handout fg ch 6 | Attitude (Psychology) | Philosophy

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Functional Grammar Made Easy © 2008 by Drs. Liliek Soepriatmadji, M.Pd. 1 6. DESCRIBING CONTEXT By the end of this unit you will:  know the metalanguage for describing context  have worked with a lot of practices in describing the contexts of different texts It has been explained in chapter one that there is a text-context relation. This is discussed in a more detail within this chapter. To do it we need to know the metalanguage
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   Functional Grammar Made Easy © 2008 by Drs. Liliek Soepriatmadji, M.Pd.   1 6. DESCRIBING CONTEXT By the end of this unit you will:    know the metalanguage for describing context      have worked with a lot of practices in describing the contexts of different texts  It has been explained in chapter one that there is a text-context relation. This is discussed in a more detail within this chapter. To do it we need to know the metalanguage applied in describing the relation between text and context. Figure 6.1: Levels of language   Functional Grammar Made Easy © 2008 by Drs. Liliek Soepriatmadji, M.Pd.   2 We know that context of situation motivates the meanings of texts in three main ideas. They are (1) FIELD OF THE DISCOURSE which is the field of human experience encompassed by the text and its purpose in encompassing it. (2) TENOR OF THE DISCOURSE which is the social relationship between the speaker or writer and addressee. (3) MODE OF THE DISCOURSE which is the nature of the text itself and the role that language plays it. We need to also refer back to the levels of language that has been discussed in chapter one. Now look back at figure 6.1. Imagine that you are writing an email about a kiss that you got in a park from someone you newly belong to a friend and then, you are phoning him to discuss the same thing. How would you describe the two texts in relation to the context? You actually construct two different texts. The mode of the first text is written and monologic, and that of the second text is spoken and dialogic. This means the mode of the discourse is different but the tenor of the discourse remains the same because you interact with the same person for both of the text. The field of the discourse for the three texts being illustrated is to a certain extent similar. When you expose your joyful experience in a short story, the mode of the discourse is written and is either monologic or dialogic but the tenor of the discourse changes. The participants in the dialogue could relate to the characters in the short story and out of the dialogue they could be between you, as the writer, and the readers of your short story. Now imagine the reverse situation, where instead of creating the texts you are the reader or addressee. The lexicogrammar of the texts provides you with the clues about their context of situation which occurs within the context of culture. This goes without saying that it is virtually true for you to produce or interpret the texts if you are familiar with the art of kissing, email writing, telephoning and newspaper to publish the short story. Describing context We use our knowledge of context, be upon our intuitive or linguistic basis, with every text we write or speak or hear or read. You can test your knowledge using the text on a simple ball game with its transcription conventions and its accompanying questions.   Functional Grammar Made Easy © 2008 by Drs. Liliek Soepriatmadji, M.Pd.   3 A text on a simple ball game O.K, I want you to go over And get the ball….   Now sit down there….   Sit down over there….  Now roll it Roll it over to Tiffany And she’ll push it back to you  There you go (LAUGHTER) And back again (LAUGHTER) .   And back again (LAUGHTER) .   Oh not too hard (WARNING) .   You’ll hurt he r .   There you go (LAUGHTER) .   Oh! O.K, pick it up .   And throw it … like that  .   Oh (DISMAY) Go .   And get it Questions about context    What activity is taking place?    Who is speaking?    Who is being spoken to?    What sort of social distance is there between the speakers?    Is the relation between speakers equal or unequal?    Are any items in the text positively or negatively appraised?    What are the appraised motifs?    Do we know precisely where the activity is taking place?    Is the text interactive or not? (Is it a dialogue or monologue?)    Was the text srcinally spoken or written?    How could we summarize the main tone or thrust of the text?    Does language constitute the whole of the activity or is it helping some other activity along?   Functional Grammar Made Easy © 2008 by Drs. Liliek Soepriatmadji, M.Pd.   4 How much could you describe the text upon your intuitive knowledge? You actually can interpret more than what you did upon your intuitive basis if you the linguistics one. Now look more closely at the text using the metalanguage of context. 1. Investigating Field:    What activity is taking place? The experiential meanings of Processes, Participants and Circumstances provide the answer. Processes : material Participants : you or addressee, ball Circumstances: where and manner (how) 2. Investigating Tenor:    Who is speaking?    Who is being spoken to?    What sort of social distance is there between the speakers?    Is the relation between speakers equal or unequal?    Are any items in the text positively or negatively appraised?    What are the appraised motifs? The interpersonal meanings in the text provide the answers. The clauses tend to be imperative. This means the speaker demands goods and service that the other participants apparently comply, so the relationship is quite unequal. The speaker, however, also appraises the addressee as in There you go  (+ appraisal) and Oh, not too hard! You’ll hurt her   (- appraisal), so the social distance is minimal 3. Investigating Mode:    Do we know precisely where the activity is taking place?    Is the text interactive or not? (Is it a dialogue or monologue?)
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