On the notion of abstraction in systemic functional linguistics

Williams, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-5832-3019, Russell, N. and Irwin, D., 2017. On the notion of abstraction in systemic functional linguistics. Functional Linguistics, 4 (1): 13. ISSN 2196-419X

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This article provides an in-depth analysis of the theoretical dimensions of stratification, instantiation, and delicacy within Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). It does so by examining the nature of the concept of ‘abstraction’ with respect to these terms. The claim is that, although the same term is used in each case, the precise meaning of abstraction differs depending on the theoretical focus. This conclusion is reached by examining three related, but distinct, factors: (1) omission of detail, (2) generalisation, and (3) decontextualisation. By using these criteria, this article develops a typology of abstraction types for SFL. The conclusion reached is that, although the dimensions of delicacy and instantiation can be described using the criteria above, the explicit ordering behind the dimension of stratification cannot. The paper concludes by examining a proposal that attempts to account for the explicit ordering between strata in terms of supervenience. We argue that this attempt fails to accurate describe inter-stratal relations in the theory. Therefore, the basis of this ordering is in need of further investigation.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Functional Linguistics
Creators: Williams, J., Russell, N. and Irwin, D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: 2017
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 2196-419X
47Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 27 Sep 2018 08:08
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2018 08:08
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/34586

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