Previous Events 2010

Category Date Participant Title Venue
Seminar 26 Nov Prof Ken Hyland PALS 2010 | Conformity and creativity: constructing identity in academic writing CityU
Seminar 19 Nov Dr Francisco Veloso PALS 2010 | The establishment of forestship: The multimodal discourse of tourism and the construction of identity CityU
Seminar 12 Nov Prof John Flowerdew PALS 2010 | Some frontstage and backstage features in the study of lexical cohesion from a corpus perspective CityU
Seminar 5 Nov Dr Paul J Thibault PALS 2010 | Bodily dynamics, cultural norms, and situation transcendence: First-order interaction as agent-extending and world-building behaviour CityU
Symposium 1,3 Nov CTL, HCLS International Symposium on "Connecting Paths: Lamb, Halliday and Hasan" CityU
Seminar 29 Oct Prof Liu Yi PALS 2010 | Reinstantiation of meanings in scaffolding ESL academic literacy: Teacher's talk around the text in the reading to learn program CityU
Seminar 22 Oct Dr Sue Hood PALS 2010 | Language and legitimation: Disciplinary differences in constructing space for new knowledge CityU
Seminar 15 Oct Ms Corinne Maxwell-Reid PALS 2010 | Using SFL in contrastive work across languages: An example from Spanish-English bilingual education CityU
Seminar 8 Oct Dr Angel Lin PALS 2010 | A Genre-based bridging curriculum for Hong Kong secondary schools CityU
Seminar 24 Sep Prof Chang Chenguang PALS 2010 | The dialectic of theory and practice: SFL as an appliable linguistics CityU
Seminar 17 Sep Mr Marvin Lam PALS 2010 | From lexicogrammar to situational context: The theoretical construction of socio-semiotic distance CityU
Seminar 10 Sep Prof Andrew Goatly PALS 2010 | METAPHOR AND EVALUATION CityU
Seminar 3 Sep Prof J.R. Martin PALS 2010 | Historical cosmologies: Epistemology and axiology in Australian secondary school history CityU
Conference 18-20 Jan Dept CTL The Second International Conference on Global Interoperability for Language Resources CityU

Professor Ken Hyland (Centre for Applied English Studies, University of Hong Kong)

The 12th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Conformity and creativity: Constructing identity in academic writing

Date : 26 November 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


Identity is a central organizing principle of our social lives, yet remains something of an elusive and contested concept throughout the social sciences. Recent research, however, has emphasized the close connections between writing and the construction of an author's identity as we negotiate representations of ourselves through the discourses of our communities. In academic contexts this is often viewed as a repressive and determining system which crushes creativity and privileges certain ways of making meanings, so encouraging the performance of certain kinds of identities. We can, however, see disciplinary conventions as a pattern of options which allows writers to actively accomplish an identity through their discourse choices. In this paper I offer a new way of conceptualizing identity and suggest how corpus methods can be used to inform the idea that identity is performed through language. I do this by exploring the published work of two leading celebrities in applied linguistics: John Swales and Debbie Cameron. By comparing the single authored output of each author with a broader applied linguistics corpus of 750,000 words, I show how their linguistic choices reflect distinctive discoursal identities which mark out their work from the rest of us.


Professor Ken Hyland is Chair Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied English Studies at the University of Hong Kong, having moved from the University of London last year. He has taught Applied Linguistics and EAP for over 30 years in Asia, Australasia and the UK and has published over 150 articles and 14 books on language education and academic writing. Most recent publications are Academic Discourse (Continuum, 2009), a second edition of Teaching and Researching Writing (Longman, 2009), Academic Evaluation (edited with Giuliana Diani, Palgrave, 2009), EAP: an advanced resource book (Routledge, 2006) and Metadiscourse (2005, Continuum). He is currently working on a book on Disciplinary identity for Cambridge University Press and a handbook on discourse analysis for Continuum. He was founding co-editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes and is now co-editor of Applied Linguistics and editor of the book series Continuum Discourse Series.

