LING 2047 - Language and Meaning

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.

This course introduces students to a social theory of language which proposes that grammar is a resource for making meanings. It provides an introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and the model of language described within this linguistic tradition. A core element of the course involves studying about the model of language, that is looking in detail at the different elements of systemic functional grammar. This is the practical element of the course, in which the grammar is introduced and students are provided with opportunities to learn and practise its components, particularly at the level of the clause. We will also spend time in considering the application of the grammar to the analysis of text, to see how grammar is used to create meaningful texts. A third component of the course will be to describe the theoretical background of SFL. The broad aim is to demonstrate how the model can be employed in describing, analysing and interpreting how language functions in different contexts, both professional and personal. Students will explore in some detail the language of different text types produced in these different contexts. They will learn the ways in which texts are in fact sensitive to the context in which they are produced, and particularly how different elements within the context impact on and shape language use. We will apply the model of language to explore a range of issues such as: how language varies according to social context and communicative purpose; how language is used to exercise power; how language is used to create, structure and exchange information; and how language is used to represent the world as we see it, that is to represent our `reality?

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