The program is arranged around five main themes, each featured on one day:
- Monday 16 July - Context and Variation
- Tuesday 17 July - Learning Language
- Wednesday 18 July - Language in Education
- Thursday 19 July - Typology and Translation
- Friday 20 July - Multimodality
ISFC program - daily schedule (PDF, 162kB).
- Parallel sessions (PDF, 843kB)
- Colloquia (PDF, 207kB)
- Featured speakers (PDF, 93kB)
- Plenary speakers
The conference dinner will be held on Wednesday 18 July.
Additionally, ISFC 39 Pre-Congress Institute is from 9 – 13 July, 2012
Plenary speakers include:
University of Sydney / Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Beatriz is currently working as a doctoral student at the University of Sydney. Her research explores the basic interpersonal and experiential lexicogrammar of Spanish from a Systemic Functional perspective, based on written and spoken data from Chilean Spanish. Her account emphasises a systemic perspective on the organisation of clausal resources, as well as their interaction with meanings at the stratum of (discourse) semantics. The development of a description of this kind is oriented to the study of resources as deployed in texts from different registers, including the spoken mode.
Previous to her PhD studies, Beatriz worked as a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Language Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2004-2008). Her main areas of work included Systemic Functional Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis. She was co-researcher in a two-phased CDA research project on life stories by street people in Santiago (2004-2006; 2007-2010). As a MA student and research assistant she was also involved in two research projects on written and spoken academic discourse (2003-2006; 2007-2008).
Recent publications focusing on systemic functional grammar and linguistics include a paper on the Spanish Mood, published in Linguistics and the Human Sciences (4(1), 2008), and a contribution to the ‘Forum’ of Revista ALED (9(2), 2009).
Functional Language Typology: an SFL informed illustration from Spanish
At present, the main challenge faced by SFL language typologists lies in drawing on the full power of SFL theory in order to understand languages other than English in their own terms, so that resulting descriptions fully reveal the ways in which meanings are organised. Understanding the relations between SFL theory, the descriptive principles deriving from it and descriptions proper is crucial to the move beyond English grammars.
In this paper I will show, based on a systemic functional description of Chilean Spanish, how the full power of the theory can be drawn upon by way of freeing our descriptions from the structural configurations currently proposed for English. Work of this kind opens up space to appreciate the typological complementarity between particular languages (contrastive linguistics) as well as to reach a better understanding of the resources available to speakers to make meaning in context across languages in general (language typology). This paper will focus in particular on the importance of focusing on resources as they are deployed in naturally occurring texts, across registers and regional varieties, a task that both traditional and mainstream frameworks concerned with the study of grammar have failed to come to grips with to date. Work of this kind lays the foundation for the development of an 'appliable' linguistics that is as meaningful and powerful in non-English speaking contexts of enquiry and action.
University of Sydney
David Rose is director of Reading to Learn (opens an external site), an international literacy program that trains teachers across school and university sectors (www.readingtolearn.com.au), and an Associate of the School of Letters, Arts and Media at the University of Sydney. His work has been particularly concerned with Indigenous Australian communities, languages and education programs. His research interests include language and cultural contexts, literacy pedagogy and teacher education. He is the author of The Western Desert Code: an Australian cryptogrammar, Pacific Linguistics, 2001, and with J.R. Martin: Working with Discourse: meaning beyond the clause, Continuum, 2007, Genre Relations: mapping culture, Equinox, 2008, and Learning to Write, Reading to Learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy, Equinox, in press 2012.
A wish list for teacher education
SFL holds tremendous promise for righting the inequalities in educational outcomes that communities around the world are grappling with. But the impact of SFL informed interventions may be constrained by the intrinsic hierarchies of the pedagogic device, from its global systems of production, recontextualisation and reproduction, to the hierarchies of success and failure in each classroom. If we are serious about democratising education, as Bernstein cautions "we must have an analysis of the social biases... deep within the very structure of the educational system's processes of transmission and acquisition" (2000:5).
To my mind this includes relations between educational research, teacher training and classroom practice (that Bernstein compares with those of prophets, priests and laity) as well the practices within the classroom and school that create and maintain inequalities. Starting from the latter, my wish list for teachers would include strategies for enabling every child to read and write independently within the first year of school; for every primary student to read at levels expected of their age and grade, with comprehension and engagement; for every secondary student to independently learn from reading curriculum texts, and successfully demonstrate their learning in writing; and for every student at all levels to be equally engaged in classroom learning.