Dr. Francisco Veloso

The 11th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
The establishment of forestship:
The multimodal discourse of tourism and the construction of identity

Date : 19 November 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


This paper aims at analyzing tourism brochures produced by and distributed in the State of Acre, Brazil, in a context of profound political and administrative changes carried out by the Labor Party since the year 1999, by analyzing semiotic resources applied in the creation of meanings. This official propaganda seems to attempt to recast the identity of inhabitants in the State and how they relate to it and to themselves, in a process of identification (Hall, 1996). This study examines texts from a multimodal perspective, considering the different semiotic resources employed in the construction of meanings (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001, 2006) as tools of analysis. Preliminary results indicate that natural resources, indigenous culture at large and certain aspects of history, build the bases for the re-construction of identity, employing different modes and media in a process that ultimately re-writes and re-signifies the very history of the State of Acre.

Hall, Stuart. (1996). Who needs 'Identity'?. In: Stuar Hall & Paul du Gay (eds). Questions of cultural identity. London: Sage.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar. London: Arnold.

Kress, G. and Van Leeuwe, T. (2001). Multimodal discourse - The modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Arnold.

Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images - the grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.

Professor John Flowerdew

The 10th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Some frontstage and backstage features in
the study of lexical cohesion from a corpus perspective

Date : 12 November 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


In this presentation, I will talk about some issues in corpus research with reference to a particular usage of abstract nouns which I call signalling nouns. Signalling nouns are nouns which have cohesive properties across and within clauses (Flowerdew, 2003a, 2003b, 2006, 2010).

A signalling noun is potentially any abstract noun the meaning of which can only be made specific by reference to its context. Examples of signalling nouns are attitude, difficulty, fact, process, reason, result, thing etc. The following are examples of signalling nouns functioning in an inter-clausal manner (the first cataphoric and the second anaphoric):

1. This theory leaves a number of facts unexplained. For exam­ple, starch is absent from the guard cells of certain plants; some guard cells lack chloroplasts but still open and close; and the stomatal movements of some plants may not necessarily be related to the time of day; . . .

2. Electricity is used to drive the motor of an electric train, but inevitably some of the energy is lost as heat. This unavoidable fact is of great importance in biology.

While the next example has a signalling noun functioning intra-clausally:

3. Transpiration is the inevitable result of the necessity for the inside of the leaf to be open to the atmosphere.

In the presentation, I will first talk about the possible benefits and costs of what I will refer to as a "large small corpus approach" in linguistic research. I will then give a frontstage presentation, showing some corpus results regarding signalling nouns which I am confident about. This will be followed by the presentation of some backstage issues, issues which still need to be resolved. I will seek to engage the audience in a discussion of some of these issues.

Dr. Paul J Thibault

The 9th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Bodily dynamics, cultural norms, and situation transcendence: First-order interaction as Agent-extending and world-building behaviour

Date : 5 November 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


I will start with the premise that much of what call 'thinking' in the western cultural and scientific tradition is not centralized in individuals. Instead, it is spread across persons, artefacts, texts, environmental affordances, technologies, and cultural norms and constraints. In modern times, this insight has its roots in the earlier work of Vygotsky and Malinowski. Thinking is socially and culturally distributed behaviour that is grounded in the dynamics of human interaction in talk. In this seminar, I will focus exclusively on talk, rather than written text. I take the two be radically different, though this point will not be a focus. My focus will be on the inter-individual patterns of behaviour that are created between persons when they interact in talk. Talk is behaviour that involves diverse agents and a diversity of bodily resources that are dialogically coordinated in local and nonlocal ways. Agents and their bodies are what I will call a first-order interactional resource for achieving socially distributed ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. I will use multimodal interaction analysis to explore aspects of this, though the emphasis will be on whole-body meaning-making, rather than on separate 'modalities' that are combined. We will consider how these resources function to coordinate the actions, perspectives, feelings, and representations of social agents.

