SFL in Japanese: Online study group

Invitation from Online study group in Japanese:

Dear all

In March we launched an online study group for discussing SFL in Japanese with a number of colleagues across the world. We now prepare for the next meeting in 19th June, and would like to take this opportunity to invite more people to join in.

Our aims are to get together, to  share knowledge and questions in a collaborative collegial setting, to learn from each other and to foster the knowledge base of the Japanese-speaking subcommunity of SFL. All are welcome, wherever you are, what language(s) you speak or work on, as long as you can be engaged in the discussion in Japanese on Skype.

If you are interested, please let me know (ayumimv@gmail.com), and I’ll send you more information about the group, how you can join, etc., written in Japanese. You are also very welcome to forward this email to those who may be interested so they can contact me.

Look forward to hearing from many of you!

Best wishes

Ayumi Inako

PhD from University of Technology, Sydney



Demetaphorization as explicitating shifts in translation

‘demetaphorization’ is generally associated with congruent unpacking of grammatical metaphors (cf. Halliday, 1985; Halliday and Matthiessen, 1999, 2004)


see p. 164 in:


Fattah, Ashraf

[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2010.

Access to files


This study investigates clause complexing and conjunctive explicitation in a speciallycompiled corpus consisting of two sets of Arabic translations and comparable non-translatedArabic texts both produced by the same translators/authors in the domainsof history and philosophy. Focusing on certain types of conjunctive markers, thisstudy seeks to find lexico-grammatical evidence of one of the translation-specificfeatures, i.e. features typical of translated language, in these selected target texts,using both parallel and comparable corpora.Adopting a Systemic Functional approach for analyzing logico-semantic relationsbetween clauses, clause complexes and sequences in Arabic, the study examinessome causal and concessive conjunctions and conjunctive Adjuncts in Arabictranslated and non-translated texts, and contrasts these with their English counterpartswith a view to identifying recurrent patterns or trends of ‘explicitation’, one of thefeatures that are arguably typical of translated texts.Baker (1996) suggests a number of translation-specific features, which manifestthemselves in translated texts on lexical and syntactic levels, and seem to be typicalof translated language in general. Evidence of one such posited feature, namelyexplicitation, is sought in the selected translators’ handling of structural and textualconjunctive expressions in the English source texts. Thus, the primary aim of thepresent study is twofold: to examine from a systemic functional perspectivedifferences in the patterns of instantiation of clause complexing and conjunctiverelations in English source texts, their Arabic translations and Arabic non-translationsauthored by the same translators; and to investigate whether, and to what extent, thesedifferences are attributable to explicitation as a translation-specific feature.The originality of this study stems first from its focus on Arabic, thus addressing aconspicuous gap in corpus-based research on translation-specific features, which hasso far been largely confined to Indo-European languages. Secondly, being theorydriven,and specifically embedded in a systemic functional framework, the conceptionof explicitation adopted in this study constitutes a departure from the taxonomicapproach characteristic of a large body of literature on explicitation, which is neitherinformed nor motivated by a coherent theoretical framework, with the result that itoften engenders a flat model of description and classification, with vague overlappingcategories. Confirming the findings of earlier studies on explicitation, this study hasrevealed a tendency of explicitation features to cluster in various metafunctionalenvironments, with the overall effect of reducing vagueness or complexity, avoidingambiguity, and enhancing comprehensibility through enhanced conjunctivecohesiveness, reinforcement, expanded simplification or unpacking of complexconstructions.


Arabic Translation Explicitation Conjunction Clause Complexing Systemic Functional Linguistics Corpus


explicitating shifts are generally considered one of the universals of translation in the field

Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics

LinC Summer School and Workshop 2016 – Introductory Course
The Introductory Course in SFL will introduce participants to the basics of SFL with a particular focus
on clausal analysis. There will be sessions on each of the three metafunctions – the experiential, the
interpersonal and the textual – as well as sessions discussing how the metafunctions combine to
make multi-stranded meaning and on potential applications of the approach. The programme is set
up to cover each topic in a lecture format followed by a workshop dedicated to each topic. This
format provides the opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience in analysing grammar in a
systemic functional linguistic tradition. The programme also includes an introduction to the UAM
CorpusTool for those who are interested in learning to use it.
This course will be delivered by Lise Fontaine, Tom Bartlett and Gerard O’Grady
• Introduction to SFL
• Experiential Meaning
• Experiential Meaning workshop
• Noun group and other units and phrases
• Noun group workshop
• Interpersonal Meaning
• Workshop on Interpersonal Meaning
• Textual and information Meaning
• Workshop on Textual and information Meaning
• Introduction to the UAM CorpusTool
• Summary Session: bringing the 3 strands together
• Applying SFL Workshop: applications
Descriptions for the introductory course
Opening Lecture: Introduction to SFL
The introductory course will begin with an introductory lecture, which provides an overview of
Systemic Functional Linguistics. We will introduce the three main metafunctions and the general
principles of SFL.
Lecture: Experiential meaning
In this session we will examine how experiential content is construed through the grammar of
processes, participants and circumstances. Particular emphasis will be placed on distinguishing
process types according to their grammatical behaviour and we will look at material, relational,
verbal and mental processes and discuss the concept of borderline categories with reference to
difficult cases.
Workshop on Experiential meaning
We will analyse a text to see how different participants are categorised and how the text develops
experiential themes in relation to the genre it represents.
Lecture: The noun group and other units and phrases
This is an introduction to the building blocks of the clause, focussing on words and the way in which
they pattern and form larger units, including, noun groups, verb groups, prepositional phrases, etc.
Workshop on the noun group
The aim of this workshop is to develop the skills and strategies needed for analysing clause-internal
grammatical structures. We will focus on the structures of the various units most commonly found
within the clause and how to identify and analyse them.
Lecture: Interpersonal meaning
This lecture will provide a more detailed look at the Interpersonal metafunction, where we will
consider the meanings that relate most directly to the speaker and addressee in interaction. This will
include a look a personal meaning (modality) and interactional meaning (mood) within an SFL
framework. This introduction to interpersonal meaning will provide a good basis for the follow-on
workshop where you will get the chance to work with the main concepts and begin to focus on
lexicogrammatical analysis.
Workshop on Interpersonal meaning
This workshop concentrates on identifying units at clause level and interpreting these units in
functional terms with respect to interpersonal meanings.
Lecture: Textual and information meaning
In this session we will examine the twin systems of Theme and Information focusing especially on
Theme/Rheme Given/New and the relationship between the two. We will then look at ways in which
Theme can be explored in text, establishing key concepts such as Fries’ method of development,
Martin’s scaffolding and hyper-Theme, and Matthiessen’s points of logogenetic growth. We will also
consider the issues around applying the notions of Given/New (which are based on intonation) to
written text.
Workshop on textual and information meaning
We will analyse one or more texts to see how Theme and New were used to organise the text and
guide the reader towards salient points of interest.
Introduction to the UAM CorpusTool
This workshop offers an introduction to the UAM CorpusTool and will be held in our IT training room.
Summary Session: the full analysis
This session will provide a summary of the various types of meaning covered in the course and give
the opportunity to work with a complete text for analysis. The aim here is to clarify issues which may
have arisen during the week.
Workshop: Applying SFL
This final introductory session will demonstrate how SFL can be used in application.
Recommended Reading List – Introductory textbooks
Bloor, T. & Bloor, M. 2004. The Functional Analysis of English. London: Arnold
Eggins, S. 2004. An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Frances Pinter.
Fontaine, L. 2013. Analyzing English Grammar: A systemic-functional introduction. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Thompson, G. 2004. Introducing Functional Grammar. London: Arnold

SFL and languages other than English

LinC Summer school and workshop 2016
SFL and Languages other than English

The focus of this course is on Systemic Functional Linguistics and Languages Other than English. We
have brought together experts in areas such as typology, translation, language description and
annotation. Each participant on the course will choose six sessions (two per day for a total of 6 hours
each day) from the nine sessions listed below. Session descriptions have been presented in
alphabetical order by surname.

Instructors on this course include:

• Jorge Arus Hita, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
• Mohamed Bardi, Macquarie University
• Robin Fawcett, Cardiff University
• William McGregor, Universität Trier
• Stella Neumann, RWTH Aachen University
• Mick O’Donnell, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
• Miriam Taverniers, Ghent University
• Chris Taylor, Università di Trieste
• Gordon Tucker, Cardiff University

Metafunctional journey through Spanish
Jorge Arus Hita

After a brief presentation of the Spanish language, an overview will follow of the different
strands of meaning (experiential, interpersonal, textual and logical). Emphasis will be made on
the way the different metafunctions interplay in Spanish in order to construe meaning. This
interplay will be discussed by means of examples and in turn compared to English examples so
as to better appreciate the specificities of Spanish.

