The Thought Occurs

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Halliday & Hasan On Field, Mode And Tenor As Distinct From Register

Halliday & Hasan (1976: 22):
The FIELD is the total event, in which the text is functioning, together with the purposive activity of the speaker or writer; it thus includes the subject-matter as one element in it.
The MODE is the function of the text in the event, including therefore both the channel taken by the language — spoken or written, extempore or prepared — and its genre, or rhetorical mode, as narrative, didactic, persuasive, 'phatic communion' and so on.
The TENOR refers to the type of rôle interaction, the set of relevant social relations, permanent and temporary, among the participants.
Field, mode and tenor collectively define the context of situation of a text.
The linguistic features which are typically associated with a configuration of situational features — with particular values of the field, mode and tenor — constitute a REGISTER.

Blogger Notes:

Note that field does not mean the 'activity sequences' — or any other meanings — construed in the text.  Field characterises the situation in which such construals are made.

Note that genre, in the sense of the function of the text in the situation — narrative, didactic, persuasive etc. — is a dimension of the mode of the situation.

Note that field, mode and tenor are dimensions of the context, not dimensions of register.

Note that a register is constituted by linguistic features, not contextual features; i.e. a register is not constituted by the values of field, mode and tenor.

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