Agents-in-interaction coordinate their value-realizing and meaning-seeking activities in familial, institutional and other settings. They do so in relation to personal and institutional projects and the social and cultural norms to which they orient. In doing so, they both extend the human ecology and orient to and coordinate their joint activities with the larger institutional frame and its knowledge economy. I will also consider the normative, second-order character of cultural patterns and constraints. This is where lexicogrammar and discourse patterns come in. With these considerations suitably harnessed, I will offer some reflections on the ways in which talk extends human agency and the human ecology in situation-transcending ways.

I will consider above all how, through first-order interactional resources, agents-in-interaction coordinate brain, bodies, events, and technologies in order to make things happen in particular settings. The notion of 'first-order interaction' does not refer to lexicogrammatical patterns and discourse structures. I see the latter as a further layer of cultural patterns and constraints deriving from longer, slower cultural-community time-scales. I take these to be second-order cultural patterns. First-order interaction just is dialogically coordinated body dynamics and behaviour between agents-in-interaction. It includes, for example, the very rapid pico-scale of the dynamical bodily events (e.g. vocalizations, eye gaze, gesture, body postures and movements) on very short time-scale of fractions of seconds to milliseconds. Such events play a central role in coordinating agents, their actions, perceptions, feelings, understandings, relevant technologies and environmental artefacts and affordances in real-time. First-order interaction is itself directly meaningful. It is not like a constructed code. Instead, it is living, feeling, moving persons acting in their worlds. I will put the emphasis on first-order interaction, which is always multimodal, as a form of agent- and world-extending activity linking diverse time-scales (e.g. neural, bodily, situational, cultural). In so doing, agents give rise to the forms of collective cognition, perception, and action that extend both their agency and their Umwelten.

In my presentation, I will consider how many aspects of so-called 'higher' cognitive processes are constructed in and through inter-individual patterns of multi-agent and embodied multimodal interaction in the real-time dynamics of talk. Some relevant questions to be considered are: What is the role of embodied multimodal meaning-making in the creation of external representations that guide activity and awareness in various tasks and social practices? How do these resources function to select, connect and focus on cognitively salient aspects of the environment? How do interpersonally/dialogically coordinated patterns of bodily activity enable agents to lock into environmental tasks, organise them, segment them into separate components, link their different parts into larger wholes, conceptualise them, and enable complex computational tasks to be handled as socially distributed and embodied ones (instead of individually centralized, internal and abstract mental ones)? How is the external world harnessed and coordinated in productive ways in and through inter-individual activity with full-body sense-making and perception in order to solve cognitive and computational tasks and problems. What are the implications for a theory of learning?

I will use video recordings to illustrate my arguments. Examples will include infant-parent interaction, a learning task involving primary age children, and a domestic situation.

Baldry, Anthony and Thibault, Paul J. 2006. Multimodal Transcription and Text Analysis: A multimedia toolkit and coursebook (with associated online course). Foreword by Jay Lemke. London and Oakville, CT: Equinox. (ISBN 1-904768-06-7). Second edition 2010.

Cowley, Stephen J. 2004. 'Contextualizing bodies: human infants and distributed cognition'. Language Sciences 26: 565-591.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1975. Learning How to Mean: Explorations in the development of language. London: Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1978. Language as Social Semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. 2004 [1985]. Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd edition, revised by Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen. London and Melbourne: Arnold.

Hutchins, Edwin 1995. Cognition in the Wild. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Martin, James R. 2010. 'Semantic variation: modelling system, text and affiliation in social semiosis'. In M. Bednarek and J. R. Martin (eds.), New Discourse on Language: Functional Perspectives on Multimodality, Identity and Affiliation, pp. 1-34. London: Continuum.

Steffensen, Sune V., Thibault, Paul J. and Cowley, Stephen J. 2010. 'Living in the social meshwork: the case of health interaction'. In Stephen Cowley, João C. Major, Sune V. Steffensen and Alfredo Dinis (eds.), Signifying Bodies: Biosemiosis, interaction and health, pp. 207-244. Braga: The Faculty of Philosophy of Braga Portuguese Catholic University.

Thibault, Paul J. 2004. Brain, Mind, and the Signifying Body: An ecosocial semiotic theory. Foreword by M. A. K. Halliday. London and New York: Continuum.

