One of the most important concepts in Systemic Functional Linguistics, and especially for EFL, is the concept of stratification (there seem to be a number of slightly different models of stratification in SFL so this is just my interpretation of it). As I showed in this post, the passage from the TV show ‘Friends’ – “What you guys don’t understand is, for us, kissing is as important a part of it as any other” – can be analysed on a number of different levels, from the sounds that make up the language to the culture in which it takes place.
There are three main levels to stratification:
- Context (context of culture and context of situation)
- Content (semantics and lexico-grammar)
- Expression (phonology/graphology)
It is this stratification allows us to “make sense of our experience, and to carry out our interactions with other people” (H & M, p.24).