Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

21. Field and multimodal texts

Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Wendy L. Bowcher [+-]
Wendy L. Bowcher is a professor in the School of Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-sen University, China. She has worked as a consultant forensic linguist in Australia, and for several years as Associate Professor of Linguistics at Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan. She has taught in secondary schools, worked as a multicultural education consultant, and taught linguistics and applied linguistics at both undergraduate and graduate level. She has also taught on teacher training courses, most notably as adjunct lecturer for Columbia University Teachers College, MA TESOL program (Tokyo campus). She received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Liverpool, England. Her research interests include multimodal discourse analysis of Japanese and English texts, context in Systemic Functional Linguistic theory, language education, and English intonation. She was instrumental in the formation of the Japan Association of Systemic Functional Linguistics (JASFL). She is editor of Multimodal Texts from Around the World: Cultural and Linguistic Insights (2012) and co-editor, with Terry D. Royce, of New Directions in the Analysis of Multimodal Discourse (2007).

Description

I wish to ask a seemingly basic question regarding multimodal texts, which I do not believe has been adequately answered in the literature so far. My question is: using Halliday’s model of context and in particular, the system networks of field developed by Hasan (1999), how can we account for context of situation in relation to multimodal texts? A second and related question is: how can we represent the construal of field in multimodal texts within the current SFL theoretical model? Before moving on to my attempt to answer these questions three important points need to be made. First, this chapter works within my interpretation of the traditional model of context as outlined by Halliday (see especially 1978; 1985) and as developed by Hasan (1995; 1999).2 Second, the focus of this chapter is on fi eld, but it should be pointed out that fi eld is one of the conceptual components of context of situation and that the parameters of fi eld are permeable. That is, although we can talk about the different contextual variables as though they were separate entities, they are interdependent and their configuration within any one situation is ‘like a chemical solution, where each factor affects the meaning of the others’ (Hasan, 1995: 231). Third, it is not possible to take account of all the different types and shapes of multimodal texts. Therefore, this chapter presents observations about the relationship between context (fi eld) and multimodal text on the basis of two page-based multimodal instructional texts. It is hoped, however, that the analyses and the discussion in this chapter will offer theoretical insights which may be useful in analysing other multimodal texts.

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Citation

Bowcher, Wendy. 21. Field and multimodal texts. Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 620-646 Nov 2005. ISBN 9781845531140. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=25347. Date accessed: 06 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25347. Nov 2005

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