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APPLIED LINGUISTICS AND LANGUAGE STUDY

General Editor
Professor Christopher N. Candlin, Macquarie University
Error Analysis
Perspectives on second
language acquisition
JACK C. RICHARDS (EO.)
Stylistics af'!d the Teaching of
Literature
HENRY WIDDOWSON
Language Tests at School
A pragmatic approach
JOHN W. OLLER JNR
Contrastive Analysis
CARL JAMES
Language and Communication
JACK C. RICHARDS AND
RICHARD W. SCHMIDT lEOS)
Learning to Write: First Language/
Second Language
AVIVA FREDMAN, IAN PRINGLE
AND JANIC YALDEN IEDSI
Strategies in lnterlanguage
Communication
CLAUS FAERCH AND
GABRIELE KASPER IEDSI
Roading In Foreign Language
J. CHARLES ALDERSON AND
A. H. URQUHART IEDSI
Discourse and Learning
PHILIP RILEY (ED.I
An lntroductiiOn to Discourse
Analysis
New Edition
MALCOLM COULTHARD
Computers in English Language
Teachir'lg and Research
GEOFFREY LEECH AND
CHRISTOPHER N. CANDLIN (EDS)
Bilingualism in Education
Aspects of theory, research and
practice
1\Nn
' '
Second Language Grammar:
Learning and Teaching
WILLIAM RUTHERFORD
The Classroom and the
Language Learner
Ethnography and. second-language
classroom research
LEO VAN LIER
Vocabulary and language Teaching
RONALD CARTER AND MICHAEL
McCARTHY IEDSl
Observation in the Language
Classroom
DICK ALLWRIGHT
Listening to Spoken English
Second Edition
GILLIAN BROWN
Listening in Language Learning
MICHAEL ROST
An Introduction to Second Language
Acquisition Research
DIANE LARSEN-FREEMAN AND
MICHAEL H. LONG
Language and Discrimination
A study of communicatiotl in
multi-ethnic workplaces
CELIA ROBERTS, TOM JUPP AND
EVELYN DAVIES
Translation and Translating:
Theory and Practice
ROGER T. BELL
Language Awareness
in the Classroom
CARL JAMES AND
PETER GARRET lEOS)
I.
Translation and
Translating:
Theory and Practice
ROGER T. BELL
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192 Translation and Translaling
3. Afftaiue: expressing emotions and feelings: also considered to be a
'secondary' function: the focus or mvestigation in psychology and
(traditional) lherarjr criticism.
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Recognizing the dangers of overlap inlierent. in the traditional model,
an alternative . approach would be to begin with the process of
communication (as outlined in Chapter 1) and derive functions from
the components of that. We tum to such a model next.
5.3.3.2 Jakobsons sixfonction model ...
This model defines function (contained in square brackets in Figure
5.3) in terms of the aspect of the communicative event (shown in upper
case) on which the language is focused and to set this within a general
model of human communicationJJ; . ,
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CODE
CHANNEL l""lolllnJUIMiicl
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(phallc:J .
AOORESSI!R ------ MESSAGE --- AOl>RI:SSI!E
[emotive) [poelicl lconativcJ
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CONTEXT
I rererential 1
FIGURE 5. 3. Domain of discourse: language functions
The notion of 'focus' is veiy helpful. Adult utterances (in contrast
with those; of pre-school children) are typically ambiguous (i.e.
multifunctional) and to think in tenns of the meaning or function of an
utterance (or text) is naive. The problem is to discover the primary
meaning (the focus) and this resolves itself into aski.ng 'whose
meaningr; meaning/focus .intended by the addresser (the sender)
or that decoded from the text by the addressee (the receiver)?
Fortunately,' we do not need to address this question yet (we shall in
the next chapter) and can continue with an explanation of the model in
spite of the ambiguity of reference.
Refermtilllfonction. Here the focus is on the denotative content of the
message; the :subject-matter. As its name suggests, this function is
oriented towards referring to entities, states, events and relationships
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Text and discourse JCJ3
which constitute the 'real world' of our experiences and arc
represented in the propositions which underlie texts. We have met this
function already in the discussion of cognitiv011eaning and the idrational
macrofunaion of language (in Chapter 4, Section 4.1). Since it is
concerned with the face-value, semantic sense of utterances, this
f\lnction has, as we noted earlier, tended to be thought of as thr
function of language by the linguistically unsophisticated but, given
that language is typically multifunctional, it is difficult to find an
example of language in usc which is otlb' referential. The best we can
do, for this and the remaining five functions, is to give an example
which is mai11{y referential:
Here's the 14a.