In what ways could SFL contribute to realising such a dream? Is it is sufficient to embed courses in grammar and genre in the current structures of preservice degrees, and leave it for novice teachers to recontextualise in their practice? Perhaps we need new kinds of research into how knowledge about language and pedagogy can be recontextualised in teacher training and classroom practice. What kinds of tools do teachers need to redesign their own discourse, to provide equal access, engagement and outcomes for all their students? This paper offers a few examples, developed in the context of the SFL based professional learning program Reading to Learn.
Chris Cléirigh has been unemployed since October 2009. He received a first class B.A. (Hons) degree and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Sydney, along with three prizes and two scholarships. He has been active in the areas of speech recognition and Systemic Functional linguistics for over 20 years and is manager of, and a frequent contributor to, the Sys-Func academic email discussion list. His research experience includes projects at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney, The University of New South Wales, The University of Wollongong, and the University of New England. He is not currently engaged in any funded research.
Towards A Linguistic Science Of Sciences
In his 1987 paper ‘Language And The Order Of Nature’, Michæl Halliday wrote: If there is to be a science of sciences in the twenty-first century, it will have to include linguistics – at least as a partner, and perhaps the leading partner, in the next round of man’s dialogue with nature. This paper represents one move in this next round of dialogues. It uses linguistics — specifically: the theory of experience that has evolved naturally in the English language, as modelled by Halliday and Matthiessen (1999) — to reconstrue two trajectories in the evolution of biological systems, namely: the evolution of sociality, and the evolution of multicellularity. Among other things, it will be seen that the evolution of sociality entails the evolution of social semiotic systems from semiotic systems of the body, and that the evolution of sociality and the evolution of multicellularity can be understood as involving the same processes and relations, operating at different scales.
Ladjane de Souza
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis
Ladjane de Souza is a postdoctorate researcher at the Programa de Pós-graduação em Estudos da Tradução [Postgraduate program in translation studies] - PGET of Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil. She has been in love with translation since her undergraduate years when she became a free-lance translator of the English-Portuguese pair. Her major research interests are in the discursive approach to translation and in new developments in systemic functional linguistics, especially the theories of appraisal and re-instantiation. She has received her PhD (cotutelle) in 2010 from the University of Sydney and from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Currently she is further developing the systemic functional model of interlingual re-instantiation proposed in her thesis, turning the focus to individuation and deploying corpus tools.
Interlingual re-instantiation – widening the scope of the systemic functional modeling of translation
This plenary talk introduces a new systemic functional (SF) model of translation developed at the interface between systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and translation studies (TS). The model is conceived as appliable (Halliday 2010) since it draws not only from specific frameworks in the two interdisciplines but also from a guiding application concerning the re-instantiation of appraisal resources. The proposed intersection of SFL and TS frameworks is motivated by the felt need to widen the scope of an SF approach which has modeled translation against the parameters of equivalence and shift between language systems. The adherence to such parameters marks a dissonant interval between this SF approach and other approaches within TS, particularly those that embraced the cultural turn of the 80’s. Underlying this gap is the fact that although the concern with context is observed in the interface since Halliday (1956, 1960, 1964) and Catford (1964), the focus has remained on the choice of linguistic material and a great deal of the theoretical effort has been aimed at sorting out equivalence (between languages) in relation to fundamental concepts like realization, rank, axis and metafunction. Now in the 2000’s, the choice of theorizing about relations between texts is observed in recent developments in SFL (e.g., Martin 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2010), in recent trends within the SF approach to translation (Matthiessen 2001, Steiner 2005a, 2005b, 2006) and in recent TS views of translation (Venuti 2009). Capitalizing on this convergence, the new SF model is meant as way towards consonance and mutual enrichment within the TS/SFL interdisciplinary area.
University of Sydney
Karl Maton is Senior Lecturer in sociology at the University of Sydney, Elected Professor at University of Provence (France), and Visiting Professor at Rhodes University (South Africa). Karl has published extensively in sociology, cultural studies, education, linguistics and philosophy. He is the principal author of Legitimation Code Theory (LCT), which extends, integrates and subsumes Bernstein’s code theory. LCT is being widely used by researchers in Australia, France, South Africa, Ireland and elsewhere for studies in sociology, education, linguistics and philosophy. Karl recently co-edited Social Realism, Knowledge and the Sociology of Education: Coalitions of the mind (with Rob Moore, 2010, Continuum) and Disciplinarity: Systemic functional and sociological perspectives (with Fran Christie, 2011, Continuum). Karl’s book, Knowledge and Knowers: Towards a realist sociology of education, and a primer of research studies using LCT, Knowledge-building: Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory, are being published by Routledge.
