness (for all ill-proportioned countenance), I am
> capable of tenderness."
> 
> Now, you can see that something has turned into something else (a turn has
> become a clause, and a clause has become a nominalization). You can see
> this is related to the formation of concepts that can be taxonomized,
> classified, and made volitionally accessible. But you can also see that
> describing exactly how it happens requires a grammatical model, and not
> just a set of Trump U. truisms.
> 
> That's why Christian Matthiessen combined the original RST (which he
> collaborated on with Bill Mann) with systemic functional grammar. What's
> really happening here is grammatical metaphor. Just as a "tree" is a
> LEXICAL metaphor for branching in dialogue, a nominalization becomes a
> GRAMMATICAL metaphor for a clause. This grammatical metaphor is what
> Vygotsky really means when he says that "word meaning develops".
> 
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 3:17 AM, Edward Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:
> 
>> David
>> 
>>     You have, perhaps, thought about this far more than I.  Any comments.
>> 
>> Ed
>> 
>> 
>>> Begin forwarded messagexc
>>> 
>>> From: David Wojick <dwojick@craigellachie.us>
>>> Subject: [Rstlist] RST versus issue trees?
>>> Date: April 12, 2017 at 11:46:09 AM CDT
>>> To: rstlist@listserv.linguistlist.org
>>> 
>>> 
>>> My interest in the RST list is that I have developed a method that does
>> something like RST, but is different, so I want to discuss it with the RST
>> group. It is called the issue tree.
>>> See https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/07/10/the-
>> issue-tree-structure-of-expressed-thought/
>>> 
>>> My impression is that RST (about which I know little) is based on a
>> relatively small constructed taxonomy of relations between "spans" of text.
>> See http://www.sfu.ca/rst/01intro/intro.html for a listing of these
>> relations.
>>> 
>>> Issue tree theory has no such taxonomy. It is based on the following
>> fundamental observation:
>>> 
>>> With certain important exceptions, every sentence in a text (except the
>> first) is answering a specific question posed to a specific prior sentence.
>>> 
>>> Thus the set of relations between sentences is the set of all possible
>> questions. The tree structure occurs because more than one question can be
>> asked of a given sentence and this frequently occurs. The questions are
>> often quite simple, such as how?, why?, such as?, what evidence?, etc.
>>> 
>>> For example consider this string of sentences: We have to go. The cops
>> are coming. Use the back door.
>>> 
>>> The second sentence is answering the question why? of the first, while
>> the third sentence is answering the question how? of the first. This is a
>> simple issue tree.
>>> 
>>> Note that these are reasoning relations, not rhetorical relations.
>>> 
>>> When there are many sentences, as in a journal article, the issue tree
>> can be difficult to grasp just by reading the string of sentences. Here the
>> issue tree diagram becomes useful. One can see the reasoning. One can also
>> measure it in various useful ways.
>>> 
>>> Also the RST analysis looks to be applicable only to individual
>> documents, while any set of documents on a given topic will have a unique
>> combined issue tree structure. Moreover, the issue tree can be scaled to
>> show just the reasoning relations between documents rather than sentences.
>> Let's say we have 400 recent journal articles on a given topic, which is a
>> fairly typical number. An issue tree diagram of a few thousand nodes could
>> show the collective reasoning that ties this corpus together. The state of
>> the reasoning, as it were. The technology is pretty powerful.
>>> 
>>> I welcome your thoughts.
>>> 
>>> David
>>> 
>>> David Wojick, Ph.D.
>>> https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/author/dwojick/
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Rstlist mailing list
>>> Rstlist@listserv.linguistlist.org
>>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/rstlist
>> 
>>