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 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language

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PostSubject: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:23 pm

The networks of options correspond, according to Halliday, to three basic functions: 1) ideational, 2) interpersonal, 3) textual.
Read carefully how he defines each (p. 143) and see in what way these concepts relate to these other theories:
a) Benveniste
b) Voloshinov
c) Jakobson
d) Austin/Searle/Grice

Note: Same as the previous two topics.
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Belén I



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PostSubject: Re: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:37 pm

Well,in order to do answer that question I will need some time to revise all the theories in detail. (shame on me) Embarassed

In fact, that was one of the aims in reading Halliday at this stage. Very Happy


But I relate Halliday`s definition of interpersonal with Benveniste`s definition of intersubjectivity, which is the change of roles between the members of the speech act. Halliday states that “ language serves to establish and mantain social relations: for the expression of social roles, which include the communication roles created by language itself, for example the ROLES OF QUESTIONER OR RESPONDENT, which we take on by asking or answering a question”
Halliday stated that : ... “ In serving the ideational function, laguage also gives structure to experience and helps to determine our way of looking at things,so that it requieres come intellectual effort to see them in any other way than that which our language suggests to us” This can be related to Voloshinov´s notion of idiological sign since to understand ideologies we need to make some intellectual effort to go beyond the language and, from another perspective, see the other value of that particular word has.

Good points! drunken

The rest comes with delay! Sleep

Can't wait!
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ValeriaF



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PostSubject: Re: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:39 pm

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 bounce)


Last edited by ValeriaF on Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:15 pm; edited 3 times in total
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javiers



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PostSubject: Re: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:47 pm

While defining the ideational function, Halliday states that language serves for the expression of ... the speaker's experience of the real world. Here, I look back to Benveniste's concept of empty signs in the sense that every time a reference is made, the signs points out to contextual clues otherwise meaningless and, thus, the relation with the referents in the real world are essential. For example, when we say "that" or "there", there is an existential axis of "here-now" from which other relations with the world are established. (Here I agree with Valeria Idea )

As Halliday conceptualizes the interpersonal function, I think back to Austin's speech act theory, particularly the concepts of locution, illocution, perlocution, and the roles of addressee, ratified participant, bystander and eavesdropper, as well. Again, Benveniste's idea of the subjective marks left by the speaker is related to, in Halliday's words, the communication roles created by language itself .

Finally, I find the definition of textual function very close to our analysis during the discussion of intertextuality about how meaning is constructed in the readers' minds and the nature of authorship. As to the latter, Halliday argues that the textual function is what enables the speaker or writer to construct "texts"... and enables the listener or reader to distinguish from a random set of sentences . I allow myself to read "texts" where the word "sentences" appears since I regard them both as constituents of higher structures (Textual relations). ( Embarassed Sorry, this theory was not included. Hope it's helpful, anyway)
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PostSubject: Re: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:23 pm

The IDEATIONAL FUCTION is related to Benveniste's concept of "subjectivity". Halliday points out that language serves for the expression of "content", so the individuals can speak about their experiences of the real world as well as their inner thoughts. If any person can TELL about something, it means that they have the capacity to establish him/herself as subject in relation to others.
This function can also be related to Voloshinov's theory of linguistic signs. If language shapes our way of looking at things and it requires some intellectual effort to see them in any other way, it means that we know what we want to say because it has been agreed among a community. Some signs are filled in with ideological content, that's why many times it's difficult to see them in any other way.

The INTERPERSONAL FUNCTION is related to Benbeniste's concept of "intersubjectivity". Halliday says that language serves to establish and maintain social relations and that by enabling a person to interact with others, language also helps in the expression and development of his own personality. Communication cannot exist without the presence of a speaker/writer and listener/reader. Whenever one poses himself as speaker, for eg, the other person becomes automatically a listener.
I can also relate this function with Jakobson's ADDRESSER-ADDRESSEE, in which anyone who send a message to other person is the addresser and the one who receives it becomes the addressee, the first one having an emotive function and the latter having a conative one.
Finally, I can relate this function to Austin's theory of speech acts. He said that a speech act is created when a speaker/writer makes an utterance to a hearer/reader in context. These speech acts are part of social interactive behaviour, i.e between people in a community.

The TEXTUAL FUNCTION is, according to Halliday, what enables the speaker or writer to construct "texts", or connected passages of discourse.
That are situationally relevant; and also what enables the listener or reader to distinguish a text from a random set of utterances.
This could be related to Benveniste's distinction between Story and Discourse, in which the first one takes the third person singular, is usually in the passive voice, and is represented by the NON-I and the second one takes the first person singular, active voice and is represented by the presence of "I". Both Story and Discourse are two different ways of textual organization.
This function can also be related to Grice's theory. He said that understanding an utterance involves a lot more than merely knowing the meaning of the sentence uttered. Here the speaker has to make himself understood and avoid producing "a random set of utterances" as Halliday pointed out. For eg. a writer has to establish cohesive relations in a text so as to make his message come across successfully.

I did it on my own !!!! Unbelievable!!!!! Shocked pirat
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PostSubject: Re: 03) Halliday presents: The Functions of Language   Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:01 pm

We can relate Halliday’s ideational function, which serves for the expression of the speaker’s experience of the real world to Voloshinov’s concept of consciousness, the mental awareness of reality, which becomes consciousness only when it has been filled with ideological content, only in the process of social interaction.

We can also relate it to subjectivity(Benveniste), the capacity of the speaker to posit himself as a "subject". It is in and through language that man constitutes himself as a subject, because language alone establishes the concept of "ego" in reality, a reality that is that of the being

We can relate Halliday's Interpersonal function (language that serves to establish and maintain social relations) to Benveniste's intersubjectivity. Consciousness of self is only possible if it is experienced by contrast. This polarity of persons is the fundamental condition in language.

As regards the Textual function, we could relate it to Jakobson's poetic and metalingual functions, the focus on the message for its own sake and the verbal code.

I'm still working on the rest
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