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


    Interesting, but no one on the RST list seems to have replied to the original email. 

    In any case, I was thinking that a slight amount of editing that slightly tempered your concerns and brought Matthiessen in (and what you write below seems ideal) might be of interest and help. So I will edit along the lines you mention.


> On Apr 18, 2017, at  4:05 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> OK, Ed. Can I ask you to edit some of my awful writing? I mean, just clear
> away phrases like "there are some not so well known indicators" and "our
> author doesn't clear away any of this" where I try to imitate what I am
> criticizing. I think that's not very helpful for RST people. I am not very
> even tempered when I write these days (I've had eighteen rejections in one
> year and I need acceptances in order to finish my PhD!)
> Note that all this is pretty elementary for people who know RST. I doubt if
> they will be impressed. Here is something that's rather more impressive.
> In Matthiessen's "systemic-functionally flavoured" RST, he has three kinds
> of expansion:
> a) elaboration: that is, "e.g., "i.e.", "in other words" (=)
> b) extension: "moreover", "furthermore", "in addition" (+)
> c) enhancement: a very large category including reason, result, manner,
> means, time, space: "so", "because", "in a way", "by way of", "meanwhile",
> "elsewhere". (x, /, etc.)
> Now, you might think that is a developmental order, because there seems to
> be more semantic distance created in c) than in a).
> Not a bit of it! In my data on oral presentations, the novices prefer c)
> and the experts do a). Not only that, but BOTH novices and experts seem to
> start out doing c) when they prepare and end up dong a) when they are ready.
> Why?
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:11 AM, Edward Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:
>> 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/
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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