Plenary session 3

James R Martin
University of Sydney, Australia

Ideational semiosis: field, discourse semantics and lexicogrammar

In this paper I return to the challenge of modelling ideational semiosis in a stratified model of language and context. This work grows out of the ongoing dialogue between Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) concerning the nature of knowledge (e.g. Martin & Maton 2013, Martin et al. 2017). In this paper I am particularly concerned with resources for building uncommon sense discourse – including activity, the classification and composition of items involved, and their properties. A key focus will be the role played by grammatical metaphor in distilling academic knowledge (Halliday 1998, Martin 2008) and clarification of the function of nominalisation in this process (Hao in press). The discussion draws examples from multimodal texts (infographics involving verbiage and image) from the field of immunology, as recontextualised for senior secondary school students in Australia. 

Halliday, M.A.K. 1998. Things and relations: regrammaticising experience as technical knowledge. in J.R. Martin & R. Veel (eds.), Reading Science: Critical and functional perspectives on discourses of science. London: Routledge. 185-235.
Hao, J. in press. Nominalisations in scientific English: A tristratal perspective. Functions of Language.
Martin, J.R. 2008. Incongruent and proud: de/vilifying ‘nominalisation’. Discourse & Society19.6. 801-810.
Martin, J.R. & K. Maton (eds.),Linguistics and Education2013. 24.1 (Special Issue on ‘Cumulative knowledge-building in secondary schooling’).
Martin, J.R., K. Maton, B. Quiroz & M. Vidal (eds.), Onomázein 2017. (Special Issue on ‘Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory on Education and Knowledge’).