LINGUIST List 11.2361

Tue Oct 31 2000

TOC: Functions of Language

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>


  1. Paul Peranteau, Functions of Language 7:1, 2000

Message 1: Functions of Language 7:1, 2000

Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 11:55:50 -0500
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: Functions of Language 7:1, 2000

Functions of Language 7:1 (2000)

� John Benjamins Publishing Company


Christopher Barnard (1)
Protecting the face of the state: Japanese high school history textbooks
and 1945

�sten Dahl (37)
Egophoricity in discourse and syntax

Helmut Gruber (79)
Theme and intertextuality in scholarly e-mail messages

Squib Jean-Christophe Verstraete (117)
Attitudinal disjuncts and illocutionary force in clause combining: 
A response to Bill McGregor

Review article

Jim O'Driscoll (133)
Sociolinguistics in a straitjacket


Olivier Dupl�tre: "Eben": Signifi� et Fonctions. De l'usage des solutions
 uniques (Willy Vandeweghe)

Lars Hermer�n: English for Sale. A study of the language of advertising
 (Torben Vestergaard)

Maarten Lemmens: Lexical Perspectives on Transtivity and Ergativity.
 Causative constructions in English (Julia Lavid)

William B. McGregor: Semiotic Grammar (Anna Siewierska)

Protecting the face of the state: Japanese high school history textbooks
and 1945
Christopher Barnard

In this paper, I examine data regarding the Japanese surrender in 1945
obtained from all 88 high school history textbooks used in Japan in 1995,
and argue that the language of the textbooks constitutes an ideologically
motivated naturalized discourse (Fairclough 1992), traceable back to 1945.
In my analysis, I use a functional grammar approach (Halliday 1985/1994),
but the interpretation of my findings is based on Brown and Levinson's
theory of face (1978/1987). I show how the textbooks not only protect the
negative face of the Japanese state of 1945, but actually defer to its
positive face. One way this is done, is by recasting a potentially face
threatening Goal plus Material Process into a nominalization, which is in
turn manipulated by verbs which portray the Japanese state as acting in a
wise and resolute manner. Finally, I consider the relationship between the
ideology identified, the perpetuation of this ideology, and the compulsory
textbook authorization system of the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Egophoricity in discourse and syntax
�sten Dahl

Egophoric reference is defined as reference to speech act participants and
generic reference. As shown by adult conversational data from Swedish,
English, and Spanish, and longitudinal data from one Swedish child, the
majority of all animate arguments of verbs in conversation are egophoric.
This percentage varies quite considerably between different types of
subject and between subjects and objects. Positions representing
essentially animate roles -- agents, experiencers, and recipients -- have a
high incidence of egophoric reference and a high egophoric/animate ratio.
Positions allowing both animate and inanimate reference have relatively low
egophoric percentages, absolutely and relative to animates. The explanation
of these patterns is not to be found not so much in the way in which
information is presented but rather in the intrinsic content of the
information that is conveyed. The presence/absence of an essentially
animate argument may be a more fundamental distinction for a taxonomy of
predication types than transitivity.

Theme and intertextuality in scholarly e-mail messages
Helmut Gruber

This paper investigates functional as well as structural differences and
similarities between postings on two linguistic e-mail discussion lists and
three other academic genres (discussion section of a scholarly journal,
literature review sections of academic papers, and book reviews). The
theoretical background is provided by Systemic Functional Linguistics and
Fairclough's discourse theory. In the empirical part of the paper
structural and ideational theme realisations of the different genres are
investigated quantitatively, transitivity and interpersonal aspects of the
genres are subjected to a qualitative analysis. Results show that all
genres share a common "background" which is called the "academic
discourse", but that e-mail contributions differ from all other genres with
respect to several textual features including frequency of interpersonal
and textual themes, as well as marked themes (prepositional phrases) etc.
These results are explained as genre mix with oral genres in terms of
Fairclough's notion of interdiscursivity (Fairclough 1992) and Bakhtin's
concept of dialogism (Bakhtin 1981).

			John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Offices:	Philadelphia			Amsterdam:
Phone:		+215 836-1200			+31 20 6762325
Fax: 		+215 836-1204			+31 20 6739773
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue