Systemic Functional Linguistic Comparison of News Text and Spoken Conversation.
A news text and a spoken conversation will be considered by using a systemic functional linguistic approach. Linguistic evidence will be given to support the register analysis of field, tenor and mode which highlight the differences and similarities between the context of use of the two texts, and an explanation given as to why the variation in registers occurs.
TEXT 1 – NEWS TEXT
|FIELD | | | | | |Register analysis |Linguistic evidence | | | | |Semantic domain: | | |Current affairs – |References to military and aeronautical equipment and terminology. ( e.g. fighter | |Breach in security of American |jets, airspace, warning flares. | |airspace |References to consequences of an air attack (e.g. forced to land, ignored | | |warnings, ordered to seek safety) | |Implication of possible terrorist |People and places connected with American politics named (e.g. Capitol building, | |activity. |President George Bush, supreme court) | | |Many of the text’s participants (both as subjects and objects of clauses) and | | |processes are directly related to the semantic domain | | |Expert knowledge of military strategies, aeroplanes or American politics is not | |Lexis utilized: |needed to understand the article. | |Non-specialized, |Meaning of lexis used is widely known. | |non-technical lexis |Only one technical term is used (Cessna-150); information about this plane is | | |staged over several paragraphs. | | |Clause structure is both transitive (e.g. fighter jets fired warning flares) and | | |intransitive (e.g. two men were taken into custody). | | |Title’s intransitive short passive structure (Capitol cleared in plane alert) | | |leads reader with past knowledge of terrorist attacks to infer that terrorist | | |attack on the heart of American establishment has occurred, but removal of actor | | |gives no indication as to who was responsible. | | |First paragraph is transitive and provides information that confirms readers | | |impression that terrorist attack has occurred. | | |Impact of title and first paragraph gives impression of major news story. | | |News text is ‘hard news’ – processes are mainly material (e.g. fired, evacuated, | |...
References: Biber, D. and Conrad, s. (2004) ‘Corpus–based comparisons of registers’ in Coffin,C. et al. Applying English Grammar : Functional and Corpus Approaches , London, Arnold
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