Introduction: Users in Uses

Affiliation and Systemic Functional Linguistics - Negotiating Community - Yaegan Doran

Yaegan Doran [+-]
University of Sydney
Yaegan Doran is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Research Fellow in the LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on language, semiosis, knowledge and education from the perspectives of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory, spanning the interdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics, multimodality, and language and identity.
J.R. Martin [+-]
University of Sydney
J R Martin is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His research interests include systemic theory, functional grammar, discourse semantics, register, genre, multimodality and critical discourse analysis, focussing on English and Tagalog - with special reference to the transdisciplinary fields of educational linguistics and social semiotics.
Michele Zappavigna [+-]
University of New South Wales
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Michele Zappavigna is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. As a linguist, her primary focus is on exploring the language of microblogging and social media. Her research in this area investigates discursive patterns in social media texts and corpora.


This book is concerned with semantic variation, both from the perspective of variation between texts (what semiotic resources are used to do) and variation among speakers (how semiotic resources are used to negotiate community). This chapter develops the general theoretical framework informing this research. It begins by reviewing some of the key concepts developed by systemic functional linguistics for modelling system as a resource for meaning – axis, and the derived concepts of rank, metafunction and stratification. It then considers the complementary hierarchy of instantiation, which relates system to instances of use – recontextualising work on register and genre and introducing the concepts of coupling and commitment as tools for exploring language, paralanguage and related modalities of communication across multimodal texts. It then turns to the complementary hierarchy of individuation, which relates reservoirs of systems to repertoires of use – reviewing work on coding orientation and introducing the concepts of bonding and iconisation as tools for exploring affiliation. Finally it turns to genesis, concerned with semantic variation over time, reviewing work on phylogenesis (historical evolution of the system), ontogenesis (individual development of repertoires) and logogenesis (unfolding instances of use). As each chapter illustrates, the resources deployed, the texts through which they are instantiated and the identities these texts construe have to be all kept in focus as our social perspective on semiosis evolves. As ever in functional linguistics and semiotics, the key to wrestling with the edge of knowledge is to sustain a multi-perspectival stance in which theory deploys complementarities to illuminate our object of study – so we can observe the humanity of our communication processes, not just their form.

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Doran, Yaegan; Martin, J.R. ; Zappavigna, Michele. Introduction: Users in Uses. Affiliation and Systemic Functional Linguistics - Negotiating Community. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2024. ISBN 9780000000000. Date accessed: 04 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41293. Oct 2024

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