It is worth noting, before developing the task that most of the theories we have dealt with in the first part of the year were structuralist ones: Saussure, Benveniste, Jakobson. However, Halliday studies language from a different perspective called "systemic functional linguistics." This theory of language is centered around the notion of language function. While SFL accounts for the syntactic structure of language, it places the function of language as central (what language does, and how it does it) in preference to more structural approaches, which place the elements of language and their combinations as central. SFL starts at social context, and looks at how language both acts upon and is contrained by, this social context. JAKOBSON
Comparing and contrasting Jakobson’s and Halliday’s theory
, we can say that there are several differences as well as points in common.
First of all, in his theory, Jakobson presents not only language functions, but also its constituents, while Halliday only concentrates on language functions per se.
When Halliday poses the first language function, “ideational,”
he describes it in the following way: “In serving this function, language also gives structure to experience and helps determine our way of looking at things...” We can make a parallel with what Jakobson
indicates in the referential function
, also referred to as denotative or cognitive, i.e. how reality is perceived.
Regarding Halliday’s interpersonal function
we can make a link with Jakobson’s “conative,” “phatic,” and “emotive” functions
. Halliday’s defines the interpersonal function in the following way: “Language serves to establish and maintain social relations...Through this function, social groups are delimited, and the individual is identified and reinforced.” Now, to draw this parallel, we will need to have a look at Jakobson’s functions:
CONATIVE: “Orientation toward the addressee...finds its purest grammatical expression in the vocative and imperative...” One clear example for this would be the utterance: “close the door,” by this example we can say that there is an “addresser” who utters an “addressee” who responds in a certain context, but beyond that we may also infer what kind of relationship they have; it is not the same to say “close the door” than “could you please close the door?”
PHATIC: “There are messages primarily serving to establish, to prolongue, or to discontinue communication, to check whether the channel works...this set for contact, may be displayed by a profuse exchange of ritualized formulas...” This function serves as Halliday explained to establish and maintain social relations.
EMOTIVE: “...focused on the addresser, aims a direct expression of the speaker’s attitude toward what he is speaking about.”
In reference to Halliday’s “textual function”
“language has to provide for making links with itself and with features of the situation in which it is used. (...)One aspect of the textual function is the establishment of cohesive relations from one sentence to another in a discourse.” We can say that this function relates to Jakobson’s “Poetic function.”
He clearly discusses in his theory that “when dealing with the poetic function, linguists cannot limit themselves to the field of poetry,” but rather focuses on the message as such.VOLOSHINOV*:
As I have already stated in section I, task I of the forum, Halliday's "ideational function"
relates to what Voloshinov described in his theory. Firstly, that there exists ideological signs which posess semiotic value, that is to say that they reflect and refract reality. Secondly, Voloshinov states that ideology is a fact of cosciousness; the understanding of a sign is an act of reference between the sign apprehended and other, already known signs. Halliday's "interpresonal and textual function"
are both related to Voloshinov's theory when he posited "Signs emerge, after all, only in the process of interaction between one individual consciousness and another."
*For extra comments refer to section I, taks I from this forum.BENVENISTE:Halliday's ideational language function
: "...language also gives structure to experience..." Related to what Benveniste explains in "Subjectivity in Language
" (page 224): "It is aspeaking man whom we find in the world, a man speaking to another man, and language provides the very definition of man." "It IN and THROUGH language that man constitutes himself as subject, because language alone establishes the concept of ego in reality, in its reality which is that of being."
Regarding Halliday's interpersonal function, we can clearly relate that to Benveniste's idea of "subjectivity" where consciousness of self is only possible if it experienced by contrast. Please note that the subjectivity referred to by Benveniste does only refer to the capacity of the speaker to posit himself as subject.
Halliday's textual function is linked to Benveniste idea of "deixis." The indicators of deixis organize the spatial and temporal relationships around the subject taken as referent: this, here and now.GRIECE:
There are some clear connections between Halliday's and Griece's theory, we can say that the ideotional language function is directly related to what Griece
discussed in his theory: "pragmatics
." According to Halliday
: "...language also gives structure to experience, and helps to determine our way of looking at things, so that it requires some intellectual effort to see them in any other way than which our language suggests to us." In Griece's terms: "…communication is a form of intentional behaviour, and understanding an utterance is a matter of recognising the intentions behind it.” It is also worth noting that the latter theory mentions that humans are genetically predisposed to recognising the underlying intentions of an utterance, while Halliday clearly states that in order to interpret something other than what language suggests, speakers/hearers require some intellectual effort.
Regarding the “textual function
” posited by Halliday
, we can draw a connection between what Griece
suggests in his theory as the “Cooperative Principle
.” Quoting Halliday’s theory: “… this (the textual function) enables the speaker or writer to construct texts…it enables the hearer/reader to distinguish a text from a random set of sentences.” In Griece’s words: “communication is a cooperative activity: that each conversation has an accepted purpose or direction which participants work towards.”
(I'm still working on the rest, I need a little bit more time