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Describing Language: Form and Function

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How does one's grammar depend on one's conception of language? In systemic functional linguistics, language is viewed as a meaning potential, thus embracing the view, now supported by contemporary theories of the evolution of human consciousness, that language has evolved in the living of life in society. Using the theoretical framework of systemic functional linguistics, the chapters of this book explore the nature of language, the relations of meaning and society, of form and meaning, and of grammar and lexis. Halliday has referred to the level of lexicogrammar as the powerhouse of language: this is where the resource for creating linguistic meaning resides. But language as resource cannot be adequately described as a set of syntagmatic structures; instead, the primary focus must be on the paradigmatic axis, which after all furnishes the principle for the actualisation of syntagms. Accordingly, aspects of Urdu and English semantics, grammar and lexis are presented here in terms of systemic options, realised as structures.

Published: Oct 1, 2019


Section Chapter Authors
Functionality in Language: Four European Scholars Ruqaiya Hasan
Part 1: Theory
Chapter 1: Syntax and semantics Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 2: What kind of resource is language? Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 3: Directions from structuralism Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 4: Semantic networks: a tool for the analysis of meaning Ruqaiya Hasan
Part 2: Descriptions
Chapter 5: Lending and borrowing: from grammar to lexis Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 6: The grammarian's dream: lexis as most delicate grammar Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 7: The verb 'be' in Urdu Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 8: Ways of saying: ways of meaning Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 9: English process, English tense: foreign learner, foreign teacher Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 10: Verbs of saying: perspective from semiotic mediation Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 11: English mood: a systemic description Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 12: On the realization relation of semantics and lexicogrammar: the case of negation in English Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 13: Reflections on subject and theme Ruqaiya Hasan
Chapter 14: Some clause types in Urdu: a tentative analysis Ruqaiya Hasan

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