Here's what I find additionally attractive about SFL. First is the very same thing that attracted me to CHAT -- a long history of development and refinement so there is not only little need to go about reinventing wheels, but it offers a very powerful analytic and descriptive ramework. Like Yrjo's formulaton of CHAT, SFL takes a *systemic* approach -- for one, there is a smallest unit of analysis, the text - a focus on the system of meanings (at one level of strata) , similar to the system of activity in activity theory, and curiously, perhaps conincidentally, is this similar notion of different levels (phonological, lexicogrammar, semantic vs. operations, actions, activity). That language is taken as a semiotic resource developed through years of cultural development is in synergy with the cultural and historical tenets of CHAT. So for example, language displays a culturally developed systematicity (esp. including structure too: a lexicogrammar level of strata) that o!
rms of communication such as gestures do not. So it really goes much deeper than a lot of discursive studies done without the use of SFL. But I think there is this important tension between SFL and CHAT. CHAT's origins are in psychology, in which language plays a role, but I see SFL to be more oriented toward the description of language use. Maybe it's the case that the two are highly complementary is a consensus here, (xmca or lchc?) but I don't see any sign of it in Wertsch's paper.
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: "Mike Cole" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> The consistent them of " Methodologically, taking language as a fundamental
> element of human interaction provides a host of methods for studying
> comnunication of which the different genres of discourse analysis is just
> one piece." seems to be a concensus view here. And, as often urged, we are
> looking at discursive psych work.
> On 8/22/06, bb <email@example.com> wrote:
> > -------------- Original message ----------------------
> > > Context is almost everywhere and is different almost everywhere.
> > I was taking alterity almost to an extreme. On the other hand, taking
> > context as consisting of sets of relations allows CHAT to begin talking to
> > other areas such as social semiotics and systemic functional linguistics,
> > which provide a richer language for the exegesis of human communication than
> > in the paper by JW. I am coming to the opinion that taking only an
> > alterity/intersubjectivity dialectic approach without some other ways of
> > parsing what happens during communication is extremely limiting. It's not
> > just in the over simplistic conceptual structure of just two elements, it is
> > also, as JW aludes, in the need for methodology. Ideationally, Halliday's
> > notion of meaning potential -- as the meanings that can be made with
> > available language, and his notion or register -- how context shapes what
> > language actually becomes used, add a lot of texture to description. I'm
> > not adding anything new here. Both Grodon Wells and Jay Lemke have written
> > scores around these ideas !
> > and one
> > of the most tractable is a chapter by Gordon in Dialogic inquiry, which
> > locates register directly in relation to actiivty theory. Methodologically,
> > taking language as a fundamental element of human interaction provides a
> > host of methods for studying comnunication of which the different genres of
> > discourse analysis is just one piece.
> > anyway, must keep it short and be productive elsewhere.
> > bb
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