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Pre-conference Institutes

Please note that the morning and afternoon sessions will each have two workshops running concurrently.

Theo van Leeuwen

Typography and identity

9.00 - 12.30

The workshop will begin with an introduction to the semiotics of typography, focussing on models for analysing letter forms, and the potential of letter forms for expressing identity.

This will be followed by a hands-on exercise in analysing the typography of logos, brand names and book covers, and brief presentations and discussion of the outcomes.

A handout with an outline of the analytical procedure and suggestions for further reading will be provided.


David Butt & Wendy Bowcher 

Literary stylistics as gateway to professional practice: Hasan’s approach to verbal art and the way it prepares us for contexts from education to health and law.

13.30 - 17.00

This workshop begins with participants contributing to a rudimentary lexical and clausal analysis in a number of short texts. From this first uncontroversial step, we discuss how textual design – the global consistency in the semantic management of textual choices – suggests patterns that underlie the feelings (meanings) that we draw from text types. We illustrate through short analytical activities that deeper forays into lexicogrammar and cohesion analysis reveal distinct degrees of unconscious patterning in this global design. From grammar to contextual configuration to prosodies and bodily, indexical meanings, there can emerge an ensemble effect which constitutes evidence of consistency in the choices brought to bear on the interactive moment and/or on the reader’s response.

The textual legacy of Ruqaiya Hasan – her methods and research findings over her intense career – are explained and explored in the second phase of the workshop. While beginning with verbal art as a problem area (and a domain of success!), the discussion will extend to how Hasan sought to capture language variation through register, ‘code’, and contextual parameters (the crux of her paper “Ways of saying, ways of meaning”). Our discussion will introduce the main features of Hasan’s approach, including the motivation for the stratal concept of symbolic articulation, a way to capture the latent consistencies that realize craft in literature. From there, we consider how broader applications of her approach have produced evidence of cultural values and gender and class differences. Such differences correlate with semantic priorities that draw their logic from different pressures to mean across “the living of life”.

In a third phase in the workshop, we offer brief samples of discourse from research and professional contexts so that the ‘value’ of grammatical and textual threads can be debated by the group in relation to their origins in (1) education yers 10-14; (2) surgical care; (3) courtroom cross examination; (4) effective and affective counselling in psychiatry/therapy.


We conclude with the claim that Hasan’s theory and evidence concerning language variation help us to make sense of how the “biological idiom” (Damasio 2010: 27; 49ff) of our evolving bodies has found an effective means of adapting to the specific conditions of lived experience.

Erika Matruglio

Analysing using Mass and Presence

13.30 - 17.00

In this hands-on workshop you will be introduced to the concepts of Mass (Martin, 2017) and Presence (Martin & Matruglio, 2013) and have the opportunity to apply them to your own research data. Mass and Presence have been developed in dialogue with Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) (Maton, 2014) and involve metafunctional perspectives on the condensation of meaning and context dependency respectively. In the workshop you will be introduced to ways that complexity develops through technicalisation (ideational condensation), iconisation (interpersonal condensation) and aggregation (textual condensation) and ways that contextual dependency can vary through iconicity (ideational context dependence), negotiability (interpersonal presence) and implicitness (textual context dependence). A very brief background to the development of these concepts will be given and their place within the architecture of SFL will be briefly outlined (Doran et al., forthcoming). No prior knowledge of LCT is assumed. The concepts will be introduced one-by-one and workshop participants will be given the opportunity to apply them to their own data before progressing to the next concept. Please bring with you one or several pieces of research data which you wish to analyse for complexity and context dependence.

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