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Representational Issues in Systemic Functional Grammar

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128668D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 30 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Christian Matthiessen: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The lexicogrammar of a language represents the semantics of that language, not as one half of a sign represents the other half, but as a whole system of systems represents another system of systems: representation as it is built into the organization of natural languages is the symbolic relation we find or posit between different strata (levels) of linguistic organization. Consequently, this is the kind of representation the linguist is concerned with. But he/she must also be concerned with representation as it is defined by linguistics itself, viz., the linguist's representation of natural language according to some theory of language. The issue here is how to represent language metalinguistically; how to talk about talk.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Representational Issues in Systemic Functional Grammar

Christian Matthiessen

University of Southern California

Reprinted from the Proceedings of the 12th International Systemic Workshop in Ann Arbor, MI., August 21-24, 1985. INFORMATION

SCIENCES 213/822- I51I INSTITUTE 9676 Admiraltv Way/Marina del Rey/California 90292- 6695 This research was supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant No. 1ST- 8408726, in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Contract No. F49620 79 C 0181, and in part by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Contract No. MDA903 81 C 0335. The views and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either explicit or implied, of the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Government, or any

fSl Reprint Series This report is one in a series of reprints of articles and papers written by IS1 research staff and published in professional journals and conference proceedings. For a complete list of ISI reports, write to

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4676 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6695 USA

1 TALK ABOUT TALK'

The lexicogrammar of a language represents the semantics of that language, not as one half of a sign represents the other half, but as a whole system of systems represents another system of systems: representation as it is built into the organization of natural languages is the symbolic relation we find or posit between different strata (levels) of linguistic organization. Consequently, this is the kind of representation the linguist is concerned with. But he/she must also be concerned with representation as it is defined by linguistics itself, viz., the linguist's representation of natural language according to some theory of language. The issue here is how to represent language metalinguistically; how to talk about talk.

The two tasks of representation are comparable in many respects. Indeed, we could turn linguistic theory back on itself and use the framework that has been devised for the study of language to understand and talk about metalanguage. For instance, we could try to do systemic metalinguistics in this way. What I will do in this paper is in fact metalinguistics, but it would take too long to try to situate my topic within a systemic metalinguistics here. It will, however, be: useful to say something about the context. The central topic is the representation of lexicogrammar.

The general purpose that has prompted the present exploration of representational issues is text generation. It is text synthesis and contrasts with text analysis, but both processes can be used to study text. It is the process of creating a text in response to a communicative goal

University of Southern Califor...