Why Systemic (not Systematic) Functional Linguistics?

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)Yespeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019

Conference

Title5th International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies (ICLLS 2019)
PlaceHong Kong
Period25 - 26 June 2019

Abstract

Perhaps because he was a language teacher turned linguist, M.A.K. Halliday maintained a perspective on language, called Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), which is grounded in how we actually use language to construe reality and enact social relationships.
By prioritizing the study of function over form, SFL provides the theoretical and methodological basis for investigating ‘the aesthetic and functional values that differentiate one text from another, or one voice from another within the frontiers of the same text’ (Halliday Collected Works, Vol. 2, chapter 6, p.187).
Only objective linguistic scholarship using the categories of the description of the language as a whole, not ‘ad hoc, personal and arbitrarily selective statements’, can contribute to the analysis of texts and allow for ‘the comparison of each text with others, by the same and by different authors, in the same and in different genres’ (Halliday [1964] 2002: 5, 6).
In SFL, the primary focus is on meaning, and how form is used to realize that meaning. Meaning means more than just the ideas expressed, i.e. more than just ideational meaning. When we speak, we also enact a social relationship with our listener(s)/reader(s). Halliday refers to this as interpersonal meaning. Finally, there is textual meaning, or how ideational and interpersonal meaning is formed into the message, whether in speech, writing, or via some other medium/modality.
Patterning in both lexis and grammar contributes to the cohesiveness of a text (i.e. its texture) rendering a coherent rhetorical structure possessing both breadth and depth (its architeXture).

Citation Format(s)

Why Systemic (not Systematic) Functional Linguistics? / WEBSTER, Jonathan James.

2019. 5th International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies (ICLLS 2019), Hong Kong.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)Yespeer-review