The Thought Occurs

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Difference Between Context And Register

Context is realised by language, and so: more abstract than language.
The context-language relation is one of symbolic identity: Value-Token.

Registers are subpotentials of language (that realise subpotentials of context).
The register-language relation is one of class-membership: Carrier-Attribute.

Context Vs Register

Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 375):
Context is the ‘semiotic environment’ of language (and other socio-semiotic systems such as image systems); its systems specify what demands may be placed on language and what rôle it may play in responding to those demands.
Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 563)
… a register is a particular probabilistic setting of the system; and the move from one register to another is a re-setting of these probabilities.