1st Edition

Analysing Scientific Discourse from A Systemic Functional Linguistic Perspective A Framework for Exploring Knowledge Building in Biology

By Jing Hao Copyright 2020
    286 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book describes the discourse of biology from a systemic functional linguistic perspective. It offers a detailed description of resources based on text analysis. The description reveals co-textual patterns of language features, their expressions through grammatical resources, as well as their functions in the disciplinary context. The book also applies the description to analyse student texts in undergraduate biology, revealing characteristics of language and knowledge development. Although the discussion in this book focuses on the discourse of biology, both the language description and the descriptive principle can be used to inform the examination of knowledge in academic discourse in general, making this key reading for students and researchers in systemic functional linguistics, discourse analysis, English for academic purposes, applied linguistics, and science education.

    List of Figures ix

    List of Tables xi

    Acknowledgements xiii


    Motivation and Background 1

    1 A Linguistic Perspective on Knowledge-Building 3

    2 A Multistratal Perspective on Knowledge-Building 23


    Describing Ideational Discourse Semantics 53

    3 Entity 55

    4 Dimensionality 80

    5 Figure 91

    6 Grammatical Metaphor 114

    7 Sequence, Activity and Field 145


    Knowledge-Building in Undergraduate Biology 163

    8 A Static Perspective: Construing Taxonomy 165

    9 A Dynamic Perspective: Construing Activities 194


    viii Contents


    Conclusion 225

    10 Describing Language, Describing Knowledge 227

    Bibliography 241

    Appendix A Data Texts and Their Subject Areas 253

    Appendix B Sample Texts and Genre Analysis 255

    Appendix C List of Symbols and Abbreviations 265

    Appendix D Annotations 267

    Index 268


    Dr Jing Hao is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, following her previous postdoctoral position at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and her doctorate in linguistics at the University of Sydney. Her research explores knowledgebuilding through English and Mandarin Chinese and their interaction with other semiotic modes.