The Next Generation: Inter-disciplinary research into strange new worlds
There is a long and fruitful tradition of intellectual exchange between systemic functional linguistics and Bernstein-inspired sociology. In recent years, as Martin (2011) highlights, we have entered a new phase of inter-disciplinary research collaboration and mutually-informing theoretical innovation. This dialogic phase between systemic functional linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) - which extends, integrates and subsumes Bernstein’s code theory - is leading not only to the generation of new ideas but also to the emergence of a new generation of scholars versed in both approaches. However, such developments raise questions of the integrity of theories and academic identities, and can be experienced as the profane polluting the sacred.
In this paper I draw on LCT to explore how our traditions are able to work together and how such inter-disciplinary research can be positive and negative for intellectual fields. Specifically, I extend the LCT dimension of Specialisation, which is being widely used in educational research, to analyse the organising principles of knowledge practices in a range of disciplines and their effects for cumulative knowledge-building. I begin by conceptualising SFL and LCT as sharing a knowledge code, where legitimacy is based on specialist knowledge of specialised objects of study. I then explore a range of different knowledge codes by analysing debates between contrasting approaches in the disciplines of Economics (neoclassical and heterodox economics), Linguistics (Chomksyan grammar and SFL) and physics (string theory and its critics). From these analyses insights are drawn into how different positions enable and constrain cumulative knowledge-building. I conclude by discussing how we can best exploit the gains and avoid the potential costs of boldly going beyond our existing borders.
University of Sydney
Maree Stenglin's professional career spans a diverse range of contexts: secondary English/History teaching, TESOL and museums. She also worked as a secondary literacy consultant in the 'Write it Right' research project at the Metropolitan East Disadvantaged Schools Program and is currently a Lecturer in Literacy and Learning in the School of Business, University of Sydney, developing a spiral curriculum for embedding critical literacy into core UG units in the Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Maree's research interests include literacy and learning, discourse analysis, English for Academic and Specific Purposes (EAP and ESP) and multi-modality. Her doctorate, 'Packaging Curiosities: Towards a Grammar of Three-Dimensional Space', developed a metafunctionally-diversified framework for analysing 3D space including two new resources for the analysis of interpersonal meaning, Binding and Bonding.
Her work, moreover, actively strives to bridge between multimodal theory and its application. For instance, she has recently applied Binding and Bonding to the design of two exhibitions she curated (Breath: Nature through Diverse Lenses 2011; Luminous Lotus 2011). In 2008, she was a finalist in the 57th Blake Prize, Exploring the Religious and Spiritual in Art, while in 1997 her project team was recipient of the Premier's Inaugural Public Sector Award for the design of the Indigenous Australians exhibition, Australian Museum.
Transformation And Transcendence: Bonding Through Ritual
In recent years, explorations of interpersonal meanings in three-dimensional spaces have been extended to include two new social semiotic tools: Binding and Bonding (e.g. Stenglin 2009, 2010). Binding is a scale that organises spaces along a cline from extreme openness to extreme closure. Bonding explores ways of generating solidarity through connection – a connection that is established through the shared ‘coupling’ of experience with evaluation (Bednarek & Martin 2010). In pedagogical institutions such as museums, Bonding is materialised by a range of resources including different types of social interaction, various learning activities and the re/alignment of visitors around shared attitudes (Stenglin 2009b).
Another significant resource that materialises Bonding is the Bonding icon, a social emblem of belonging. Bonding icons include buildings such as the Scientia at UNSW (Ravelli & Stenglin 2008), leaders (e.g. Nelson Mandela), museum exhibitions (Martin & Stenglin 2007), slogans (Humpreys 2010) as well as paintings such as the Mona Lisa (Stenglin & Djonov 2010). All Bonding icons share two important characteristics: values get ‘charged’ into them and communities tend to either rally around them or reject them. The charging of values, moreover, involves three key elements: an extended time period, the establishment of two fields (one literal and one abstract) and the strong use of intertextuality in tandem with the evocation of powerful interpersonal attitudes (Stenglin in press).
To further develop our understandings of Bonding icons, this paper will explore how Bonding is materialised through ritual in one rite of passage: the graduation ceremony.
University of British Columbia and University of Sydney
Geoff is an honorary professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, and until recently the Head, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He also works closely with colleagues in the Department of English, Hong Kong Polytechnic University on a range of theoretical and educational linguistics projects. Before taking up his appointment in Canada in 2005 Geoff researched and taught at the University of Sydney, in the Faculties of Arts and Education for several decades.
