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Book: Hybridity in Systemic Functional Linguistics

Chapter: 8. Activity types, discourse types and role types: Interactional hybridity in professional-client encounters

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24296


Srikant Sarangi is the only non-practitioner of SFL to appear in this volume; his is a different, but not discordant, voice. His chapter offers his current thinking on the interplay of discoursal hybridity, role analysis and professional practice, emphasising how ‘hybridity and hybridisation are not simply linguistic … processes which are signalled through intertextuality and interdiscursivity; they also constitute communicative acts which are mediated by role-relationships in context-sensitive ways’. His playful metaphorical representation of the phenomenon’s internal and external dimensions – ‘KitKat hybridity’ – leads him to argue for the unpacking of the notion to distinguish its simple and complex forms at the interactional level. He contends that the concept of role, and in particular of role-set, can be mapped on to hybrid discourse types by re-examining key discourse analytic studies of professional practice in a range of institutional settings, and focusses especially on the hybrid activity type, genetic counselling. Sarangi ends by urging close attention to this interplay of discourse types and role types, seen as indispensable to analysis – if one would hope to be able to “account for different forms of hybridity, socio-historically and contingently, as well as ecologically and manifestly”.

Chapter Contributors

  • Srikant Sarangi ( - book-auth-569) 'Aalborg University'