Systemic functional grammar

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{language, word, form}
{theory, work, human}
{math, number, function}
{math, energy, light}
{system, computer, user}
{woman, child, man}

Systemic functional grammar (SFG) or systemic functional linguistics (SFL) is a model of grammar developed by Michael Halliday in the 1960s.[1] It is part of a broad social semiotic approach to language called systemic linguistics. The term "systemic" refers to the view of language as "a network of systems, or interrelated sets of options for making meaning";[2] The term "functional" indicates that the approach is concerned with the contextualized, practical uses to which language is put, as opposed to formal grammar, which focuses on compositional semantics, syntax and word classes such as nouns and verbs.

Systemic functional grammar is concerned primarily with the choices the grammar makes available to speakers and writers.[1] These choices relate speakers' and writers' intentions to the concrete forms of a language. Traditionally the "choices" are viewed in terms of either the content or the structure of the language used. In SFG, language is analysed in three different ways (strata): semantics, phonology, and lexicogrammar.[3] SFG presents a view of language in terms of both structure (grammar) and words (lexis). The term "lexicogrammar" describes this combined approach.



According to SFG, functional bases of grammatical phenomena are divided into three broad areas, called metafunctions: the ideational, the interpersonal and the textual.[4] Written and spoken texts can be examined with respect to each of these metafunctions in register analyses.[5]

Ideational metafunction

The ideational metafunction is divided into two: experiential and logical metafunctions. The experiential metafunction organises our experience and understanding of the world. It is the potential of the language to construe figures with elements (such as screen shots of a moving picture or pictures of a comic novel) and its potential to differentiate these elements into processes, the participants in these processes, and the circumstances in which the processes occur. The logical metafunction works above the experiential. It organises our reasoning on the basis of our experience. It is the potential of the language to construe logical links between figures; for example, "this happened after that happened" or, with more experience, "this happens every time that happens".

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