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Choice in Language

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The notion of Choice provides a constant underlying theme to work in Systemic Functional Linguistics, whether this is concerned with in-depth description of the system of lexicogrammatical options available within specific languages, or with the analysis of the semiotic and/or social implications of the choices taken within specific texts. Yet, to date, little has been published exploring the applicability of choice across various contexts. Choice in Language addresses this gap by presenting a selection of writings from internationally renowned authors that develop the analytical perspective of choice across wide-ranging contexts and, in some cases, in languages other than English. The book demonstrates the value of Systemic Functional Linguistics as an ‘applicable’ linguistics, which is a core tool in broader fields such as pedagogy, literary studies and critical discourse analysis.

Published: Jul 1, 2013

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Introduction Gerard O'Grady
Part A: Interpersonal choice and the construction of author identity
1 ‘Busty babes and passionate pleasures’: A systemic functional linguistic analysis of sex worker discourse in a South African city Ralph Adendorff, Kiran Pienaar
2 Choice in a ‘partly free’ press: Evaluative key in Italian journalistic discourse Elizabeth Swain
3 The use of appraisal resources in the construction of second language teacher-researcher identity Norma Barletta, Jorge Mizuno, Gillian Moss
Part B: Choice in political speech: Tension between the need to inform and project solidarity
4 The use of grammatical metaphor in French political tracts David Banks
5 Choices in Tony’s talk: Phonological paragraphing,information unit nexuses and the presentation of tone units Gerard O'Grady
Part C: The effects of choice in text-type
6 Choice and domain: A corpus-based study with special reference to the BNC Baby Inas Mahfouz
7 Investigating thematic choices in two newspaper genres: A methodological proposal Julia Lavid, Jorge Arús, Lara Moratón
8 A probabilistic approach to choice: The impact of contextual factors on the tactic system in research article abstracts Akila Sellami-Baklouti
9 Contentful and contentlight subject themes in informal spoken English and formal written English Margaret Berry
10 The differential patterned occurrence of ellipsis in texts varied for contextual mode: Some support for the ‘mode of discourse-textual metafunction’ hook-up? Ben Clarke
Part D: The interplay of choice across different modalities
11 Textual and compositional choices in hotel brochures Arsenio Jesús Moya Guijarro
12 A multimodal perspective on the front cover choices of Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar Ann Montemayor-Borsinger, Eija Ventola, Célia M. Magalhães
End Matter
Index Gerard O'Grady

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A valuable contribution to SFL… This book well displays the significance of choice and how choice works in meaning-making across various genres in English. Readers who are interested in SFL and discourse analysis will benefit from this collection.
Discourse Studies

The present volume is testimony of SFL as an applicable theory which can be employed to tackle topics of varied nature.
Functions of Language