Entropy-the measure of uncertainty in a system.
Influences[ edit ] Halliday describes his grammar as built on the work of SaussureLouis Hjelmslev MalinowskiJ.
Firthand the Prague school linguists. In addition, he drew on the work of the American anthropological linguists BoasSapir and Whorf. His "main inspiration" was Firthto whom he owes, among other things, the notion of language as system.
Whorf "showed how it is that human beings do not all mean alike, and how their unconscious ways of meaning are among the most significant manifestations of their culture"  From his studies in China, he lists Luo Changpei and Wang Li as two scholars from whom he gained "new and exciting insights into language".
He credits Luo for giving him a diachronic perspective and insights into a non-Indo-European language family. From Wang Li he learnt "many things, including research methods in dialectology, the semantic basis of grammar, and the history of linguistics in China".
Another key term is lexicogrammar. In this view, grammar and lexis are two ends of the same continuum. Analysis of the grammar is taken from a trinocular perspective, meaning from three different levels.
This grammar gives emphasis to the view from above. For Halliday, grammar is described as systems not as rules, on the basis that every grammatical structure involves a choice from a describable set of options.
Language is thus a meaning potential. Grammarians in SF tradition use system networks to map the available options in a language. In relation to English, for instance, Halliday has described systems such as mood, agency, theme, etc. Halliday describes grammatical systems as closed, i.
By contrast, lexical sets are open systems, since new words come into a language all the time. 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 ways strata: The term "lexicogrammar" describes this combined approach. Metafunctions[ edit ] From early on in his account of language, Halliday has argued that it is inherently functional.
His early papers on the grammar of English make reference to the "functional components" of language, as "generalized uses of language, which, since they seem to determine the nature of the language system, require to be incorporated into our account of that system.
He proposes three general functions: Ideational metafunction[ edit ] The ideational metafunction is the function for construing human experience.
It is the means by which we make sense of "reality". The logical metafunction refers to the grammatical resources for building up grammatical units into complexes, for instance, for combining two or more clauses into a clause complex. The experiential function refers to the grammatical resources involved in construing the flux of experience through the unit of the clause.
The ideational metafunction reflects the contextual value of field, that is, the nature of the social process in which the language is implicated.Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) is an approach to linguistics that considers language as a social semiotic system..
It was devised by Michael Halliday, who took the notion of system from J. R.
Firth, his teacher (Halliday, ).Firth proposed that systems refer to possibilities subordinated to structure; Halliday "liberated" choice from structure and made it the central organising.
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