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Functional linguistics

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  1. 1. FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS BY Sehrish Naudhani
  2. 2. Claims • Four main theoretical claims about language: 1. That language use is functional 2. That its function is to make meanings 3. That these meanings are influenced by the social and cultural context in which they are exchanged 4. That the process of using language is a semiotic process, a process of making meanings by choosing For Example: • The conative function is manifested directly in "Go answer the door" and indirectly in "The doorbell rang" (which is equivalent to "Go answer the door").
  3. 3. Language use in context • Exactly what dimensions of context have an impact on language use. • Since clearly not every aspect of context makes a difference to language use (e.g. the hair color of the interactants is usually irrelevant), just what bits of the context do get “into” the text. • Which aspects of language use appear to be effected by particular dimensions of the context. For example, if we contrast texts in which the interactants are friends with texts where the interactants are strangers, we specify where in the language they use this contextual difference will be expressed
  4. 4. Functionalism
  5. 5. Thus Jakobson distinguishes six communication functions, each associated with a dimension of the communication process: • Dimensions 1 context 2 message 3 sender --------------- 4 receiver 5 channel 6 code Functions • 1 referential (= contextual information-to be operative message requires a context) • 2 aesthetic/poetic (= primarily serving to establish, to prolong, or to discontinue communication) • 3 emotive (= self-expression) • 4 conative (= engages the Addressee (receiver) directly e.g. Tom! Come inside the house) • 5 phatic (=physical channel and psychological connection between the addresser and the addressee-enter or stay in conversation e.g. hello, ok?, Hmmm) • 6 metalingual (= checking code working- language common to the addresser and the addressee)
  6. 6. MICHAEL HALLIDAY Halliday (1975), like Saussure, sees language as a social and cultural phenomenon as opposed to a biological one, like Chomsky. • Some of Halliday's early work involved the study of his son's developing language abilities. • Halliday identifies seven functions that language has for children in their early years. • Children are motivated to acquire language because it serves certain purposes for them. • The first four functions help the child to satisfy physical, emotional and social needs.
  7. 7. * The first four functions Halliday calls them: Instrumental: This is when the child uses language to express their needs (e.g.'Want juice') Regulatory: This is where language is used to tell others what to do(e.g. 'Go away') Interactional: to make contact with others and form relationships (e.g 'Love you, mummy') Personal: use to express feelings, opinions and individual identity(e.g 'Me good girl') The next three functions help the child to come to terms with his or her environment Heuristic: is used to gain knowledge about the environment Imaginative: to tell stories and jokes, and to create an imaginary. Representational: to convey facts and information. Michael Halliday
  8. 8. SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL) is a theory of language centred around the notion of language function. • A central notion of SFL is stratification: language is analysed in terms of four strata: • Context, • Semantics, • Lexico-Grammar and • Phonology-Graphology.
  9. 9. Context and Text CULTURE Genre (Purpose) SITUATION Who is involved? (Tenor) Channel (Mode) Subject matter (Field) TEXT REGISTER Field(Context): What is happening. The Nature of the social interaction taking place. Tenor: who is taking part; the social roles and relationships of participant Mode: the symbolic organization of the text, : what the participants expect language do for them in that situation.
  10. 10. -Semantics, divided into • Ideational Semantics, • Interpersonal Semantics and • Textual Semantics. -Lexico-Grammar concerns the syntactic organization of words into utterances. Systemic-Functional Linguistics THEORY
  11. 11. Robinho plays football. Three types of meaning in one clause As a matter of fact, the text consists of clauses. Each clause carries: ideational, interpersonal and textual function of language Situation Language encodes all three kinds of meanings simultaneously in one clause. When you say “Robinho plays football.” you are: • representing or describing something (Ideational/experiential meaning) • interacting with someone (interpersonal meaning), •By Telling something and organizing your message in a linear flow (textual meaning). Each of this aspects is achieved through your choice of lexico-grammar options.
  12. 12. THANK YOU

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Functional linguistics


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