Thibault, Paul J. 2004. Agency and Consciousness in Discourse: Self-other dynamics as a complex system. London and New York: Continuum.

Thibault, Paul J. 2005. 'What kind of minded being has language: Anticipatory dynamics, arguability, and agency in a normatively and recursively self-transforming learning system, Part 1'. Linguistics and the Human Sciences 1(2): 261-335.

Thibault, Paul J. 2005. 'What kind of minded being has language: Anticipatory dynamics, arguability, and agency in a normatively and recursively self-transforming learning system, Part 2'. Linguistics and the Human Sciences 1(3): 355-401.

Thibault, Paul J. 2008. 'Face-to-face communication and body language'. In Karlfried Knapp and Gerd Antos (eds.), Handbooks of Applied Linguistics (HAL) Linguistics for Problem-Solving: Perspectives on Communication Competence, Language and Communication Problems, and Practical Solutions, pp. 285-330. Volume 2: Interpersonal Communication. Gerd Antos & Eija Ventola (eds.). Berlin. Mouton.

Thibault, Paul J. In press (2010). 'Hypermedia selves and hypermedia stories: narrativity, writing, and normativity in personal blogs'. In: Baldry, Anthony and Montagna, Elena (eds.), Interdisciplinary Approaches to Multimodality: Theory and Practice: Readings in intersemiosis and multimedia. Campobasso: Palladino Editore.

Thibault, Paul J. In press 'The dynamics of first-order languaging: grammar as second-order cultural constraints on action, perception and understanding' Journal of Ecological Psychology. Special issue, eds. Carol Fowler and Bert Hodges.

International Symposium on "Connecting Paths: Lamb, Halliday and Hasan"

Date : 1 & 3 November 2010
Visit the official symposium website for more information.

Professor Liu Yi

The 8th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Reinstantiation of meanings in scaffolding ESL academic literacy:
Teacher's talk around the text in the reading to learn program

Date : 29 October 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


The Reading to Learn (hereafter R2L) is a literacy program developed by Rose (2004a, b, 2005, 2006) for the purpose of enabling all learners to read and write successfully. It is grounded on the theoretical model of language developed by Michael Halliday (1994) and a theory of genre developed by Martin (Martin 1993, 2000; Rothery 1994). Like the Teaching and Learning Cycle designed by Rothery (1994) and her colleagues, R2L consists of three stages with each divided into two phases. It begins with the Deconstruction stage of Preparing before Reading and Detailed Reading. Then at the Joint Construction stage, the teacher and students proceed to Sentence or Note Making and Joint Rewriting. The last stage is Independent Construction which covers the phases of Individual Rewriting and Independent Writing. In terms of pedagogical orientations, the innovative approach is characterized by its adoption of an explicit mode of transmission and its ideologically motivated advocacy to empower the disadvantaged groups in Australia.

R2L is currently being incorporated into a writing course entitled Intensive Academic Writing (IAW) at a center for English teaching in an Australian university. This is a pre-sessional five week course mostly for Chinese students preparing to enter a post-graduate program in the university. This presentation will focus on the analysis of teacher's talk around the text in the Deconstruction stage. It draws on instantiation theory from Systemic Functional Linguistics (Martin 2008, 2010), exploring relations between teacher's elaboration and academic discourse. How are features of academic discourse elaborated? How does meaning shift from an academic text to teacher's elaboration on it? In what ways are commitment resources deployed to scaffold accademic readings? I will identify major patterns of commitment relations in the teacher's talk around the text and discuss their functions in the scaffolding process. I will also examine teacher's pedagogical treatment of grammatical metaphor and technical terms The analysis is based on two demonstration lessons given by David Rose (2003) and six audio-taped classroom lessons given by three centre teachers using the approach.

Halliday, M A K (1994) An Introduction to Functional grammar (2nd Edition). London: Arnold.

Martin, J. R. (1993). Genre and literacy - modeling context in educational linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 13, 141-172.

