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This chapter traces the historical relationship between Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). I describe Fairclough’s linguistic SFL approach to CDA focusing on his seminal 1989 work Language and Power and outline his three-stage methodology, which enables analysts to account for discourse as (i) text, (ii) discursive practice, and (iii) societal practice. Text samples are used to illustrate how SFL is able to analyze language use as text and practice. Furthermore, I show that the Marxist heritage underpinning the genesis of SFL is shown to fully harmonize linguistic theory with social theory. Various criticisms of SFL-flavoured CDA such as the unrepresentativeness of data, subjectivity of analyses, and an anti-mentalist theory of context are discussed and dismissed. A claim that cognitive linguistics is the missing link in the analysis of ideological patterns underpinning social action is considered and mostly rejected on the grounds of its seeming incompatibility with social theory and individual-centred focus. Finally, technological developments which have the potential to add to the power of CDA descriptions and explanations in language and other modes are briefly outlined, as are some of the tensions remaining between theory and practice.
This stimulating volume provides fresh perspectives on choice, a key notion in systemic functional linguistics. Bringing together a global team of well-established and up-and-coming systemic functional linguists, it shows how the different senses of choice as process and as product are interdependent, and how they operate at all levels of language. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it covers a range of linguistic viewpoints, informed by evolutionary theory, psychology, sociology and neuroscience, to produce a complex but unifying account of the issues. This book offers a critical examination of choice and is ideal for students and researchers working in all areas of functional linguistics as well as cognitive linguistics, second-language acquisition, neurolinguistics and sociolinguistics.
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