In the second part, we will work with a bilingual text (Spanish original and English translation)
and together discuss how the texts reflect the contrasts in the way the different
metafunctions interplay in each language.

Fluency in Spanish is not necessary. Examples with English glosses will be provided.

Analysing Arabic Text from an Ideational Perspective: Potential and Challenges
Mohamed Ali Bardi, Al-Maarefa Colleges for Science and Technology – Saudi Arabia

Ideationally, language is a resource for construing our experience of the world around and
inside us as meaning. Experience is construed as a semantic model – a vast model of the
categories of experience. The most general category in this construal is that of a
‘phenomenon’, which is further classified into three classes of phenomena: the element, the
figure and the sequence. The elements are the components that interact within a figure. They
come in three different types viz. processes, participants and circumstances. Figures, which
correspond to clauses, consist of elements, but do themselves form sequences. A sequence is
a series of interrelated figures which correspond to a clause complex. There are different
kinds of relations which figures within a sequence can enter into i.e. either expanding or
projecting. Grammatically, this has to do with the logic mode of organization which construes
experience serially as a chain of sequences.

The first session about Arabic will be dealing with the figure i.e. a variety of clause types. One
of the main challenges students encounter when analyzing a text is to properly divide it into
sequences especially identifying minor clauses that are construed by nominalized verbal
forms. Once most of the clause types are defined, we’ll look during the second session into
the figure to study the elements that interact within it. We will focus on the process and
identify all process types. One of the main objectives of the study of the process is to
demonstrate how it could also help in dividing the text into clauses. Towards the end of the
second session, all that was theoretically covered earlier will be put into practice, we’ll try to
divide a variety of texts into clauses and then into processes and the participants in those
processes. We’ll try to see how language use ideationally varies from one register to another.
We’ll analyze depending on how much we have left a political speech, a short extract from a
novel, a literary critic, two translations of one text, a news article.

Working knowledge of Arabic is expected for this workshop.

Theory and practice in writing a systemic functional grammar : how we wrote computerimplemented lexicogrammars for Japanese
Robin Fawcett, Cardiff University
Description TBC

Workshop language is English. No familiarity with Japanese is required.

Post-Firthian perspectives on linguistic typology
William McGregor, Universität Trier

Compared with most other modern “functional” approaches, SFG and its congeners – which I
will refer to collectively as Post-Firthian (PF) – has shown relatively little interest in linguistic
typology, and has made at best limited impact on it. We will begin by overviewing what makes
PF approaches different from the paradigm functional-typological approach (also dubbed
atheoretical), namely the central theoretical place of emic phenomena (e.g. the linguistic
sign). We will examine the consequences to the practice and shape of linguistic typology. We
will focus attention on experiential grammar, in particular grammatical (role) relations,
transitivity, and ergativity. In the second session we will turn to (a subdomain of) possession,
and examine a set of data from a small selection of languages in view of developing a

The language of the session is English and there are no other language requirements.

Issues in Translation
Stella Neumann, RWTH Aachen University

Translations are often described as being recognizably different from non-translated text in
terms of properties such as explicitness, interference of linguistic features of the source
language, etc. Arguably these properties are a result of various factors such as contrastive
differences between the source and the target language, differences between the registers
involved but also understanding and workflow-related aspects in the translation process.
In the first part, this session will take a closer look at some practical issues in the translator’s
concrete task. Starting out from a definition of translation we will examine some of the factors
that may have an impact on the linguistic properties of the final translation. The second part
of the session will then concentrate on the linguistic study of translations. The focus will be on
translation properties as investigated in corpus-based translation studies and in experimental
studies tapping into the translation process.
There are no specific language requirements but participants are expected to be bilingual at

Using UAM CorpusTool for annotation of languages other than English
Mick O’Donnell, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

This workshop will lead the attendees through the process of using UAM CorpusTool for
corpus annotation in languages other than English. In the first session, we will explore manual
annotation in a variety of languages, ranging from those with latinate writing systems, to
those with Cyrilic, Arabic, Chinese, etc. scripts. Manual annotation involves the user
identifying segments and coding them themselves, which is appropriate in those contexts
where automatic means to identify the pattern do not yet exist.

In the second session, we will explore the use of UAM CorpusTool for automatic analysis with
languages other than English. We will start with POS (part-of-speech) analysis of texts from a
range of languages, and how this analysis can be used to produce quick profiles of the texts.
We will then use automatic syntactic analysis for a small range of languages where parsers are

Language of the workshop will be English.