Martin, J. R. (2000).Design and practice:enacting functional linguistics in Australia.
Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 20 (20th Anniversary Volume 'Applied Linguistics as an Emerging Discipline'). 116-126.

Martin, J. R. (2001). Giving the game away: explicitness, diversity and genre-based literacy in Australia. In R. de Cilla, H. Krumm & R. Wodak et al. (Eds.), Loss of communication in the Wissenschaften.

Martin, J. R. (2008). Innocence: realisation, instantiation and individuation in a Botswanan town. In N. Knight & A. Mahboob (Eds.), Questioning Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 27-54.

Martin, J. R. (2010). Semantic variation: modelling system, text and affiliation in social semiosis. In M. Bednarek & J. R. Martin (Eds.), New Discourse on Language: Functional Perspectives on Multimodality, Identity and Affiliation. London: Continuum. 1-34

Rose, D. (2003). Reading and Writing Factual Texts. Teacher Training Video. Faculty of Education: University of Sydney (Learning to Read:Reading to Learn).

Rose, D. (2004)a. Sequencing and pacing of the hidden curriculum: how indigenous children are left out of the chain. In J. Muller, B. Davies & A. Morais (Eds.), Reading Bernstein, Researching Bernstein. London: Routledge Falmer. 91-107.

Rose, D. (2004)b. Reading and Writing Factual Texts. Teacher Training DVD. Sydney: Learning to Read: Reading to Learn.

Rose, D. (2005). Democratising the classroom: a literacy pedagogy for the new generation. Journal of Education 37: 127-164. Available at

Rose, D. (2006). Literacy and equality. In A. Simpson (Ed.), Proceedings of the National Conference on Future Directions in Literacy. Sydney: University of Sydney. 188-203. Available at:

Rothery, J. (1994). Exploring Literacy in School English (Write it Right Resources for Literacy and Learning). Sydney: Metropolitan East Disdvantage Schools Program.

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Dr. Sue Hood

The 7th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Language and legitimation:
Disciplinary differences in constructing space for new knowledge

Date : 22 October 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


Currently in the academy trans- or inter-disciplinary studies are actively encouraged, yet the implications for the discourses of research are as yet poorly understood. An appreciation of the ways in which different disciplines use language differently to mean differently is fundamental to understanding the potential for effective collaboration, and to providing meaningful support to those who study, research or provide language support across disciplinary boundaries. In this paper my exploration of disciplinary difference focuses on one key text type - that of the introductions to research articles.

Introductory sections of research articles across disciplines in the sciences, social sciences and humanities share a common generalised social purpose, that is, to construct a legitimising platform from which the writer can proceed to report in detail on their study and the contribution they make to knowledge. They function as a warrant for the writer's study (Hood 2010). Within the common generalised function of a research warrant, variations may reflect differences in the nature of the object of study and/or the writer's interpretation of how best to position their own research, but variations also arise in response to disciplinary differences.

In taking a closer look at how the disciplinary context can impact on the construction of the research warrant I draw on two bodies of theory. From the sociology of knowledge I connect with theorisations of how different intellectual fields or disciplines represent different kinds of knowledge structure (Bernstein 1996, 1999, 2000), or as Maton (2007) articulates different knowledge-knower structures, with different codes for legitimating both what can be known and how - epistemic relations - and who can know it - social relations (Maton 2000a, 2000b, 2007). This theorisation of how different kinds of intellectual fields legitimate themselves in different ways would seem to have particular relevance to an analysis of how researchers construct a warrant for their own research, and how they might do so differently in different disciplines.

From Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) I draw on appraisal theory as a basis for exploring aspects of evaluation in the discourse. Of particular relevance here is the dimension of appraisal theory referred to as engagement (Martin & White 2005). Engagement theorises options for introducing and managing multiple voices in discourse, theorising options for aligning or dis-aligning the reader with the contributions from those voices. Implicated in the construction of heteroglossic (multi-voiced) discourse are linguistic resources of projection, modality and negation, and counter-expectancy (Martin & Rose 2007).

