Rethinking context : Realisation, instantiation and individuation in Systemic Functional Linguistics

Journal article


Doran, Yaegan, Martin, J. R. and Herrington, Michele. (2024). Rethinking context : Realisation, instantiation and individuation in Systemic Functional Linguistics. Journal of World languages. pp. 1-44. https://doi.org/10.1515/jwl-2023-0051
AuthorsDoran, Yaegan, Martin, J. R. and Herrington, Michele
Abstract

In spite of decades of research developing a model of language and context, there is little consensus in systemic functional linguistics (SFL) about how context should be modelled and how language and context are related. In this paper, we review recent work in SFL which focuses on modelling register as a resource – reconceiving field as a resource for construing phenomena, tenor as a resource for negotiating social relations, and mode as a resource for composing texture. This work has a number of implications for SFL’s conception of realisation (as strata of abstraction), instantiation (as a cline of generalisation), and individuation (as a scale of belonging). For realisation it bears critically on the issue of whether or not to adopt a stratified model of context (as register and genre) and the relationship between extrinsic functionality (field, tenor, and mode) and intrinsic functionality (ideational, interpersonal, and textual metafunctions). For instantiation, it bears critically on our modelling of principles for coupling (co-selecting and arranging choices within and across languages and related modalities of communication) – for example mass, presence, and association. And for individuation, it bears critically on the perspectives of allocation (i.e. how access to meanings and their uptake is distributed across communities) and affiliation (i.e. how meanings are used to collaborate and struggle, within and between social groups). Our basic aim in this paper is to suggest a model for improving traction as far as SFL work on language in context is concerned, fully embracing a multimodal perspective on language and related modalities of communication as resources for meaning.

Keywordscontext; field; mode; register; systemic functional linguistics; tenor
Year01 Jan 2024
JournalJournal of World languages
Journal citationpp. 1-44
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN2169-8260
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1515/jwl-2023-0051
Web address (URL)https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/jwl-2023-0051/html
Open accessOpen access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-44
Publisher's version
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print16 Jan 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Oct 2023
Deposited03 Jul 2024
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© 2023 the author(s), published by De Gruyter.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Place of publicationGermany
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