The Thought Occurs

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Stratification: Levels Of Symbolic Abstraction

The semantic stratum (meaning) and the lexicogrammatical stratum (wording) are two levels of symbolic abstraction of the one phenomenon: the content plane.  The content plane is an identifying relation between meaning and wording.

The content plane and the expression plane are two levels of symbolic abstraction of the one phenomenon: language.  Language is an identifying relation between content and expression.

Friday, 19 June 2015

"A Register"

Halliday (2002 [1990]: 168):
I shall assume the concept of register, or functional (diatypic) variation in language.  It is convenient to talk of "a register", in the same way that one talks of "a dialect": in reality, of course, dialectal variation is typically continuous, along many dimensions (that is, with many features varying simultaneously), and what we call "a dialect" is a syndrome of variants that tend to co-occur.  Those feature combinations that actually do occur — what we recognise as "the dialects of English", for example, or "the dialects of Italian" — are only a tiny fraction of the combinations that would be theoretically possible within the given language.  Similarly, "a register" is a syndrome, or a cluster of associated variants; and again only a small fraction of the theoretically possible combinations will actually be found to occur.

Halliday M.A.K. 2002 Linguistic Studies of Text And Discourse London: Continuum

Friday, 5 June 2015

Social Realism And SFL: Epistemological Differences

Social realism, in sociology, refers to the assumption that social reality, social structures and related social phenomena have an existence over and above the existence of individual members of society, and independent of our conception or perception of them.

In Systemic Functional Linguistic theory, human experience is construed (as ideational meaning) and social relations are enacted (as interpersonal meaning).  Social structures and related social phenomena are thus construals of language and enactments of language by humans, and thus crucially dependent on the construing and enacting of the humans involved.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Theorising Knowledge Practices

it's not what you know but who you know*


For success, and especially to obtain employment, one's knowledge and skills are less useful and less important than one's network of personal contacts.

* Cf Oxbridge vs the rest.