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Getting to Know the Flow of Functional Systemic Linguistics

What is Functional Systemic Linguistics?

The flow of Systemic Functional Linguistics (LSF) was first introduced by a linguist, M.A.K Halliday in the 1960s in England. This flow of linguistics is a linguistic theory that was formed based on an authentic description of the use of language in society. Systemic and functional words are important keywords in the flow of Functional Systemic Linguistics. The word systemic refers to a system of options or choices in the use of language, for example whether a clause in a communication event indicates a declarative or indicative clause, and whether it is active or passive. On the other hand, the functional word has meaning if the language lies in the context of use in carrying out its function. For this reason, LSF is a linguistics that is concerned with the selection of language forms in the context of using language as text.

Functional Grammar And. formal

Functional grammar is often contrasted with formal grammar. Functional grammar refers to the school of linguistics pioneered by M. A. K Halliday. On the other hand, formal grammar refers to the type of formal linguistics pioneered by Noam Chomsky, an American linguist. Furthermore, functional groups are rooted in traditions that interpret rhetoric and ethnography. On the other hand, formal groups are rooted in traditions that interpret language as a form with an orientation to logic and philosophy.

Principles of Functional Systemic Linguistics

There are several principles in Functional Systemic Linguistics including:

  1. LSF views language as a source of meaning (a resource for meaning) rather than as a system of rules (a system of rules);
  2. LSF has more to do with text than clauses or sentences;
  3. LSF focuses on the solidarity relationship between texts and social contexts;
  4. LSF is concerned with language which is seen as a system for interpreting meaning.
  5. LSF is oriented towards developing a model that language, natural life and everything is seen as a semiotic communication framework.
  6. LSF views that each element of language can only be explained by referring to the function of that element in the overall linguistic system.
  7. LSF is based on the fact that a clause is part of a sentence.

In LSF’s view, there are three types of meaning in a clause, namely textual meaning, interpersonal meaning, and ideational meaning. These three meanings are then called metafunctional meanings.

Three Metafunctional Meanings in LSF

As explained earlier, the clause becomes a source of meaning that represents experience (ideational), becomes a source of meaning in exchanging meaning (interpersonal), and becomes a source of meaning in conveying messages (textual). This can be illustrated in the following figure.

Sumber : Jing Hao (2020)

1.    Clauses as a Representation of Experience (Ideational)

In this type of meaning, the clause is seen as a source of meaning used to represent experience (Halliday, 1994). The ideational meaning can be broken down into experiential meaning and logical meaning. The ideational meaning associated with experiential meaning is associated with various types of processes within the framework of the linguistic system or what is called transitivity (Halliday, 1994).

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2.    Clauses as Exchange of Meaning (Interpersonal)

This type of clause as an exchange of meaning, the clause is seen as a source of meaning that serves to organize the process of interaction between the writer/speaker and the reader/listener (Halliday, 1994). This is realized in the Mood system.

3.    Clause as Message (Textual)

This type of clause is a source of meaning used to organize information or messages (Halliday, 1994). In communicating, utterances are uttered in the form of clauses. The clause contains an arrangement of information distribution, and information that is considered more important is usually prioritized by placing it at the front of the clause (theme), while the part that is followed is the part that completes the information that has been previously submitted (Rema).