In this paper I focus in particular on instances of projection, analysing how much and what kind of information is provided about other voices and why, and what it is that those voices are introduced to contribute and appraise. From the dual theoretical bases of Bernsteinian sociology of knowledge and SFL I proceed to explore how an analysis of the ways in which research writers engage with other voices in their introductions can provide insights into how disciplines differ in their strategies for legitimising the construction of new knowledge.

Bernstein, B. 1996. Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: Theory, research and critique. London: Taylor and Francis.

Bernstein, B. 1999. Vertical and horizontal discourse: An essay. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 20 (2), 157-173.

Bernstein, B. 2000. Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: Theory, research, critique. Revised edition. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.

Hood, S. 2007. Arguing in and across disciplines: arguing in applied linguistics and cultural studies. In McCabe, A, M. O'Donnell & R. Whittaker (eds) Advances in Language & Education. London: Continuum.

Hood, S. 2010. Appraising research: Evaluation in academic writing. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hood, S. in press for 2011. Writing discipline: comparing inscriptions of knowledge and knowers in academic writing. In F. Christie & K. Maton (eds). Disciplinarity: Functional Linguistic and Sociological Perspectives. London: Continuum.

Martin, J. R. & P.R.R. White. 2005. The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave.

Martin, J.R. & D. Rose 2007. Working with discourse: Meaning beyond the clause, 2nd edition. London: Continuum.

Maton, K. 2000 a. Languages of legitimation: The structuring significance for intellectual fields of strategic knowledge claims. British Journal of Sociology of Education 21. 2. 147-167.

Maton, K. 2000 b. Recovering pedagogic discourse: A Bernsteinian approach to the sociology of educational knowledge. Linguistics and Education 11. 1. 79-98.

Maton, K. 2007. 'Knowledge-knower structures in intellectual and educational fields'. In F. Christie & J.R. Martin (eds). 87-108.

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Ms. Corinne Maxwell-Reid

The 6th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Using SFL in contrastive work across languages:
An example from Spanish-English bilingual education

Date : 15 October 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


This talk is based on research into the effect of bilingual education on students' first language written discourse. The research set out to compare the written Spanish of secondary students on a bilingual (English Medium of Instruction, or EMI) programme with the Spanish of their counterparts studying the traditional Spanish-medium curriculum, and found differences between the two groups of students, including in use of clause complexes, interpersonal and textual Theme, thematic progression, and text structure. The talk will discuss these differences, and will also consider methodological difficulties with contrastive work, using examples from Spanish and English but addressing questions that should be relevant to those working with other languages, for example Chinese. Cross-linguistic textual comparison has long been found to be problematic: I will discuss some of the major difficulties encountered by those outside SFL, focusing on those loosely working under the term Contrastive Rhetoric (CR), and also look at issues within SFL for working across languages, particularly the analysis of Theme.

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Dr. Angel Lin

The 5th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
A Genre-based bridging curriculum for Hong Kong secondary schools

Date : 15 October 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


Starting from September 2010, over 300 former CMI (Chinese Medium Instruction) secondary schools in Hong Kong are allowed to switch the medium of instruction (MOI) to English for some of their academic subjects or for some percentage of the lesson time of each of their academic subjects under the new 'fine-tuning MOI policy' of the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Many CMI schools have chosen to change the MOI of one or two of their academic subjects (usually Science or Mathematics, but in some schools Geography or Economics too) or some percentage of the lessons of each of their academic subjects from CMI to EMI (English Medium Instruction). One pressing question, however, remains: what kind of bridging curriculum and pedagogy will help (former CMI) students to cope with changing their learning medium to English?

In this presentation, I draw on three theoretical traditions in applied/educational linguistics and propose a blueprint for designing and developing a viable genre-based bridging curriculum for Hong Kong secondary schools to assist students in making the transition from CMI to EMI academic learning. The three theoretical frameworks drawn upon are: (1) Halliday's linguistic theory of 'grammatical metaphor' (GM)-its pivotal role in the abstraction and technicalization of the language of science; (2) the Sydney School of genre analysis and genre-based pedagogy for academic literacy development; and (3) bilingual education and ESL theories of bridging pedagogies. Central to the proposed bridging curriculum is an academic literacy (reading and writing) programme based on the principles of genre-based pedagogy (Martin & Rose, 2009; Rose, 2008) and Gibbons (2009)'s principles of 'designed scaffolding and bridging'.