His major theoretical interest is in semantic variation, an interest he first developed in work with Ruqaiya Hasan for his Phd at Macquarie University. He is also deeply interested in educational linguistics, particularly children’s development of knowledge about language. Together with Ruth French and Joan Rothery, Geoff conducted the first studies of young children’s ability to learn and use systemic functional grammar in English school literacy. Additionally, in current work he is collaborating with Ethiopian and Canadian colleagues on a research and development project to support literacy development in impoverished rural areas.
He is a former Chair of the Australian and the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Associations, and was the convenor of ISFC 37 at UBC in 2010.
Recontextualization and Semantic Variation
Many scholars have suggested over the last few decades that recontextualization is a key feature of meaning-making in discourse, whether in pedagogic, quotidian, business or many other types of context (e.g. Bernstein, 1990; Cloran,1994, 2000; Linell, 1995; Thomas, 2003; van Leeuwen, 1993). However, we know very little about how children learn ‘dispositions’ towards recontextualizing discourse. When and how do people begin to learn to ‘recontextualize’? Do the processes begin in early childhood, or do they only appear rather later, perhaps during the school years? How might they be distributed in relation to various types of social activity in quotidian contexts?
To explore the ontogenesis of recontextualization, we have to first address a definitional issue: meanings of ‘discourse recontextualization‘ vary considerably between different theorists, even where they hold other key theoretical concepts in common. Specifically, the paper considers what SFL might contribute to specifying and describing discourse activities in quotidian interaction that re-‘contextualize’, and thus re-‘realize’, texts that are themselves realizations of some initial contexts.
From this basis we should then be able to explore functions of recontextualization in semantic variation (see especially Hasan, 2009, Cloran, 1994, Williams, 1995). From Hasan’s work we can predict that recontextualization practices in ontogenesis are not randomly distributed through the community, but will vary systematically with social positioning of speakers. This prediction is tested through analyses of sets of published transcripts of caregiver-child interaction, representative of interaction in families in contrasted social positions.
Then, more specifically, we can ask if recontextualization might participate in what Hasan has called formative motifs, which appear to be so critical to the development of semantic variants (Hasan, 2009, ch 12). If so, how? And what are the likely consequences for the development of dispositions to recontextualizing discourse in subsequent phases of life?
Michele Zappavigna and Bandar Alhumaidi A Almutairi
University of Sydney
Michele Zappavigna (opens an external site) is an Australian Research Council (ARC) postdoctoral Research Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Sydney. Her major research interest is Social Media, in particular the language of microblogging. She is also interested in text visualization as a tool to aid discourse analysis. Her book, The Discourse of Twitter and Social Media, will be published by Continuum in 2012. This work employs a 100 million word Twitter corpus to investigate how people affiliate online through 'searchable talk'.
Michele completed her PhD on language and technology in the School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney in 2007. Her forthcoming book Tacit Knowledge in Spoken Discourse, also with Continuum, arose out of this project. She is currently working on an ARC project investigating NSW Youth Justice Conferencing, a form of restorative justice, using multimodal discourse analysis to look out how language enacts reconciliation in this context. Michele teaches Electronic Discourse, Media Discourse and Computer Applications in Linguistics.
MLitt in Applied Linguistics (Sydney Uni) in 2010
MLitt Thesis: Visualizing Attitude Patterns
Currently I am doing a PhD in automatic Appraisal processing and visualization under the supervision of Prof. James Martin and Dr. Michele Zappavigna. We believe that complex manual-analysis data of Appraisal instantiations can be effectively understood through information visualization techniques. My MLitt work shows interesting findings that need confirmation in further investigation.
Social media, identity and text visualisation
Discourse analysts working in the systemic functional tradition are called to explore "both the system and its instantiation in dynamic as well as in synoptic terms" (Halliday 2003: 196). In undertaking text analysis we are thus faced with the fundamental problem of how to account for the unfolding patterning of a text while at the same time achieving a synoptic overview. The problem is particularly pertinent for current work on identity from a discourse perspective that seeks to explain how personae are construed via intricate linguistic patterning. Exploring such text patterning is difficult for a human analyst as it requires tracking complex relationships in what is high dimensional data.