Verb patterns in a typological perspective
Miriam Taverniers, Ghent University

In this session the focus is on how three structural-functional frameworks — viz. Systemic
Functional Linguistics (SFL), Role and Reference Grammar (RRG), and Functional Discourse
Grammar (FDG) — theorize and model verb patterns and relations between those patterns in
a typological perspective. The session will consist of a presentation and then a practice part.

The presentation will be built up as follows:
1) In the theoretical exploration of each model the following topics will be focused on:
• general components in the design of the model (differentiating dimensions and levels of
• views on the meaning-structure relation; the syntax-semantics interface and the role of
• conception of the lexis-grammar relation;
• modelling of the structure of the clausal syntagm, focusing on layering of structure, and the
relation between syntax and morphology.
2) A second part will focus on how the three structural-functional grammars, with their own
specific designs/architectures, and their specific models of variation in verb patterns, address
issues in functional-language typology.
The three structural-functional models will be viewed from a meta-SFL perspective, i.e. SFL
will be taken as a starting point and RRG and FDG will be explored against the background of
SFL. The complete exercise of comparing the three different frameworks (i.e. what they are
like as linguistic models) will be carried out with a view to understanding how they deal with
questions in functional language typology (i.e. what they can do when faced with a typological

In the hands-on part, participants will work with a number of related verbal structures in
Germanic and Romance languages that contain patterns of secondary predication. The aim is
to explore how different patternings can be delineated and how they can be modelled as
belonging to a network of patterns, and in this exploration, reflect upon the use and value of
specific tools and modelling concepts that were discussed in the presentation of the three
structural-functional models (esp. how the relation between lexis and grammar is modelled;
and esp. the specific concepts/tools of the system network and agnation from SFL; frames or
constructional/syntactic templates, verb alternations and coercion from RRG and FDG).
The language of the session is English and there are no other language requirements.

Audio Description – textual access for the sensorially disabled
Chris Taylor, Università di Trieste

This session is devoted firstly to explaining what audio description is, namely the providing of
verbal descriptions of what appears on screen in a film or television programme sandwiched
between the ongoing dialogues, and examining some best practices. The session will be based
on the results of the European project ADLAB (Audio Description: lifelong access for the blind)
and on the resulting publications Audio Description: new perspectives illustrated and the
manual of guidelines for audio describers Pictures Painted in Words. The study of audio
description involves many aspects of SFL ranging from theme development to appraisal. There
will also be a hands-on opportunity to produce a short AD of a film clip.

Language of the workshop is English and will include examples from Italian although no
knowledge of Italian is required.

Modelling lexis and phraseology in English, French and Italian in a Systemic Functional Grammar
Gordon Tucker, Cardiff University

In this session we shall explore how lexis and phraseological expressions are handled in
Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG).

SFG is primarily concerned with the choices available to language users, what it means to
make a given choice and what the consequences are of making one choice rather than
another. In our session we shall focus on choices that involve lexis and phraseological
expressions, rather than those involving ‘larger’ grammatical structures and meanings.
Grammar and lexis are not, however, two separate, independent areas of linguistic
organisation. They are, as we shall see, extremely interdependent. This is the position now
strongly adopted within major theories of language, such as Cognitive Grammar and
Construction Grammar. In terms of SFG, Michael Halliday argued a number of decades ago
that ‘the lexicon (….) is simply the most delicate grammar. In other words there is only one
network of lexicogrammatical options’ (Halliday 1978:42). Phraseological expressions (idioms,
formulaic and metaphorical expressions, fixed and semi-fixed expressions etc.) can be seen to
fall somewhere between ‘grammar’ and ‘lexis’ on the lexicogrammatical continuum.
So we shall explore how lexis and phraseology expressions are organised within the overall
lexicogrammar, emphasising their interdependence with grammatical structure. We shall also
explore how their organisation accounts for various phenomena associated with lexical
choice, such as: collocation, colligation, sense relations (synonymy, meronymy, antonymy
etc.), polysemy, formalilty, technicality etc.

We shall also explore how lexical and phraseological phenomena are handled in languages
other than English, and in particular in French and Italian. There will of course been local
differences between the languages, and we will need to account for phenomena that are
exclusive to a given language, but on the whole, we would expect to find that the general
organisational principles are the same across languages.

The language of the session is English and there are no other language requirements.

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The UAM CorpusTool is a state-of-the-art environment for annotation of text corpora. So, whether you are annotating a corpus as part of a linguistic study, or building a training set for use in statistical language processing, this is the tool for you. http://www.corpustool.com/features.html