Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ISFC38 Plenary - Jim Martin Speaks Out

The 38th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC 38) in Lisbon, Portugal may not have been the most well-attended event, but it certainly produced some interesting talks. It was also interesting for including a number of non-systemic linguists as plenary speakers who were employed well for summarising, responding to and engaging with the plenary speakers. (While ISFC 37 had non-systemicists they were generally not linguists.)

The good news is that the influential and often controversial Jim Martin was given a microphone that actually worked. (Unfortunately for him, he had to hold it throughout the talk.) This means we can see and hear him from here.

His talk is "Modelling Context: Matter as Meaning" and attacks the issue of how SFL deals with context. Although SFL considers that it accounts for context better than most linguistic theories, this talk points out that SFL still has a long way to go before it can consider that it has a satisfactory description of the 'interface' between language and context.

Thanks to Carlos A. M. Gouveia & his team for making these videos available. I will (as with last year's videos) review and post them when I get the chance.

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