Friday seminar schedule 2011.2nd semester

ON this page you will find the schedule for the series of presentations for the Friday afternoon seminars held at the University of Sydney, sponsored by the Dept of Linguistics during SECOND (2nd) semester 2011.

Seminars are held from 4pm till 5.30pm in New Law building of the Camperdown campus, in Room 107 for 2011, 2nd semester.
Everyone is welcome to attend. That means YOU too.

After each of the seminars are given, a link to recordings of the presentations (either the powerpoint slides themselves, or both audio+slides of the talk) will be added below each of the relevant abstracts.

Other pages on this site can be accessed via the top menu bar. These include an “About” page, and access to the Blog (“All Posts“) where you are invited to add your comments or register and post, as well as a page where we make available a collection of pdf-ised powerpoint presentations (“Presentation Collection“) which were made at times and places other than the friday seminars…
The blog posts can also be accessed via the sidebar by clicking on the titles of any of the most recent posts.


Week 1: August 12
Presenter: David Rose

TITLE: A language based model of reading


Although theories of reading are typically framed in the terms of cognitive psychology, they often coincide in some respects with the SFL model of language strata in context. In particular ‘decoding’ refers to the graphological stratum, ‘literal comprehension’ to reading lexicogrammar, ‘inferential’ to discourse semantics, and ‘interpretive’ to reading the social context of a text. However the knowledge about language that informs these theories tends to be rudimentary, and is supplanted by postulated mental modules such as ‘working memory capacity’. This paper offers a language based alternative that interprets reading processes along the multiple dimensions of SFL theory, including stratfication, metaredundancy, instantiation, logogenesis, commitment and individuation. The model is then applied to a reading pedagogy designed to expand learners’ repertoires along these dimensions.

**** an audio recording of David’s presentation may be accessed by clicking this link. this may take a short while to begin playing in your browser: expect a black screen and audio only. the pdf version of the ppt which accompanied the audio is available for download by clicking here.

Week 2: August 19th
Presenter: Alexanne Don

TITLE: “It is hard to mesh all this”: Invocations of Attitude in argumentative discourse.


This presentation discusses the types of primary means by which Attitude (e.g. Martin & White 2005) may be invoked in written discourse, theorising that such “invocations” may be represented along a cline from most explicit (or inscribed) attitude, to the other end of the spectrum where implications of attitude may only be available to interlocutors or readers who have had close association with the speaker/writer. It draws on and expands the notion of invocations of Attitude first proposed in Don (2007). The notion of ‘invocations’ is used to cover instances in which ambiguity of either target, value, or attitude is interpretable in the development of the positioning in the text, which in turn acts to articulate the logogenesis of meanings through marking transitional phases (Gregory 1985).

Findings from a corpus of argumentative written texts were used to extend Martin & White’s (2005) set of Attitude activators, and includes local value systems and associations activated or ‘evoked’ by experiential meanings, culturally-shared assumptions, and intertextual references. Attitudes may sometimes be ‘provoked’ or framed by Engagement values identifiable in the local co-text, but while Engagement’s field is the tracking of heteroglossic space-time, it does not specifically address intertextual referents—including reference to specialised terms relating to orders of discourse—what is normally addressed under Field (e.g. Martin 2000). Accordingly, alongside Engagement and Graduation, resources which often contribute to the activation of Attitude, categories in the framework include the use of group-specific intertextual referents which act to construe the audience/ Addressees as privy (or not) to particular sets of knowledge, and as included or dis-affiliated via such referring practices.

The discussion will be illustrated by reference to three representative texts from a larger corpus which formed the analytic data.

Don, A. C. 2007: A framework for the investigation of interactive norms and the construction of textual identity in written discourse communities: The case of an email list. unpublished PhD, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Birmingham, U.K.
Gregory, M. (1985) “Towards ‘communication’ linguistics: a
framework” in Benson, J. & W. Greaves (eds) Systemic Perspectives on Discourse Vol.1: 9th International Systemic Workshop. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex
Martin, J. R. 2000b: “Beyond exchange: APPRAISAL systems in
English”, in Hunston & Thompson (eds) 2000. Evaluation in Text: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press
Martin, J. R. & P. R. R. White (2005) The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave.

[this is an extended version of the paper presented at the ISFC38, Lisbon, 2011:
amended version was presented at ASFLA in Armidale, September]
pdf versions of 1) the powerpoint is available here, along with 2) related texts available here.