Professor Chang Chenguang

The 4th Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
The dialectic of theory and practice: SFL as an appliable linguistics

Date : 24 September 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


Systemic Functional Linguistics has always stressed the dialectic interaction between theory and practice. Halliday's vision is to construct an appliable theory that can be helpful to people who are engaging with language in their work. This paper intends to review Halliday's explorations into the complementarities in language, including those between lexis and grammar, "language as system" and "language as text", and the two modes of speaking and writing, and to discuss the implications for an appliable linguistics. It is pointed out that the emphasis of Systemic Functional Linguistics on social accountability stems from its nature as a politicized theory, a kind of neo-Marxist theory that is ideologically committed to social action, and that it can continue growing as the dialectic of theory and practice.

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Mr. Marvin Lam

The 3rd Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
From lexicogrammar to situational context:
The theoretical construction of socio-semiotic distance

Date : 17 September 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


This seminar aims at illustrating the enabling power of Systemic Functional Linguistics in relating linguistic features and contextual features in interpersonal communication to study interpersonal distance through the theoretical construction of the concept 'socio-semiotic distance'. Proposed in Lam (2010), socio-semiotic distance refers to individual's degree of familiarity and his/her polarity of affect to the other resulting from their co-engagement in meaning-making processes. This concept is related to the established concept 'social distance' in sociology (Bogardus, 1959) in the way that these two concepts belong to the fourth order semiotic system and the third order social system respectively (Matthiessen, Teruya & Lam, 2010:152, on 'ordered typology of systems'). As a concept referring to certain aspects of interpersonal relationship, socio-semiotic distance can be ¡§located¡¨ at the contextual stratum in the 'architecture of language' (Halliday, 2003).

One of the many challenges in constructing the concept is to develop a methodology for its measurement. As preliminarily demonstrated in Lam & Webster (2009), Systemic Functional Linguistics provides means to relate lexicogrammatical features of texts produced in interpersonal communication and the contextual features 'affect' (referred as 'orientation' in Lam & Webster, 2009), thus forming the basis of a methodology to objectively measure socio-semiotic distance by analyzing the linguistic features exhibited in interpersonal communication.

This seminar discusses the technical issues encountered in the development of such methodology of measuring socio-semiotic distance, reflecting how the theoretical framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics enables the correlating of text (in terms of lexicogrammatical features) and context of situation. Furthermore, this seminar attempts to illustrate that, by taking more lexicogrammatical features of interpersonal communication into account, measuring socio-semiotic distance can also be appliable on the study of interpersonal relationships vis-à-vis linguistic behaviours of the individuals involved.

Bogardus, Emory S. (1959). Social Distance. Los Angeles and California: Antioch Press.

Halliday, M.A.K. (2003). On Language and Linguistics, Volume 3 of the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday, edited by Jonathan J. Webster. London and New York: Continuum.

Lam, Marvin (2010) Socio-Semiotic Distance and its Measurement in Narrative Discourse. PhD Thesis. City University of Hong Kong, China.

Lam, Marvin & Webster, Jonathan J. (2009) 'The lexicogrammatical reflection of interpersonal relationship in conversation'. In Discourse Studies, 11:1. pp. 37-57.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M., Teruya, Kazuhiro & Lam, Marvin (2010) Key Terms in Systemic Functional Linguistics. London and New York: Continuum.

