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Review Sheet for Final Exam 2705:

Metafunctional Components
For Texts

Ideational Interpersonal function Textual function


function
Participants: who Stance Coherence: a reference outside of text like the picture in an add
and whom
(nouns/pronouns)
Process: (verbs that Attitude Cohesion: the way words and phrases are connected within a discourse
realize
-ellipsis: allows writers to leave out words that readers can
actions/state)
‘retrieve’ from surrounding text. It reproduces informal
-Material: actor, conversation between two equals thus synthetic

process, goal, personalization, paves way for commands.

circumstance -anaphoric reference: Enables speakers and writers to connect words


or phrases that come first in a discourse with
-Mental: sensor,
ones that come later.
process,
-vocabulary chain: Enables speakers or writers to connect a discourse
phenomenon MOOD>Residue
by using words that are related. Snow, cold, winter
Clauses have two elements,
-Verbal: sayer, can be all part of a vocabulary chain.
MOOD and residue. MOOD
process, verbiage, -repetition: Enables speakers or writers to hold a discourse together by
can’t disappear but residue
receiver repeating words or related forms of the words. Also the goal
can. [You can’t] [do that
of add is to keep the product in the minds of the reader thus
-Relational: token, these days.]
through repetition the product name is kept at the forefront
process, value
and thus in the awareness of the consumer.
Circumstance: Modal
When, where, and
how; adverbs,
prepositional
adverbial phrases

Visual:

Representational Modal Compositional


agents (events, agents) rhythm: how are things related or repeated framing
actions gaze: what is the participant looking at? horizontals
stance perspective diagonals
clothing prominence verticals
gesture characterization: how are characters presented? positioning of objects
narrative theme: who is doing parallelism or opposition
what to whom

Mood: Statement [Declarative], Question [Interrogative], Command [Imperative]


CDA Question: Who has the power? How do you know that? / How do the attitudes and opinions reinforce
the impression of power? /

SFL Questions: Who is the participant? / What are the attitudes, opinions and judgments in this text?

Technicalization

Explain: refers to the introduction of technical language and the language of experts into the social policy
domain. What this does is that it presents policy as if they were directly dictated by maters of facts and deflects
consideration about values choices. Technicalization gives the policies an air of legitimacy, but discursive
choices prevent the lay audience from fully comprehending the discourse.

Exemplify
Condensation through nominalization: leaves out time, or who carried it out thus harder to argue with
Absence of concrete actions: concrete action replaced by abstract process which is again hard to argue against
Absence of animate actors: makes it difficult to engage with proposition and question it; no one to question
Predominance of third person form: makes the discourse noticeably distant
Agentless passives: further contributes to the distancing and abstract nature of technicalization
Value Labeling: designed to persuade readers of the value of an event or item, based on author

Conversationalization

Explain: In some ways this is the opposite of technicalization, it has features of casual conversation which are
being co-opted into the public domain. Discourse practices from ordinary or private life are applied to public
discourse.

Exemplify: Conversationalization features are

Anecdote: narrative used to illustrate and simply the information


Frequent use first person: plural and singular pronouns
Informal chatty manner: mimics the way we speak
Short sentences: Conversations usually consists of short sentences
Questions posed to audience: this further involves them thus not stand-offish

Marketization

Explain: refers to the infiltration of discursive elements of the commodities market into other discursive realms
such as politics and education. What this does is that information is no longer presented for communicative
purposes only but for strategic ones.

Exemplify: Marketization features are

Personalization of reader/institution: through the second person pronoun “you” and the inclusive “we”
Advertising elements such as self-promotional claims: shift from institutional identity to entrepreneurial, use of
logos, slogans, design and layout of information
Commoditization of non commodity items such as education: the traditional value shifts to marketized value
Characterizing institutions and consumers in certain ways: a feature seen in ads and not university literature
Interpersonal markings: modality of probability, obligations, necessity, mood variations, with commands

Articles: identify and explain main aspects of theories outlined in the following

Teo: Ideological dissonances in Singapore’s national campaign posters: a semiotic deconstruction

Visual semiotic analysis: Teo discusses how images promote and reflect ideologies and that the national
campaigns on courtesy run by the government of Singapore reflect certain values and ideas. The courtesy
campaign shows that the Singaporean government feels that courtesy is an important characteristic to have for
a society and that it is ok for it to be a top-down recommendation. Teo’s analysis states that he finds a
discrepancy between the text and the visual element of the posters. The texts promote courtesy, and Teo cites
courtesy as primarily a mental process and then verbal and material since, while we find that the visual
elements represent material processes only. This would then imply that courtesy is in the actions alone rather
than an attitude and feeling which according to Teo goes against what courtesy really is and herein lays the
discrepancy. Teo concludes that dissonances and discontinuities between the verbal and the visuals and within
the visuals point to the fact that meaning transcends linguistic and verbal signs and that semiotic analysis such
as these can point to the cracks within the ideologies it reflects.

Fairclough: Critical discourse analysis and the marketization of public discourse: the universities

Marketization: Fairclough speaks of how the discourse of advertisement has colonized much of other types of
discourse such as the one to do with education. He states this reflects the more general trend towards
consumerism our 21st century society. Examples of university texts reveal the marketization of their discourse
and the shift in their self-identity and the way they portray themselves and the way they think of the reader
(more like consumers now than merely students). If not a marketized discourse then the discourse is usually the
traditional one which Fairclough finds distasteful as well and so at the end of his article he suggests that though
CDA cannot solve the problem of marketized or traditional discursive practices it points to the fact that new
discursive methods are needed. Shift from communicative to strategic discourse.

Lemke: Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics

Technicalization: J L. Lemke argues in his article how investigating technical discourses in texts reveal the
political and ideological stance the text takes though it may claim to be nonpartisan. He reveals how
conservative and middle class values are “disguised as results of objective research” and by using
technicalization it becomes harder for the reader to question and criticize the claims. Technicalization uses
such features as nominalization to obscure who is doing what and when. It also uses Agentless passives so that
it becomes harder to argue against the data and also to make the data appear more neutral and legit. The
infamous “studies show” agentless passive draws the attention away from who had conducted the study to
what the study’s results apparently show. Technicalization often makes readers feel dim-witted since the
meaning of a sentence is not always readily understandable when presented in such a way and this feeling of
inferiority is often enough to keep some form questioning the data thus it creates power for those that utilize it.