Week 3: August 26th
Presenter: Edward McDonald, UNSW

TITLE: “Learning Chinese” or “becoming sinophone”:
incorporating learner identity in a model of cultural pedagogy for Chinese.


In an increasingly globalised world, more and more people with a
personal and / or professional relationship with China are crossing
the divide between the ‘Chinese’ and the ‘Foreign’, so long taken as
an unquestioned given, and transforming it irrevocably in the
process. The field of Chinese Studies and of Chinese language
teaching, however, despite an increasing emphasis on the need to
develop a “cultural pedagogy” in “Chinese language instruction” (Wong
2008), are still struggling to adjust themselves to this
multi-dimensional reality, one in which the divide between ‘native
speaker’ and ‘foreigner’ is proving less and less useful.  This talk
suggests that the notion of “sinophone” recently introduced in
Chinese studies (Barmé 2005; Shih 2005, 2007) not only facilitates
consideration of the full breadth and variability of Chinese
language(s) and culture(s), but can be reinterpreted as an identity
label for learners of Chinese. By contrasting this inclusive
definition of “sinophone” with a number of existing identity labels
such asliuxuesheng “foreign student”, Zhongguotong “China expert”, as
well as picking up hints from the hybrid Malay-Chinese identity label
of peranakan, it proposes that current understandings of “learning
Chinese” can be usefully re-conceptualised within a more inclusive
goal of “becoming sinophone”.

*** The recorded version of Ed’s talk may be downloaded and played by clicking on this link. please be patient while the file loads – sometimes takes about 60 seconds before starting.
*** a pdf version of the slides for this presentation may also be downloaded here

Week 4: September 2nd
Presenter: Beatriz Quiroz
TITLE: Descriptive issues in the exploration of experiential meanings in Spanish: to grammar and beyond


The purpose of this paper is to address some challenges posed by the
description of experiential meanings in the Spanish clause from the
perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Hence, the aim is to
extend the discussion and generalisations proposed, within the SFL
framework, on the organisation of experiential meanings across
languages (Matthiessen 2004) as well as to complement recently
published descriptive work on Spanish lexicogrammar (Lavid et al
2010). First I will generally discuss the dimensions of axis and
stratification in relation to clausal experiential configurations in
English and across languages. Then, more specifically, I will refer
to Spanish resources and the ways in which these have been addressed
and accounted for in non-SFL accounts, along with their limitations.
I will move to a functionally motivated exploration of these
resources, including the question on whether a ‘grammar-only focus’
approach is enough to understand how experience is construed more
generally in Spanish texts. Finally, I propose a discourse-oriented
exploration of experiential resources and discuss the possibilities
such an approach opens up when looking at experiential resources in
Spanish and any other language (Martin 1983).

– Lavid, J., Arús, J., & Zamorano Mansilla, J. R. (2010). Systemic functional description of Spanish. A contrastive study with English. London: Continuum.
– Martin, J. R. (1983). Participant identification in English, Tagalog and Kate. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 3(1), 45-74.
– Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). Descriptive motifs and generalisations. In A. Caffarel, J. R. Martin & C. M. I. M. Matthiessen (Eds.) Language typology. A functional perspective (pp.
537-664). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

*** Beatriz has provided a copy of the presentation handouts in pdf form here. [There is no recording for this presentation due to copyright issues]

Week 5: September 9th
Presenter: Frances Christie

TITLE: Knowledge structures and school literary studies


English literary studies are among those areas of study which Bernstein (2000: 155-174) said had horizontal knowledge structures, a term by which he contrasted them with hierarchical knowledge structures, such as physics. Rather than create their knowledge by building an ever more integrated theory as in physics, horizontal knowledge structures are built by creating new theories, new languages for dealing with the phenomena of interest. English literary studies became a university discipline in the 19th century, and they were introduced into the school curriculum in England and other English speaking countries in the last years of that century. They were intended to form an element of the newly created school subject ‘English’, and it was said that studying literature had a refining influence on the young. Several knowledge structures have been espoused in the name of literary studies in schools since their introduction, though they often bear little relationship to each other, potentially causing some disjunction in the expectations made of students.

My interest in this paper is to test the knowledge structures of literary studies in contemporary English curricula in various parts of the world, particularly in the final two years of schooling. I shall examine statements of English curricula and a sample of texts about literature written by students in several English – speaking countries. What knowledge structures appear to apply? How are literary texts selected for study purposes? How is success in responding to literature judged and assessed? What capacities in control of language must students demonstrate when responding to literary texts? Are there values in studying literature that are common across the different cultures?