Professor Andrew Goatly

The 2nd Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
A Genre-based bridging curriculum for Hong Kong secondary schools

Date : 10 September 2010
Time : //
Venue : //


Conceptual metaphor theory has dominated linguistic studies of lexical metaphor since the 1980s, emphasizing ideational meanings to the neglect of the textual and interpersonal. Though much has been written within this tradition of the conceptualization of emotion or affect, comparatively little work has focused on the use of metaphors for the expression of affect for evaluative purposes or appraisal. While acknowledging that description and expression of affect may overlap in some cases (e.g. 1st person statements) this talk hopes to start to restore the balance by demonstrating the importance of metaphor¡¦s expressive function.

The neglect of affective metaphorical expressions is partly simply a reflection of the neglect of the interpersonal semantics in many mainstream linguistic theories. One exception is Systemic Functional Linguistics, where the interpersonal (meta)function of language has always received attention, especially, recently, in Appraisal Theory. Though this theory and SFL have not explored the semantics of lexical metaphors, nevertheless, a large proportion of the lexis listed by Martin and White (2005) for, for example, Appreciation consists of conventional metaphors. Swearing, too, more generally, makes use of a metaphorical transfer of negative affect.

This talk attempts to show the extent to which the conventional metaphors within the lexicon of English are used for the expression of affect/appreciation/judgment. It discusses the ways in which the speaker¡¦s database of conventional English metaphors (Metalude) may be mined to reveal the extent of metaphor¡¦s expressive/appraising usage. It explores four questions.

(1) Is there a transfer of evaluation, and if so is it from the vehicle to the topic or from the topic to the vehicle?

(2) In the latter case, does this evaluative transfer depend upon the participation of the metaphor theme in some larger schema?

(3) What role does multivalency (same vehicle for different topics) play in reinforcing evaluation?

(4) How does the selection of metaphor themes as evaluative depend upon ideological values?

The talk concludes by discussing whether metaphor is essentially more evaluative than conceptual.

Professor J R Martin

The 1st Pearling Appliable Linguistics Seminar
Historical cosmologies:
Epistemology and axiology in Australian secondary school history

Date : 3 September 2010
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This presentation considers the discourse of modern history in Australian secondary schools from the perspective of systemic functional linguistics and social realism. In particular it develops work on genre and field in history discourse in relation to knowledge structure, and the role of technical concepts realised as -isms. These are interpreted in relation to recent work on the axiological charging of terms, especially in humanities and social science discourse, so that how you feel turns out to be as important as what you know as far as an historian's gaze on the past is concerned. This cosmological perspective is illustrated from textbooks and classroom interaction, examining the ways in which history students are apprenticed into relevant constellations of meaning.

Christie, F & J R Martin [Eds.] Language, Knowledge and Pedagogy: functional linguistic and sociological perspectives. (London: Continuum. 2007.

Coffin, C 2006 Historical Discourse: the language of time, cause and evaluation. London: Continuum.

Freebody, P, J R Martin & K Maton 2008 Talk, text and knowledge in cumulative, integrative learning: a response to 'intellectual challenge'. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 31. 188-201.

Martin, J R 2002c Writing history: construing time and value in discourses of the past. C Colombi & M Schleppergrell [Eds.] Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages. Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum. 87-118.

Martin, J R 2007 Genre and field: social processes and knowledge structures in systemic functional semiotics.. L Barbara & T Berber Sardinha [Eds.] Proceedings of the 33rd International Systemic Functional Congress. São Paulo: PUCSP. Online publication available at ISBN 85-283-0342-X. 1-35.

Martin, J R & R Wodak [Eds.] 2003 Re/reading the past: critical and functional perspectives on discourses of history (Ed. with R Wodak) Amsterdam: Benjamins (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture).

Muller, J 2007 On splitting hairs: hierarchy, knowledge and the school curriculum. in Christie & Martin. 64-86.

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The Second International Conference on Global Interoperability for Language Resources

Date : 18 - 20 January 2010
(organized by Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong)

The Second International Conference on Global Interoperability for Language Resources will bring together designers, developers, and users of language resources, tools, frameworks, and infrastructures from across the globe, in order to:
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  • consider the requirements for (and obstacles to) full interoperability, especially with regard to multi-lingual and multi-modal data;
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  • consider means to map or harmonize linguistic information in order to better enable cross-lingual studies;
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