Tag Archives: systemic functional linguistics

Generic Structure Potential (GSP)

When you go to buy something in a convenience store you can be reasonably certain of what’s going to happen in that situation. First, you’ll walk in and you might say ‘hello’. Then you’ll ask for some batteries and then … Continue reading

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For SFL, a text can be defined as “a unit of language in use” (Halliday & Hasan, 1976, p. 1) and is distinguished from non-text by the two-fold concept of unity: unity of structure and unity of texture (Halliday & … Continue reading

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Tag Questions

Tag questions are concerned more with establishing interpersonal relations and suggesting whether some kind of response is required (or to close off any response), rather than requesting any specific information. Andersen (Andersen, Gisle. “Are tag questions questions? Evidence from spoken … Continue reading

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Polarity is, the “choice between positive and negative” (H & M, p.116). The concept of polarity in general, and specifically the negative, doesn’t seem to get much attention or specific textbook treatment (except perhaps in old audio-lingual drills) but, as … Continue reading

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Process + Circumstance v Process

Here are some examples that came up in a business class that might cause problems for students but can be clearly explained: 1. I passed on the idea. I (Participant) passed (Process) on the idea (Circumstance) because I didn’t think … Continue reading

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Interpersonal modal Adjunct v Experiential Circumstance

I always do that. (Adjunct) I do that all the time. (Circumstance) I usually do that. (Adjunct) I do that almost everyday. (Circumstance) I often do that. (Adjunct) I do that at times. (Circumstance) I sometimes do that. (Adjunct) I … Continue reading

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Context and Register

An important distinction can be made between the context of situation and register of a text. They often seem to be conflated but Halliday does distinguish between the two. Here is a headline from the satirical magazine The Onion: Coarse … Continue reading

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EFL Listening Tasks

I must admit I find most EFL listening tasks a little strange. The usual format in most textbooks I’ve used is to listen to a conversation and then answer set questions about it. It is a conversation as product, with … Continue reading

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An interesting little example of how lexico-grammar affects meaning from a business class today: The people were critical of the decision. The decision was critical for the people.

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Mode of discourse

The third part of the context of situation is the mode of discourse. Mode refers to: what part the language is playing, what it is that the participants are expecting the language to do for them in that situation: the … Continue reading

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