This talk will begin by considering how identities are construed in microblogging with a case study of Twitter 'coffeetalk' drawing on the concept of 'coupling' (collocations of evaluation and ideation) (Martin, 2000, Knight, 2010, Zhao, 2010) to understand how microbloggers rally around shared values. I will then demonstrate how such concern with identity can be supported by automated appraisal analysis and text visualisation, using the computer system AppAnn to compare the coupling patterns of Spock and Captain Kirk in the television series, Star Trek.
University of Sydney
Shoshana Dreyfus is an applied linguist who works as a teacher and researcher using systemic functional linguistic theory in a number of areas including language disorder (non-verbal communication), academic literacy, (critical) discourse analysis and affect research. She has been a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the linguistics department at the University of Sydney since 2009.
She is currently working on a monograph documenting her research into the nonverbal multimodal communication of a child with an intellectual disability, after publishing twice in this area. She is also joint editor with Sue Hood and Maree Stenglin for a book focusing on multimodal communication (2010) Semiotic Margins.
When there is no speech - the limits of protolanguage
The paper explores an interventionist action research project focused on communication with a severely intellectually disabled boy named Bodhi. Due to a rare chromosome disorder resulting in intellectual disability, Bodhi’s language has not developed beyond the protolinguistic phase - there has, in other words, been no movement from micro-functions through macro-functions to metafunctions and a fully developed linguistic system as occurs in typically developing children (Halliday 1975, Painter 1984). Although Bodhi is limited to the semiotic resources of protolanguage, he has nonetheless been able to increase his meaning potential through interaction with determined caregivers. The study reported in this presentation explores the nature and limitations of protolanguage - what Bodhi could and couldn't do/mean in the absence of metafunctions, ranks and strata; what aspects of meaning caregivers worked on to facilitate interaction with him in a domestic environment; how the meaning potential was expanded through intervention and use; and finally, what the limits of this interactively constructed protolinguistic meaning potential appear to be. The study highlights the sense in which for both protolanguage or language, language development is always about teaching and learning 'how to mean'.
University of Sydney
Clare Painter is an Honorary Associate in the Dept. of Linguistics, University of Sydney, having recently retired from the School of English, UNSW, where she taught courses in Systemic Functional Grammar, Discourse Analysis, Child Language Development, Children’s Literature and Visual Communication. Her research interests are in children’s language development, educational applications of SFL and, most recently, the analysis of images and visual/verbal relations in children’s picture books. This is the subject of her most recent publication, Reading Visual Narratives: Image Analysis in Children’s Picture Books (Equinox, in press), written in collaboration with Jim Martin and Len Unsworth, following a joint ARC-funded project. She is also co-author (with Jim Martin and Christian Matthiessen) of Deploying Functional Grammar (Commercial Press 2010) and has published a number of books and papers in the area of first language development, including Into the Mother Tongue (Pinter 1984), Learning the Mother Tongue (Oxford U.P.  1989) and Learning through Language in Early Childhood (Continuum 1999).
Guidance in the context of shared experience: the role of interaction in language and literacy development
In their preschool years, all normally developing children successfully learn to speak at least one language, apparently without conscious effort or tuition, while literacy development has far more patchy and uncertain outcomes. Not surprisingly, then, spoken language development in the early years has often been recognised as a useful model to draw on in contexts of formal language education, while the nature of that oral development is usually characterised in ways that emphasise the cognitive processes and goals of the learner (e.g. Piaget 1926; Slobin, 1973; Clark, 2003 pt. 4) or the semantic strategies deployed by the learner (Halliday, 1975, 1993) – orientations influential in ‘constructivist’ learner-centred pedagogical practices. This paper uses longitudinal case-study data of everyday language learning in the home (Painter, 1984, 1999) to foreground instead the crucial role of the adult as guide and mentor, bearing in mind Lemke’s (1995, pp. 159–164) claim for the reciprocity of the impulse for (infant) learning and (adult) teaching in human ontogenesis. Such an orientation sits more comfortably with another strand of educational thinking based on Vygotsky’s (1962, 1978) ideas and Applebee and Langer’s (1983) advocacy of Bruner’s (1975) notion of ‘scaffolding’ - a pedagogical principle explicitly drawn from data on parent-child interactions but not always articulated or implemented in ways that reflect this fact. Central to the SFL account of language development presented here is Halliday’s (1992, p 26) theoretical insight that it is in the process of instantiation that the probabilistic system of language is ‘perturbed’, creating the potential for developmental change. Since instantiation of the child’s system in the preschool years takes place principally in the context of assymetrical dialogue, a central issue to be raised is how best to translate this insight into pedagogic practice in contexts of formal education. (PDF