Bernstein, B. (2000) (2nd. Ed.) Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, Research, Critique. Rowman and Littlefield: Boston and Oxford.

[this presentation is a version of the plenary presented at ISFC38 in Lisbon, Portugal]

*** an audio and visual recording of Fran’s presentation may be downloaded and viewed by clicking on this link.

Week 6: September 16th
Presenter: Michele Zappavigna, Sydney University

TITLE: Analysing body language in NSW Youth Justice Conferencing


Restorative justice aims to reintegrate people who have committed
offences into their communities by restoring social bonds. NSW Youth
Justice Conferencing acts as a form of restorative justice oriented
towards young people, with meetings of young offenders and victims in
the presence of support people and a convenor providing an alternative
to sentencing in the Children’s Court. Understanding the meanings made
in these face-to-face conferences requires more than consideration of
the transcribed verbiage. This presentation draws on joint work with
Chris Cleirigh and applies his systemic functional model of body
language to Youth Justice conferences. Three kinds of body language
will be examined: linguistic (in sync with the rhythm, or in tune with
the intonation of language), protolinguistic (a development from
infant protolanguage) and epilinguistic (realising semantics). I will
explore instances where two young people contravene the expectations
of the macrogenre.

[the pdf slides of Michele’s plenary, which is a version of this presentation, can be downloaded from the presentations page or by clicking on this link]

Week 7: September 23rd

Week 8: September 30th
U Sydney Break: NO SEMINAR

Week 9: October 7th
Presenter: Bill Greaves, Glendon College, York University, Toronto

TITLE: Intoning two very different poems: Milton’s “On His Blindness”
and the limerick “Wall Street Irene”.


Every instance of a spoken poem is a unique text. I will be
discussing two fine performances of poems which are short, but differ
greatly in other respects, particularly temporal provenance,
idiolect, genre (in the literary sense of the term), field of
discourse and medium relationship (in Gregory’s terms).

The talk follows the framework in Halliday-Greaves, and is based on
“Locating the Limerick Wall Street Irene and the Sonnet On His
Blindness in the Semiotic Space between the Body as Signal
Generator/Receiver and the Body as Social Interactant” to appear in
Bowcher and Smith Voices Around the World — Recent Studies in
Systemic Phonology.  


M.A.K. Halliday, William S. Greaves (2008) Intonation in the Grammar of English.

Michael Gregory (1967),
“Aspects of varieties differentiation”, Journal of Linguistics Volume 3 Issue 02

*** the audio and slides of Bill’s presentation may be viewed/ downloaded by clicking on this link

Week 11: October 14th
Presenter: Cecilia Pun

TITLE: Textuality in tertiary students’ writing


This paper presents part of the on-going research on the construal of textuality in English language writing produced by second language learners at tertiary level in Hong Kong. Within the Discourse Semantics stratum, this paper focus on modeling different resources, particularly on Periodicity and Abstract Entities (Martin & Rose 2007; Martin 2010). This study first profiles the textual continuity of the “preferred” text with the mentioned tools, and then compares this with students’ texts. This study as well attempts to address the possible ontogenetic development on textuality in the students’ texts.

*** the slides of this presentation in pdf form may be accessed here. this is a reworked version of the presentation Cecilia made at Freeling the previous weekend.


Martin, J. R. and Rose, D. (2007). Working with Discourse: Meaning beyond the Clause. London, New York: Continuum.

Martin, J.R. (2010). Discourse Semantics. Vol. 2 in the Collected Works of J R Martin (Wang Zhenhua Ed.) Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.

Week 12: October 21st
Presenter: Cassi Fawcett, University of Sydney

TITLE:A corpus-assisted study of Chinese EFL learners’ development of academic literacy


Using a Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) theoretical framework, this study aims to identify the ontogenetic development of academic literacy in Chinese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ writing through an examination of grammatical metaphor deployment. This longitudinal study follows 130 Chinese university English majors across their first two years of university education, mapping students’ development of grammatical metaphor across four semesters of data. Using an elaborated SFL framework of analysis and the tools of Corpus Linguistics, each of the four semesters of data comprises four subcorpora of 130 texts, providing an empirical examination of students’ qualitative development. Such an integrated analysis demonstrates how the practicality and insight functional grammatical descriptions provide for identifying the linguistic resources EFL learners deploy over time can be supported empirically through large quantities of texts.  The findings will be summarized with detailed pathways of development and the study will conclude with pedagogical recommendations about how an approach to academic literacy in the EFL classroom informed by SFL and supported by Corpus Linguistic methodology can contribute to a focused syllabus that will empower students to perform successfully on advanced academic tasks.

