4 Functionalism as New Paradigm FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS vs. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICSFunctional linguistics focuses on language with perspectives different from structuralism.LanguageStructure FunctionStructuralism Functionalism
5 Functionalism vs. Structuralism STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICSLanguage is a linguistic system made up of various subsystems: from phonological, morphological, lexical to sentencesEach language has a finite number of such structural itemsTo learn a language means to learn these structural items to be able to understand and produce a languageFUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICSLanguage is a linguistic system but also a means for doing thingsMost of our day-to-day language use involves functional activities: offering, suggesting, advising etc.To learn a language in order to be able to do things with it. To perform functions learner needs to know how to combine grammatical rules & vocabulary to express different notions (present, future, possibility…)
7 Halliday’s Brief Introduction 1925, born in Leeds, England;1940s, taking his BA at London University in Chinese language and literature;1940s-50s, studying linguistics as a graduate student, first in China (Peking University and Lingnan University, Canton) and then at Cambridge, where he received his PhD in 1955, holding appointments at Cambridge and Edinburgh;, teaching at University College London;
8 1973-75, teaching at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle; or so, teaching at the University of Sydney;Up to now, lecturing around the world, mainly in England, China, Hongkong, Japan and India.
9 FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS: M.A.K. Halliday An important figure in Functional LinguisticsFamous forSystemic Functional LinguisticsSystemic functional linguistics is also "functional" because it considers language to have evolved under the pressure of the particular functions that the language system has to serve. Functions are therefore taken to have left their mark on the structure and organization of language at all levels.
10 FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS: M.A.K. Halliday He described language as a semiotic system, “not in the sense of a system of signs but a systemic resource for meanings” (Halliday, Systemic perspectives on Discourse)So, Linguistics is study of “how people exchange meanings by languaging” (Halliday, Systemic perspectives on Discourse, 193).
11 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday 1. According to this approach ‘Functional’: focus on what things do rather than how the things are composed (structural)Structure-informed Analysisa handful of ricehead of NPFunction-informed AnalysisA handful of ricequantifier
12 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday 2. Systemic separates Choices and Structure:Speech consists of what choices we can make and show to what extent these choices are contextually conditionedAccording to Halliday, ,structure is an output device, the mechanism for expressing the choices that have been made’nS2.2 ‘Systemic’: separating choices and structureSNP VPdet NP1For example choice can bedet noun vThe cat sat
13 Chomskian grammars provide sets of rules, where choices and structural configurations are mixed together: ( To generate a sentence, one starts with a symbol (e.g., ‘S’), and choose one of the rules to expand it.)S→ NP VP VP → vS→ v NP VP VP → v NPNP→ NP1 VP → v NPNP→ det NP1 VP → VP PP
14 For Systemic Functional Linguistics, unit/ Grammatical unit has following levels: Sentence <…..Clause <……Phrase (group) <………Word < MorphemeThe choice of unit which is based on meanings that we want to convey rather than structure so choice is an initial and different step from structureLevels of Language:1st level is unit2nd level is structure3rd level is class4th level is system
15 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Systemic Grammar separate choices from their structural consequences:Grammatical unitClause Group WordClause type Group Type(finite / nonfinite) (nominal / Adjectival / prepositional)Declarative infinitive determinedInterrogative present participle not determinedpast participleFor Systemic Functional Linguistics, unit/ Grammatical unit has following levels:Sentence <…..Clause <……Phrase (group) <………Word < MorphemeThe choice of unit which is based on meanings that we want to convey rather than structure so choice is an initial and different step from structureLevels of Language:1st level is unit2nd level is structure3rd level is class4th level is system
16 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday A “systemic” approach allows you to focus on meaningful choices in language (e.g., active vs. passive) without needing to think of the particular structure that realizes it.Basic tenet: “meaning implies choiceA grammar consists of a set of choices, or “systems”, organized as a tree (some choices depend on others): For example ‘voice’ is a system with two choices: ‘active’ and ‘passive’. What meaning you want to convey will be represented through your choice
17 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday 3. Meta-Functions of LanguageLanguage performs several functions. On basis of this idea, Halliday defines three metafunctions of language namely,Ideational metafunction (field)Interpersonal metafunction (tenor)Textual metafunction (mode)
18 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday To understand how Functional Linguistics approach meta-functions in language, observe the pictures below:When I got home last night, I could not believe what ………….. had done.Some possible choices: my silly maid, my dear husband, my poor dog, this stupid boss, my youngest son, Billy……..What choices are possible?
