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Language, Function, Cognition 2010-11

Course Page for Systemic Functional component


Teacher: Mick O'Donnell.

Slides from Classes


1. Week 1: Context, Register (PDF)
2. Week 2: Phonology, Grammar, Semantics (PDF)
3. Week 3: Genre-Based Literacy(PDF)

Weekly Homework
1. Week 1: Read this material as preparation for the class this week on SFL and Critical Discourse. It is not
all Systemic-Functional, but will prepare you for the kinds of issues which occur in Critical Discourse
Analysis.
2. Week 2: Three papers on the development of the Australian Genre School approach to teaching
language. Don't read all of them (unless you want to), just get the general idea what they are about.
1. Christie, Fran 2006 Literacy teaching and current debates over literacy. In Whittaker, Rachel, Mick
O'Donnell and Anne McCabe (2006) Language and Literacy: Functional Approaches. London:
Continuum. Pp.45-65.
2. Custance, Bronwyn 2006 Whole School Genre Maps: a case study in South Australia. In Whittaker,
Rachel, Mick O'Donnell and Anne McCabe (2006) Language and Literacy: Functional Approaches.
London: Continuum. Pp.144-158.
3. McDonald, Lorraine 2006 Exploring a novel through its engagement with its grammatical form. In
Whittaker, Rachel, Mick O'Donnell and Anne McCabe (2006) Language and Literacy: Functional
Approaches. London: Continuum. Pp.233-250.

Backgound reading

- Online

Systemic Functional Grammar: a first step into the theory. Christian Matthiessen & M. A. K. Halliday
1997.
Systemic Functional Linguistics Webpage
Geoff Thompson and Puleng Thetela The Sound of one hand clapping: The management of interaction in
written discourse. [NEW]

- Library

Grammar:

Thompson, Geoff (2004) Introducing Functional Grammar. 2nd edition, London: Edward Arnold.
Halliday, M.A.K. and C.M.I.M. Matthiessen (2004) Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd Edition,
London: Edward Arnold.
Downing, Angela and Philip Locke (2002) A University Course in English Grammar. Routledge,
London/New York/Canada.
Droga, Louise and Sally Humphrey (2002) Getting Started with Functional Grammar. Sydney: Target
Texts.

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Butt, David, Rhondda Fahey, Susan Feez, Sue Spinks and Colin Yallop. (2001) Using functional grammar:
An explorer's guide. Second edition. Sydney: NCELTR.

Context/Register/Semantics/Discourse:

Martin J.R. and David Rose (2003) Working with Discourse: Meaning Beyond the Clause (Open Linguistics
Series). London: Continuum.
Halliday and Hasan (1989) Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of language in a social-semiotic
perspective. Oxford, OUP.

Genre-Based Literacy:

A good summary of the development of the field is in:


Christie, F. and Unsworth, L. (2006) "Developing dimensions of an educational linguistics". In
Webster, J., Matthiessen, C. and Hasan, R. (eds). Continuing Discourse on Language: A Functional
Perspective. London: Equinox)
An archive with many of Jim Martin's articles. In particular, see:
Mentoring semogenesis: 'genre-based' literacy pedagogy. In F Christie (Ed.) Pedagogy and the
Shaping of Consciousness: linguistic and social processes. London: Cassell (Open Linguistics
Series). 1999. 123-155.
A context for genre: modelling social processes in functional linguistics. J Devilliers & R Stainton
[Eds.] Communication in Linguistics: papers in honour of Michael Gregory. Toronto: GREF (Theoria
Series 10). 2001. 287-328.
Robert A Ellis Flexibility in genre-based literacy pedagogy: Critical assessments of flexibility. ASET-
HERDSA 2000, Toowoomba,July, 2000.

Software used in the class


UAM CorpusTool

Final Assignment Questions

Please answer one of the following questions

Essays

For an essay-style answer, please provide around 2,500 words. You should refer to at least 3 works on your
topic.

1. What are the differences between Cognitive Linguistics and Systemic Functional Linguistics?
2. Outline criticisms of genre-based literacy, and evaluate the arguments. (a starting point would be to look
at the critiques mentioned in:
Christie, F. and Unsworth, L. (2006) Developing dimensions of an educational linguistics. In
Webster, J., Matthiessen, C. and Hasan, R. (eds). Continuing Discourse on Language: A Functional
Perspective. London: Equinox (see p7 of the linked document, which is p225-6 of the published
version).
3. Describe the teaching / learning cycle as proposed by Martin (1999) and evaluate it. Possible references:
Mentoring semogenesis: 'genre-based' literacy pedagogy. In F Christie (Ed.) Pedagogy and the
Shaping of Consciousness: linguistic and social processes. London: Cassell (Open Linguistics
Series). 1999. 123-155.
Robert A Ellis Flexibility in genre-based literacy pedagogy: Critical assessments of flexibility. ASET-
HERDSA 2000, Toowoomba,July, 2000.

Analyses

1. Analyse a news text or political speech in terms of Critical Discourse Analysis or Systemic Functional
Grammar, in order to reveal some aspects of how the writer is manipulating the reader (building

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solidarity, hiding information, pushing a viewpoint, presuppositions, etc.). For this, use the course
reading on Language and Power here, or the fuller version, which coveres political speeches as well:
here. Additionally, look at some published books on Language and Power (for suggested books, see the
Bibliography at the end of the Language and Power reading).
2. Analyse a text of your choosing in terms of the process types of each clause, and the roles held by the
main participants, to show how the writer "construes" the participants as doers, thinkers, talkers, etc. For
this, use the lecture notes on this topic, or the notes from Geoff Thompson's talk, or any of the following
books:
Thompson, Geoff (2004) Introducing Functional Grammar. 2nd edition, London: Edward Arnold.
(chapter 5, representing the world)
Halliday, M.A.K. and C.M.I.M. Matthiessen (2004) Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd Edition,
London: Edward Arnold. (chapter 5: clause as representation)
Downing, Angela and Philip Locke (2002) A University Course in English Grammar. Routledge,
London/New York/Canada.
Droga, Louise and Sally Humphrey (2002) Getting Started with Functional Grammar. Sydney:
Target Texts.
3. Analyse a text of your choosing in terms of thematic development (the sequence of theme choices made
in the text) and how this pattern of theme choices helps the text to communicate.

Free Question

Propose a question to me related to the matters covered in the course. Email me the question and I will
tell you if it is ok.

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