Modelling systemic choice in writing in real-time (dynamic vs. synoptic descriptions).
Neil E.J.A. Bowen, Cardiff University
In this talk I will explore one way to examine written text as process. More specifically, using keystroke logging software called Inputlog, we will look at how Michael Halliday’s notion of Systemic Functional choice can be examined in terms of the unfolding of a written text. Thus the focus here is on dynamic descriptions (the process of text/language creation from the perspective of a writer) as opposed to synoptic descriptions (the static representation of a finished text from the perspective of a reader).
By focusing on the systems expounded in IFG4 (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2013), we will look at how three 2nd year undergraduates shape their respective texts via revision activity. By examining how their revisions contribute meaning to their texts, I will argue that we can explore how the unfolding (logogenesis) of meaning from the writer’s perspective helps shape a text toward a particular registerial configuration (Halliday, 1985) — in this instance text-types that belong to the ‘Essay’ genre family (Nesi & Gardner, 2013).