19 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday The choice of answers depend on:Context (what had happened)Relationship (what is relationship between speaker and addressee)attitude to the thing/person (what is attitude)mode of communication (formal/informal)What is implied about what a language system has to encapsulate.Language has to encapsulate culture/context, genre, topic, relationship and mode (PTO)
20 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday What is implied about what a language system has to encapsulate?CultureGenreTopicRelationshipsModeWhat is the broad and specific context?How does that impact on the text?What is the specific purpose of the text?How is it organised to achieve this?What is being discussed / written about?Who is taking part? What is the nature of their relationship? What are their statuses and roles?Is it spoken, written or multimodal?
21 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday To get it more clearly look at the following and try to answer the questions:A: Yes PleaseB: Can I have those two?A: Yes. One’s forty five. One’s twenty five.B: And have you got …………………..A: Yes. How many would you like?B: I’ll take twoA: Right. That’s four dollars twenty altogether.B: Here you are.A: Thankyou.B: Thankyou.What’s the context of the text?What kind of a text is it? (genre)What is it about? (topic/field)Who is involved? (tenor/relationship)Mode of communication? (mode)Possible answers:1.Context: shop (western culture as no bargaining as well as dollars as currency mentioned2. Genre: Dialogue3. topic: not confirm4. tenor: shopkeeper and customer5. mode: face to face dialogue
22 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday The last three questions determine metafunctions separately as field, tenor and mode.Now we can examine these three metafunctions further:I. Ideational metafunction (field)It is the function for construing human experience. It is the means by which we make sense of "reality". Halliday divides the ideational into the logical and the experiential metafunctions.
23 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday The logical metafunction refers to the grammatical resources for building up grammatical units into complexes, for instance, for combining two or more clauses into a clause complex.The experiential function refers to the grammatical resources involved in construing the flux of experience through the unit of the clause.The ideational metafunction reflects the contextual value of "field", that is, the nature of the social process in which the language is implicated. An analysis of a text from the perspective of the ideational function involves inquiring into the choices in the grammatical system of "transitivity": that is, process types, participant types, circumstance types, combined with an analysis of the resources through which clauses are combined.According to Halliday, the mechanism for the representation of the process in language comprises three basic components: the partakers, the actual process and the conditions associated with the main action (101). The partakers are described through nominal group, the process through verbal group and the conditions or circumstances through adverbial or prepositional group (Halliday, Table 5,102).For further details readAn Introduction To Functional Grammar by Halliday
24 II. Interpersonal metafunction (tenor) The interpersonal metafunction relates to a text's aspects of tenor or interactivity.Like field, tenor comprises three component areas: the speaker/writer persona, social distance, and relative social status.III. Textual metafunction (mode)The textual metafunction relates to mode; the internal organisation and communicative nature of a text. This comprises textual interactivity, spontaneity and communicative distance.
25 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday 4. Context of Language: In SFL, context is one of the central concerns. It is top level.CULTURESITUATIONtenorfieldModeLANGUAGEREGISTERGENRE
26 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Context of a Languagelanguage has meanings in relation to context at different levels. To understand, observe the following picture:Door:real doorTypical of a specific era – if you were an architect, the era might interest yousymbolic for future possibilities or closed possibilitiesunderstood as a symbol by people in this culture as often used as a metaphormay be understood by other culturesMan on top of the world:not real at all: only symbolic for feeling good, achieving successDragonrepresentative of a cultural grouprecognised but not have a close affinity to other cultural groupschoice to use this symbol would be to align to this cultural groupChoice of symbol may not attract someWhat do they mean?Why can we make meaning from them?Do they mean the same to everyone?
