Re: [xmca] sense and meaning

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Mon Jul 11 2005 - 08:13:02 PDT

I meant to say somewhere here that recently SFL folk have been using
corpora of language use, including Halliday's latest edition of his
Functional Grammar text.

On 11/07/2005, at 9:59 PM, Phil Chappell wrote:

> I'm not sure I can offer much here, Mike, but in the vortex of voices,
> I'd like to add what I understand. Whenever I am confronted with the
> concepts "sense" and "meaning" I immediately attend to the notion of
> thought and context. Being an English speaker and therefore only
> having an approximation of the semantic differences between sense and
> meaning in Vygotsky's writings (meaning (znachenie) and sense
> (smysl)), I ask is "sense" the socio-personal history of the
> communicative use of a lexical item applied to the immediate spheres
> of human activity; and is meaning the most predictable use of the word
> across social contexts? SFL uses a theory of congruency that has come
> under criticism for being deterministic, however if understood within
> the the genetic approach used not only by Vygotsky, but also by
> SFL'ers (for example Jim Martin), it is seen as an informed approach
> to social semiotics - it looks at actual uses of language to make
> judgements about language use in human activity. Sense and meaning can
> take on much more critical applications; for example "sense" - for LSV
> word meaning in the context of speech - can be thought of dynamically
> in the context of ways that people engage with texts and the ways that
> these communicative activities influence the social positions of the
> interactants. Meaning can be thought of as "most expected meanings" in
> terms of those taking a more synoptic view.
> Rough thoughts.
> Phil
> On 09/07/2005, at 9:56 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>> In reading the work of Halliday, Hasan, and Bernstein, I am unclear
>> about whether their
>> notions of meaning do or do not coincide with Vygotsky's. One form of
>> this uncertainty is
>> whether and how a distinction between sense and meaning, which is
>> central to LSV's
>> ideas about language and thought, are viewed from an SFL perspective.
>> Perhaps its there
>> and I am blinded by my own past history?
>> mike_______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
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