Christie, F. & Derewianka, B. (2008). School Discourse. Continuum: London.

Hood, S. (2008). Summary writing in academic contexts: Implicating meaning in the process of change.  Linguistics and Education, 19 (4). 351-365.

Ryshina-Pankova, M. (2010). Toward mastering the discourse of reasoning: Use of grammatical metaphor at advanced levels of foreign language acquisition.  The Modern Language Journal, 94 (ii). 181-197.

Schleppegrell, M.J. (2004). Technical writing in a second language: the role of grammatical metaphor in Ravelli, L.J. and Ellis, R.A. Analysing academic writing: contextualized frameworks. New York: Continuum.

*** the audio and slides for Cassi’s presentation are now available for viewing/download by clicking here.

Week 13: October 28th
Presenter: Kesuma A. Bakar, University of Sydney

TITLE:“A (Sensitive New Age Guy) with difference. :)” Gendered
Identities in Online Personals: A Malaysian Perspective


This paper examines the discourse of 200 online personal
advertisements by Malaysian men and women and how they construe
multiple representations of femininity and masculinity. Using
quantitative and qualitative methodologies, I attempt to investigate
the ways in which identity is gendered in the personals – how male
and female identities, via gendered nouns, may be associated with
certain behavioural traits, emotions and social activities – and to
explore the variation afforded by gender categorization. The nominal
group ((M. A. Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004; M. A. K. Halliday, 1994)
forms my point of entry and pre- and post- modifications are
semantically classified according to ATTITUDE (Martin, 2000; Martin &
Rose, 2003; Martin & White, 2005) and Social Actor categorization
(Van Leeuwen, 1996, 2008). My contention is that pre- and
post-modifications enact different stances relating to gender
representations. The results show that women appear to utilise twice
as many gendered nouns and adjectives in their description than men.
Collocational analysis reveals patterns of behaviour and attitude
that perpetuate as well as deviate from dominant constructs of gender
identity, subsequently creating notions of pluralized masculinities
and femininities (Baker, 2003, 2008; Bordo, 1997; Johnson & Meinhof,
1997; Litosseliti, 2002; Stets & Burke, 2000; Wood, 2005)


Baker, P. (2003). No effeminates please: A corpus-based analysis of
masculinity via personal adverts in Gay News/Times 1973-2000.
Masculinity and men’s lifestyle magazines, 243-260.

Baker, P. (2008). Sexed texts: language, gender and sexuality.

Bordo, S. (1997). The body and the reproduction of femininity.
Writing on the body: Female embodiment and feminist theory, 90-110.

Halliday, M. A., & Matthiessen, C. M. (2004). An introduction to
functional grammar.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar, 2nd
edn (London: Edward Arnold). NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2004, 105.

Johnson, S., & Meinhof, U. H. (1997). Language and masculinity:

Litosseliti, L. (2002). Gender identity and discourse analysis (Vol.
2): John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Martin, J. R. (2000). Beyond exchange: APPRAISAL systems in English.
Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the construction of
discourse, 175.

Martin, J. R., & Rose, D. (2003). Working with discourse: Meaning
beyond the clause: Continuum Intl Pub Group.

Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. R. (2005). The language of evaluation:
Palgrave Macmillan Basingstoke.

Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J. (2000). Femininity/masculinity.
Encyclopedia of Sociology, Revised Edition, 997-1005.

Van Leeuwen, T. (1996). The representation of social actors. Texts
and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis, 32-70.

Van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and practice: New tools for
critical discourse analysis: Oxford University Press, USA.

Wood, J. T. (2005). Gendered lives: Wadsworth New York.

*** Slides of Kesuma’s talk are now available for downloading. Please click on this link

Wrap party at Sally Humphrey’s place, on Friday October 28th.
was attended by a garrulous group of people who celebrated the end of the semester and farewelled David and Inneka in a ‘cheerful’, ‘simple’ and ‘fun-loving way’.
Fair to say a good time was had by all, and many thanks to Sally and her family for making us all welcome.

Finally, a big thank-you to Jo Lander at Sydney University, for helping us with the recordings every week, and assisting to make the audio visual records available to us all.

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