27 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday As all of these pictures have different meanings for different contexts thus we can interpret visuals are meaning making systems dependent on context/cultureReading is a dynamic process involving author, text as well as readerSome visuals also have genres or topicsThus we can say the same way ‘Language is also a meaning making system and it too may be influenced by culture/context’
28 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday In SFL, the appropriateness of linguistic options is conditioned by the current “context of situation” (Halliday & Hassan, 1989).Context of situation: the situation in which the language event unfolds, at least those parts of the situation which condition that language use.Example:requeststatementcommandStudenttalking toteacher
29 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Halliday models “context of situation”, those aspects of the context relevant to the unfolding language event, in terms of three strands:– Field: what is being talked about– Tenor: the people involved in the communication and the relationships between them– Mode: what part the language is playing in the interaction (is it accompanying action or ALL of the action), what form does it take (spoken or written).Example: a recipe in a cook bookField: cooking (ingredients and process of preparing food)Tenor: expert writer to a learner, learner is beneficiary of the adviceMode: written, preparedField: what the text is about:• Typical fields: science, education, war, medicine, sports.• Can be more specific:– Science: biology: microbiology: virology: plant viruses– Education: Language education: English Language education: Secondarylevel English EducationTenor: relationship between participants• Includes:– Power relations:• Unequal: father/daughter, doctor/patient,teacher/student• Equal: friend/friend, student/student– Formality: formal/informalInformal: I handed my essay in kinda late coz my kids got sick.Formal: The reason for the late submission of my essay was the illnessof my children.– Closeness: distant/neutral/close:Formality vs closeness: Close (personal) texts tend to be moreinformal, so these categories tend to overlap, but is the do notalways.Mode: what part the language is playing in the interaction:– Role: Ancillary (language accompanying nonverbal activity, aswhen we talk as we cook together) or constitutive (the event isdefined by the language, as in a speech).– Channel: written vs. spoken, or some mix.• Projected channel: where the actual channel is not the intendedchannel: ‘written to be spoken’ (e.g., a speech), ‘spoken as ifwritten’ (e.g., reciting)– directionality: uni-directional channel or bi-directional (unidirectionalallows only monologue, while a bi-directional channelallows dialogue)– Media: +/-visual contact (e.g., -visual for a telephoneconversation); use of multimedia (blackboard, powerpoint, etc.)– Preparation: spontaneous vs. prepared; rushed vs. time forreflection;
30 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday 4. Stratification in LanguageSFL starts at social context and looks at how language both acts upon and is constrained by this social context. So central notion is stratification. A language is a semiotic system in terms of three strata:SEMIOTIC SYSTEMmeaning (discourse / semantics)words and structures (lexico – grammar)sounds / letters (phonology / graphology)
31 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Strata 1: SemanticsSFL includes at this level what is generally known as ‘pragmatics’. It has again three kinds of meanings (meta- functions with reference to meanings):Experiential:(field) the way we use language to represent our experiences of the worldInterpersonal: relationships (tenor) the way we use language to interact with othersTextual: relation to mode (mode) the way we use language to organise our spoken or written texts so that they make sense
32 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Strata 2: Lexico-GrammarBetween the content of form pairing of simple semiotic systems emerged the 'organizational space' referred to as lexicogrammar.It concerns the syntactic organization of words in to utterances. It involves analysis of utterances in terms of roles: Actor, Medium, Theme, MoodsCalled “Lexico-grammar” to emphasize that it is words and their combination that makes sentences.Lexico-Grammar further deals with four levels:Unit, structure, class and systemDetails read from ‘A course in Linguistics’ by Tarni Parsad (pgs# )
33 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Strata 3: Phonology-Graphologythe way oral sounds are the way written sounduttered & organized symbols are organizedthat language unfolds syntagmatically – as structure laid down in time (spoken) or space (written).
34 SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS (SFL): Halliday Systemic Model of Language StrataCcontextLanguageSemanticsGrammarPhonology-MorphologyMeaningsWordingsspellings
36 ReferencesHalliday, M.A.K. (1994), An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London: Edward Arnold.Halliday, M.A.K. (1985). Systemic Background. In "Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, Vol. 1Halliday and Hasan (1989) Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective. Oxford, OUP.Mick O’Donnell, (2010), Language, Function, Cognition:Part 2: systemic Functional LinguisticspdfParsad, Tarni, A Course in Linguistics, 2012, New Dehli: PHIRajimwale, Sharad, Elements of General Linguistics, 2006.Simpson, Geoffery, Schools of LinguisticsThe Prague School, Britannica Encyclopedia onlineThe Prague School, All about Linguisticshttps://sites.google.com/a/sheffield.ac.uk/all-about- linguistics/branches/phonology/where-is-phonology-studied/the-prague-school
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