The Field Tenor Mode framework for analysis

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1 Chris Gledhill, Paris Diderot 2013 M1 Langues Appliquées ILTS Rédaction Technique Technical Writing and Text Analysis The Field Tenor Mode framework for analysis The framework for analysis given below can be used to contextualise a written or spoken genre and account for its linguistic realisation. In the class today you will have an opportunity to apply the framework to a set of example genres from EAP and other settings. Having done a more detailed analysis of the linguistic features of exemplars of genres in Week 1, use this opportunity to focus on the context features of the genres in question. 1 /10

2 CONTEXTUAL Analysis GENRE 1. Name What is the name of the genre of which this text is an exemplar? FIELD 2. Social context In what social setting is this kind of text typically produced? What constraints and obligations does this setting impose on speakers and listeners / writers and readers? 3. Communicative purpose What is the communicative purpose of this text (this may involve explicit and implicit factors)? TENOR 4. Roles What roles may be required of writers and readers in this genre? 5. Cultural values What shared cultural values may be required of speakers and listeners / writers and readers in this genre? MODE 6. Text context What knowledge of other texts may be required of speakers and listeners / writers and readers in this genre? 7. Formal text features LINGUISTIC / FUNCTIONAL Analysis What shared knowledge of formal text features (conventions) is required to participate effectively into this genre? FIELD 8. IDEATIONAL: experiential / logical metafunction TENOR 9. INTERPERSONAL metafunction MODE 10. TEXTUAL metafunction Focus on lexico-grammar: what is the text about? How are the logical relationships in the text signalled How is the relationship between the writer and reader constructed? How is the power relationship between writer and reader signalled? How does the writer signal evaluations (approval / disapproval, acceptance / rejection, certainty / uncertainty etc.) How is the text organised at a micro level (Theme / Rheme) and as a series of larger units of meaning (e.g. discourse moves such as SPRE, Reason > Result, General > Particular, Time sequence)? 2 /10

3 Textual metafunction : a note on Coherence vs. Cohesion: Example text: Initial Order Best Order Discourse function I had started the war I shot at him I was on guard duty I saw an enemy soldier A B C D Coherence = (implicit) structure / organisation of the text in terms of discourse functions. Cohesion = (explicit) grammatical and lexical links with which bind the text together. Discourse function = (in Narratives) Situation, Problem, Resolution, Evaluation (SPRE) 3 /10

4 EXAMPLE ANALYSIS [Misc unpublished Lothian Council documents BNC ref.hpl]] An example analysis of a short text is provided below. This might help you see what's going on If you intend to continue storing petroleum spirit you must complete the enclosed renewal application form and return it to this address before the date of expiry of your existing licence. If you intend to discontinue storage you must notify your intention in writing to this office, in accordance with the conditions of your existing licence, in order that the necessary safety measures may be seen to. FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION. NO FURTHER REMINDER WILL BE ISSUED. CONTEXTUAL Analysis 1. Name Safety leaflet or letter addressed to a license holder (storage of petroleum spirit) 2. social context Government / administration (Health and Safety) 3. communicative purpose Advice and instruction (with an element of warning) 4. roles Regulator > Regulated. There is an unequal power relationship between the author and audience of the text 5. cultural values Mutual acceptance of constraints on social behaviour. Assumed authority on the part of the author to issue imperatives and threats. Willingness of audience to accept and respond to imperatives 6. text context Public notices and documents 7. formal text features Single sentence paragraphs. Use of capital letters for emphasis 4 /10

5 LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS IDEATIONAL (experiential / logical) 8. Experiential metafunction 1. If you intend to continue storing petroleum spirit you must complete the enclosed renewal application form and return it to this address before the date of expiry of your existing licence. 2. If you intend to discontinue storage you must notify your intention in writing to this office, in accordance with the conditions of your existing licence, in order that the necessary safety measures may be seen to. 3. FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION. 4. NO FURTHER REMINDER WILL BE ISSUED. word class word class word class ABOVE THINGS administrative ABOVE LEGISLATION storing topic address administrative accordance petroleum spirit topic application form administrative conditions discontinue storage topic date administrative CONTRAVENING enclosed administrative existing licence office administrative expiry return administrative FAILURE writing administrative intend intention ISSUED necessary safety measures NO FURTHER REMINDER PROVISIONS renewal Logical metafunction 1. If you intend to continue storing petroleum spirit you must complete the enclosed renewal application form and return it to this address before the date of expiry of your existing licence. 2. If you intend to discontinue storage you must notify your intention in writing to this office, in accordance with the conditions of your existing licence, in order that the necessary safety measures may be seen to. 3. FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION. 4. NO FURTHER REMINDER WILL BE ISSUED. 5 /10

