Coding Orientation: Reservoir/Repertoire

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 chapter traces the development of SFL approaches to semantic variation and their ongoing interaction with sociological approach of code theory. In the first half of the chapter, we review the key influence of Bernstein’s code theory in terms of the differential orientations to meaning people display and the way this interacts with class. We then review Hasan and colleague’s seminal SFL examination of Bernstein’s code theory, their findings showing the presence of semantic variation across classes and the wide-ranging language features used to construct this. Finally, this discussion of Bernstein and Hasan will be interpreted in terms of the more recent concept of allocation in SFL – the distribution of meaning potential across society. In the second half of this chapter, this allocation model will be completed by a model of affiliation, concerned with how people come together to align, form community and share meanings across contexts. To understand this model, we will introduce the modern development of code theory known as Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) and its concepts of cosmology and constellations. Cosmologies develop out of Bernstein’s coding orientations to explores sets of principles underpinning any particular social practice or community; constellations are the networks of meanings that cluster together in ways that ‘make sense’ to their community. As with the model of allocation, we will reinterpret this in terms of SFL’s recently developed model of ‘bond networks’ – shared couplings of ideational and interpersonal meaning in communities – and ‘mass’ and ‘presence’, concerning principles for the selection of meanings in terms of their complexity (mass) and context-dependence (presence). Together with chapter one, this chapter will put forward a firm theoretical grounding for the discussion of affiliation through the rest of the book and help readers toward SFL’s goal of understanding language in society.

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Doran, Yaegan; Martin, J.R. ; Zappavigna, Michele. Coding Orientation: Reservoir/Repertoire. Affiliation and Systemic Functional Linguistics - Negotiating Community. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2022. ISBN 9780000000000. Date accessed: 20 Sep 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41294. Oct 2022

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