Introduction The notion of ‘choice’ is invoked as a concept in SFL in different ways for different units of analysis. At clause rank, when dealing with the semantic and lexicogrammatical strata, ‘choice’ is used to describe the unconscious process of selection from the meaning potential to create a text instance in a given context (see e.g. Halliday, this volume). But when we move to consider context, the idea of selection from a potential no longer seems to fit so comfortably. Indeed, Halliday (this volume) suggests that existing networks of choice for context are really no more than ‘taxonomies of semiotic situation types’. What is the unit of analysis at the contextual stratum? What is the potential from which options are selected? By what means does the selection take place? What entry conditions might exist for beginning a selection path through a system? (See Halliday, this volume, for a discussion of system and system networks at the linguistic strata). These questions cannot all be answered satisfactorily here, but they are raised to acknowledge that theoretical difficulties exist, and that as a result some assumptions will need to be made in this chapter about the utility of a paradigmatic view of context for the study of register.
|Title of host publication||Systemic Functional Linguistics: Exploring Choice|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|