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Why study grammar? Knowledge of grammar facilitates language learning It helps understand texts in English Language takes place in CONTEXT The meanings.

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Presentation on theme: "Why study grammar? Knowledge of grammar facilitates language learning It helps understand texts in English Language takes place in CONTEXT The meanings."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why study grammar? Knowledge of grammar facilitates language learning It helps understand texts in English Language takes place in CONTEXT The meanings we construct in using language are strictly linked to both cultural and situational context in which language is used

2 The Culture-Context relation Semantics (meanings) Lexico-grammar (wordings) Phonology/grapholo gy (sounds/symbols) situation Culture Linguistics Level Non linguistic level Language takes place in CONTEXT The meanings we construct in using language are strictly linked to both cultural and situational context in which language is used Language is a set of lexico- grammatical options realizing certain meanings and being expressed through the phonic or graphic matter

3 Context of Situation Field Tenor Mode

4 Context of semantics Ideational Interpersonal Textual

5 Lexico-Grammar Transitivity Mood Modality Appraisal Thematic Structure Cohesive Devices

6 The Context of Culture Halliday (1994:xv): any evaluation of a text requires an interpretation also of its context A theory of grammar should take into account both texts and contexts, both situational and cultural We understand the meanings of a sentence because we know the vocabulary (lexis) and the grammatical structure We understand the meaning of a speaker because we know something of the culture in which the texts are embedded.

7 Culture Beliefs, ideas and ideologies, worldviews and values systems that are constructed in language

8 The Context of Situation Context refers to non verbal environment such as who’s talking to whom, when, and where, and how. Context of situation can be described by three variables: Field: both the kind of social activity effected and the topic or subject matter. Answer the question “What’s going on?“

9 The Context of Situation Tenor: the people involved in the language event, the more permanent (social roles and status) and more temporary (discourse roles) relations established. Answer the question “Who is talking part?” Mode: the function accorded to the text, the rhetorical aim. Answer the questions, “How’s language being used?”

10 Mode Definition: The part of the language plays which includes: Channel of communication whether phonic (face to face communication, radio, telephone) or graphic (e.g. book, newspaper, etc.) or some combination of the two. Medium: degree of spoken-ness/written-ness. Whether the text is more lexically dense (high incidence of lexical vs. grammatical words) and packaged (e.g. in nominalized strings) or more lexico-grammatically intricate (in complex combination of clauses)

11 Mode Nature of the exchange: dialogic or monologic, and whether it is spoken and spontaneous or written-to-be-read, or written-to-be-spoke, and thus prepared, or at least semi prepared.

12 Medium It has to do with the degree of spoken- ness on a continuum. Lexical density (high incidence of lexical vs. grammatical words) and grammatical intricacy (complex clausal organization), and with degrees of spontaneity.

13 Register Field, tenor and mode define the register to which a text belongs. There is an inextricable, systematic association between context and text (the extra-linguistics situation and the linguistic/verbal realizations) and vice versa: The context activates the meanings (that is the semantics) that are realized in and by the grammar (i.e. lexico-grammar)

14 Register Register is a culturally specific text-type which results from using language to accomplish something) Examples: lecture, research article, various types of service-encounters)

15 Formalism VS Functionalism Formalist: 1)Grammar is an abstract set of rules. 2)The primary concern is with the forms of grammatical structures and their relationship to one another. 3)Grammar = morphology and syntax 4)Grammarians often use made up sentences to illustrate rules.

16 Formalism VS Functionalism Functionalist: Grammar is a system of human communication and also allows speakers to make and exchange meanings. The primary concern is with the functions of grammatical structure and with their meanings in their contexts Grammar = lexico-grammar Grammarians aim at using sentences drawn from real world sources, authentic pieces of linguistic evidence

17 Note Formal analysis must at some stage take account of meaning and function, and functional analysis must at some stage take account of form.

18 Why do we need FG? Two different conceptualization of grammar: 1)Language is a set of rules, rules for specifying structure, for example the construction of a transitive sentence with verb+ accusative (penanda nomina) 2)This perspective is that of logic and philosophy in the foregrounding of the sentence as the basic unit of language is organized on a logical model into Subject + Predicated. 3)Since the sentence is the basic unit, it is studied in isolation.

19 Why do we need FG? In another view, language is a resource for making meanings This perspective is that of the rhetoric and ethnography in the foregrounding of the text (discourse) as the basic unit of language, organized according to the rhetorical aim. Since text is the basic unit, the sentence is studied in its discourse environment.

20 Why do we need FG? We need a richer theory of grammar to meet the challenges of the age of information The new needs of our society and new purposes of language use corresponds a new theory of language. For example: How do we help people learn a foreign language? What is the best way to explain and describe the way language works in advertising a product?, etc.

21 Grammar-Meaning Connection Language is a semiotic system; meaning is created in language (M.A.K. Halliday, 1994) Functional means that we are foregrounding the role of grammar as a resource for constructing meaning (M.A.K. Halliday, 1994) Meaning is created in language indicates connection between language, meaning, thought, and reality.

22 Grammar-Meaning Connection The claim that Grammar is a resource for making meaning indicates that grammar equals meaning and vice versa Meanings are accessible to the speakers via the grammar Grammar has internal meaning creation role

23 Grammar-Meaning Connection Constructed in Constructing Semantics (meanings) Lexico-grmmar (wordings)

24 Summary Functional Grammar focuses on language use Its descriptive, more than prescriptive in its examination of actual occurrences of spoken and written language and the context of their use. It aims at showing how meaning is made and understanding and interpreting texts


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