6 9. Interpersonal metafunction 1. If you intend to continue storing petroleum spirit you must complete the enclosed renewal application form and return it to this address before the date of expiry of your existing licence. 5. If you intend to discontinue storage you must notify your intention in writing to this office, in accordance with the conditions of your existing licence, in order that the necessary safety measures may be seen to. 6. FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION. 7. NO FURTHER REMINDER WILL BE ISSUED. Second person address Implied imperative indicated with modal of obligation Implied risk of committing an offence indicated with modal of possibility Use of CAPS signals urgency Absence of agency in sentence 3 and 4 increases the personal obligation of the reader to comply. Lexical density: {P1} [C1] If you 1_intend_S 1 to 2_continue 3_storing 4_petroleum 5 _ spirit_s 2 [C2] you must 6_complete_S 3 the 7_enclosed_S 4 8_renewal_S 5 9_application_S 6 10_form_S 7 and [C3] 11_return it to this 12_address before the 13_date of 14_expiry_S 8 of your 15_existing_S 9 16_licence_S 10. {P2} [C4] If you 17_intend_S 11 to 18_discontinue_S 12 19_storage_S 13 [C5] you must 20_notify_S 14 your 21_intention_S 15 in 22_writing to this 23_office, in 24_accordance_S 16 with the 25_conditions_S 17 of your 26_existing_S 18 27_licence_S 19, [C6] in 28_order that the 29_necessary 30_safety 31_measures_S 20 may be 32_seen to. {P3} [C7] 33_FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE_S 21 34_THINGS MAY 35_MEAN [C8] THAT YOU WILL BE 36_CONTRAVENING_S 22 THE 37_PROVISIONS_S 23 OF THE ABOVE 38_LEGISLATION_S 24. {P4} [C9] NO 39_FURTHER 40 _ REMINDER_S 25 WILL BE 41_ISSUED_S 26. Clauses = 9 "Content" words = 41 Lexical density = 4.5 LOW lexical density implies a conversational orientation But there is a tension between this orientation and the / directive oriention that is signalled in the experiential component. 6 /10

7 10. Textual metafunction 1. If you intend to continue storing petroleum spirit you must complete the enclosed renewal application form and return it to this address before the date of expiry of your existing licence. 2. If you intend to discontinue storage you must notify your intention in writing to this office, in accordance with the conditions of your existing licence, in order that the necessary safety measures may be seen to. 3. FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS MAY MEAN THAT YOU WILL BE CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION. 4. NO FURTHER REMINDER WILL BE ISSUED. Lexical repetition maintains cohesion (you / license) Anaphoric reference to maintain cohesion (it / above) Nominalisations unmarked themes in emphasises impersonality FAILURE TO DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE THINGS / NO FURTHER REMINDER. 7 /10

8 PRESENTATION OF THE ANALYSIS Contextual analysis This text is a safety leaflet or letter addressed to a license holder (storage of petroleum spirit). It is written within a framework of shared responsibilities that of the government agency which issues the license and the license holder who stores a dangerous fluid (Regulator > Regulated). The text realises an un-equal power relationship and the author is allowed to use imperatives as a primary mode. Proper interpretation of this text requires an awareness of other administrative / documents and could present significant challenges to readers with limited literacy. Linguistic analysis Ideational The / administrative focus of the text is made clear by the three main lexical sets which can be identified: word class word class word class ABOVE THINGS administrative ABOVE LEGISLATION storing topic address administrative accordance petroleum spirit topic application form administrative conditions discontinue storage topic date administrative CONTRAVENING enclosed administrative existing licence office administrative expiry return administrative FAILURE writing administrative intend intention ISSUED necessary safety measures NO FURTHER REMINDER PROVISIONS renewal The logical structure of the text is established through a series of explicit IF > THEN statements Interpersonal Although the text makes use of second person address, the power relationship between the author and audience is unequal, with the author expressing some statements as imperatives (through the use of modals of obligation), as well as expressing threats (through modals of possibility). The absence of agency in sentence 3 and 4 increases the sense of personal obligation to comply with requirements which are beyond the control of the author of the text. The use of capital letters in the last two statements signals a high level of urgency. With its low lexical density (4.5) the text is close to conversational production, but, because of its use of imperatives and its dependence on a restricted set of lexis and collocations, it is closely aligned with texts. It would seem that there is a tension between a desire to present a low processing load on the reader (low lexical density) and the need to use unambiguous terms which will be less accessible to the reader. Textual P1 and P2 stress the repercussions of failure to comply by thematising the conditional conjunction IF. P3 and P4 thematise two nominal structures in a way which distances the actors from the actions. The whole text is organised around a series conditional time sequence statements using IF 8 /10

9 > THEN logic... References Bhatia VK (1993) Analysing Genre: Language use in professional settings Longman Harlow Gledhill, C. (2000). Collocations in Science Writing. Gunter Narr: Tübingen. Flowerdew J (1993) "An educational or process approach to the teaching of professional genres" ELTJ 47/ Oxford University Press Oxford Johns AM (1997) Text, role and context: developing academic literacies Cambridge University Press Cambridge Swales J (1990) Genre Analysis Cambridge University Press Cambridge Tribble C (2002) "Corpora and corpus analysis: new windows on academic writing" in Flowerdew J (ed.) Academic Discourse Addison Wesley Longman Harlow 9 /10

10 Reporting format Example # name CONTEXTUAL Analysis social context communicative purpose roles cultural values text context formal text features IDEATIONAL: experiential / logical INTERPERSONAL LINGUISTIC Analysis TEXTUAL COMMENTARY Contextual analysis Linguistic analysis 10 /10

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