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Title: Interfacing field with tenor : Hasan’s notion of personal distance
Authors: Lam, M 
Issue Date: 2016
Source: In WL Bowcher & JY Liang (Eds.), Society in language, language in society : essays in honour of Ruqaiya Hasan, p.206-226. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
Abstract: In her discussion on register, Hasan (1973, pp. 271ff.) explains that register is ‘characterized by reference to some syntactic, lexical or phonological patterns’, and such characterization is motivated by the following five factors: subject matter of the discourse, situation type of the discourse, participant roles within discourse, mode of discourse and medium of discourse. The discussion then elaborates the relations between these factors and certain linguistic patterns. On the factor of participant roles within discourse, Hasan (1973, p. 277) points out that individuals can be related by several ‘socially defined positional roles’ but these role relations are not equally relevant to a particular social activity, emphasizing the necessity of qualifying the term ‘participant roles’ as ‘participant roles within discourse’. The different degrees of relevancy of role relations to a social activity are likely to be reflected by certain linguistic patterns emerging from the language used by the individuals in that social activity, hence exhibiting registerial variation. Hasan provides an example of a social activity of classroom interaction in which the teacher happens to be the mother of a student. The role relation that is more relevant would be teacher-student instead of mother-daughter, which would probably be reflected in certain linguistic patterns of the language use of the teacher/mother and the student/daughter.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 1137402865
DOI: 10.1057/9781137402868_9
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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