(Language, Function and Cognition, 2011-12)
Systemic Functional Linguistics
for Discourse Analysis
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
This course provides a basic introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)
particularly in regards to those aspects most applicable to analyzing discourse.
1. Introduction to the Systemic-Functional Model of Language
- Functionalism vs. Cognitivism vs. Structuralism
- System vs. Structure
- Stratified model of Language: Context, Register and Language.
- Components of Register: Field, Tenor, Mode.
- Grammatical Description: Transitivity, Mood, Theme.
2. Genre and Register Analysis
- Register: Language Appropriate to Context
- Genre: Text Function or Text Structure?
- Australian Genre Theory
3. Transitivity Analysis:
- Analysing text in terms of processes, participants and circumstances
- Construing Participants: how writers shape their characters
4. Analysing Conversation:
- Exchange, Move, Speech Function and Turn
- Analysing power in conversation
5. Interpersonal Expression in discourse:
- Appraisal Analysis: how does the writer ‘value’ things
- Tone of Voice: Analysing a company’s “brand personality”
6. Text as Process: Exploring how texts unfold:
- Dynamics of Writing: nonlinear developments of text
- Thematic Development: how topics evolve in a text
Introduction to the
Systemic-Functional Model of Language
1 What is Systemic Functional Linguistics
Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL) is an approach to language developed mainly
by M.A.K. Halliday in the U.K. during the 1960s, and later in Australia. The
approach is now used world-wide, particularly in language education, and for
purposes of discourse analysis.
While many of the linguistic theories in the world today are concerned with
language as a mental process, SFL is more closely aligned with Sociology: it
explores how language is used in social contexts to...