“ systemic” = a network of systems, or interrelated sets of options for making meanings.
“ formal grammar” = focuses on compositional semantics, syntax and word classes.
“ functional grammar” = contextualized practical uses to which language is put.
The choices the grammar makes available to speakers and writers.
Speaker’s and writer’s INTENTIONS
Collection of rules (FORMAL)
Semantic system (FUNCTIONAL)
SFL = analysis of authentic products of social interaction, within a particular social and cultural context.
Application of SFL
“ To understand the quality of texts: why a text mean what it does, and why it is valued as it is”
(Michael Halliday, 1992)
“ A system of meanings that constitutes the ‘reality’ of the culture.”
(Halliday, 1978: 123).
To interpret language within a sociocultural context .
Systemic Functional Grammar
Functional in three senses:
- Grammar is designed to explain
how language is used.
- Fundamental components of meaning are functional components.
- Each element of language is explained by making reference to its function in the global linguistic system.
“ How are these meanings expressed?”
A functional grammar works the other way round, in that a language is interpreted as a system of meanings accompanied by the forms through which those meanings are expressed.
Forms of language
As a means to an end , rather than
as the end
Fundamental concepts in systemic functional grammar
rank = the scale of grammatical units, i.e., a clause complex is composed of one or more clauses.
constituency = the structural organization of the clause and to how clauses are composed of several parts.
system = a collection of two or more opposed options, from which one (and only one) can be chosen.
Systemic theory is a theory of meaning as choice, language as a network of options that are interrelated .
A text is ‘ what is meant ’.
TEXT can be defined as actualized meaning potential (always understood within the situation in which it is framed and the most logical and natural unit inside the text is the clause).
Systemic Functional Grammar is intended to analyze text, any text, written or spoken , in modern English.
Halliday and Hasan (1976: 1):
“ The word text is used in linguistics to refer to any passage, spoken or written, of whatever length, that does form a unified whole .” (from a proverb to a whole play )
A text is a unit of language in use . It is not a grammatical unit, such as a clause, and it is not defined by its size. A text has to be understood as a semantic unit , i.e., as a unit of meaning and not as a formal unit: “A text does not consist of sentences; it is realized by, or encoded in, sentences.
(Halliday & Hasan, 1976: 2).
Reasons to analyze a text
To understand the relationship between:
* language and culture.
* language and situation.
For that, we have to understand the text and its meaning.
Study of the system of language.
To understand better the text or discourse - what people say, write, listen or read.
Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG)
It interprets language as interrelated sets of options for making meaning and seeks to provide a clear relationship between functions and grammatical systems
A text, spoken or written, from a functional point of view, is:
“ A harmonious collection of meaning appropriate to its context”
(Butt, et al., 2000).
(Droga & Humphrey, 2002) :
The specific situations within the sociocultural environment. The broad sociocultural environment, which includes ideology, social conventions and institutions. Context of situation Context of culture
CONTEXT (Three aspects)
CONTEXT FIELD TENOR MODE
Field refers to what is to be talked or written about.
Tenor is the relationship between the speaker and listener or the writer and reader.
Mode refers to the channel of communication.
Semiotics , also called semiotic studies or (in the Saussurean tradition) semiology , is the study of signs and sign processes ( semiosis ), indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.
SEMIOTICS: three branches
Semantics : Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata , or meaning.
Syntactics : Relations among signs in formal structures.
Pragmatics : Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them.
Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.
The transmission of meaning depends not only on the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener, but also on the context of the utterance , knowledge about the status of those involved , the inferred intent of the speaker , and so on.
Written and spoken texts can be examined with respect to each of these metafunctions in register analyses:
* Ideational metafunction.
* Interpersonal metafunction.
* Textual metafunction.
Divided into two: experiential and logical metafunctions.
The experiential metafunction organises our experience and understanding of the world.
The logical metafunction works above the experiential. It organises our reasoning on the basis of our experience.
The ideational metafunction relates to the field aspects of a text, or its subject matter and context of use.
The interpersonal metafunction relates to a text's aspects of tenor or interactivity.
Tenor comprises three component areas: the speaker/writer persona, social distance, and relative social status.
The textual metafunction relates to mode ; the internal organisation and communicative nature of a text.
This comprises textual interactivity, spontaneity and communicative distance.
ANALYSIS of CONTEXT
Field: what is happening, the nature of the social interaction taking place: what is it that the participants are engaged in.
Tenor: who is taking part; the social roles and relationships of participant, the status and roles of the participants
Mode: the symbolic organization of the text, rhetorical modes (persuasive, expository, didactic, etc); the channel of communication, such as spoken/written, monologic/dialogic, +/- visual contact, computer-mediated communication/telephone/F2F, etc.