Said in the bus queue, this has a referential function. It indicates the
presence of an entity; a number 14a bus. But even this is potentially
functionally complex. The semantic sense (or locutionary force) of
whnt hns hccn snld Is clen1 euuugh hut whnl oft he SJll'llkll's lnflullon
(the illocutionary force)? The intention could be to warn the rest of the
queue that the bus was coming so that they could be ready to hoard it
when it stopped (n conative function). Equnlly, given tlllll the rest of
the people in the queue can also sec the bus, the actual giving of the
infiJrmation is redundant; the function might he a
one (a phatic function) and so on.
Emotive fimction. If the focus of attention is the sender, the meaning
which is being highlighted is connotative rather than dcnotati\'e;
subjective rather than objective; personal rather than public. Refer-
ences to states of mind, feelings, health and the like all have this as
their primary function. for example:
I'm tired
Emotive but also useable as a warning, an apology, an excuse ...
Co11ative jimctio11. Where language is being used to influence others,
we have a conative function. Very clear examples arc imperatives and
vocatives both of which have the explicit intention of altering the
actions of another, if only by stopping them and attracting their
attention. Examples might be:
Alex! Come here a minute!
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Not that we should naively assume that there is a one-to-one
correlation between the linguistic form imperative and the delivery of a
speech act which counts as a directive. The conative function is
frel(vcntly carried by features from the code which appear to be
innocently sibnalling something quite different. Persuasion is a subtle
art and, no douht, at its most successful when it is not as
such by the recipient; no wonder the advertising industry in capitalist
societies llnds it necessary to publish a code of conduct for the
rcgubtion of its members.
Pluuic jiolt'lion. We have dealt with functions which derive from a
focu:; on the content of the message, on the sender and on the
recc:ivcr(s) ;md now, with the ph;ttic function, come to ii.1cus on the
channel; on the fact that participants arc in contact. The role of
langu.1gc of this type is to signal that one could communicate (greetings
and channel-clearing signals such as 'hello' on the telephone) typify this
or that one is, fur the moment, not willing to discuss any particular
topic; in Britain, at least, the weather and the unsatisf:1ctory nature of
public transport serve as suitable phatic topics.
It may appear that the phatic is referential but this is only true in the
secondary sense that it is difficult to communicate in language without
referring to something. Consider the following simple b'fceting ritual:
A llcllo. How arc you?
n Fine I hanks. I low arc you?
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B Yes. OK. Sec you.
The 'how arc you?' looks like a genuine enquiry about B's physical and
mental state of health and all competent users of English know that the
only acccptahlc answer to the 'question' is one which precisely docs
not provide that kind of information; a recital of one's aches and pains
tends to generate annoyance rather than sympathy.
But wh;lt of the context? What if A were B's doctor and 1hcy are in
his surgery? Clearly, the conversation would be inappropriate and the
tloe1or would be rightly annoyed that B w;JS wasting his time and th<lt
of other patients. If the two meet at :1 party though ...
Puelt<fimrtion. In this case, the orientation is towards the message and
the selection of clements from the code which draw attention to
and, hence, to the text. The poetic usc of language has,
tr<lditionally, made usc of unexpected collocations and marked
1i:.lt ami diswtme i
thematic structures and patterning - at both th.e and. the
phonological level - which is through repeunveness or
though. the breaking of expectanons of .. Rhyme- a?d
rhythm-schemes are a clear example of thts; constder the
conventions of the limerick or the Petrarchan and Shakespeanan
sonnet forms. ht-h
There are, it should be recognized, 'poetic' uses ":' tc
arc an everyday occurrence; genre such as .Joke-
telling, children's rhymes, football shouts. The poenc funcnon IS not
the preserve of the poet alone.
Meta/i
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guistic fimction. This final function derives from an
to the code; language being used to ta1k about Dtcb?nanes
and grammars have, par excellence, a as:
indeed, has the whole of discourse in the dtsctphne oflmgu1sbcs ttself;
for example, this .
There are, as we might.expect, metalinguistic a.nd
which arc produced by people who are not professtonal hngutsts.
Communicators not infrequently check their speech they ?o
particularly when verbalizing the search for an appropnate lextcalltcm.
Perhaps we should look into opportunities
for fu .. .fu ... funding. No that's not it.
I've lost word. What do you call it
when n company gives a student money to
do research? Sponsorship. That's it. Yes.
Sponsorship.
5.3.4 Summary
In this section we have been trying to make explicit betWeen,
on the one hand, selections of option$ available from within the
systems of the code (the and THEME
systems outlined in Chapter 4), whtch are reahzed m TEXT and, on
the other situational variables (differences between (a) usm of texts
time and both physical and social space and (b) uses to which !exts are
put; differences in addressee relationship, and funcnon). To
achieve this required the setting up of a descnpnve level betweep that
of the code itself and the of its use; the level of
DISCOURSE.
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