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The System: Challenges and Possibilities

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1. Title Title of document The System: Challenges and Possibilities - System in Systemic Functional Linguistics
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Christian Matthiessen; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Hong Kong
3. Subject Discipline(s) Linguistics
4. Subject Keyword(s) axis; paradigmatic axis; syntagmatic axis; choice; system network; holistic approach; semogenesis; phylogenesis; ontogenesis; logogenesis; adaptive system; choice in translation
5. Subject Subject classification Systemic Functional Linguistics
6. Description Abstract In the previous chapters, I have presented the systemic functional conception of language, and also of other semiotic systems, and illustrated how system networks have been used to represent ontogenesis and learning how to mean (Chapter 2), to describe all of the strata of language in context (Chapter 3), to map out the resources of language (Chapter 4) and to engage in different fields of application (Chapter 5). Along the way, I have identified various challenges such as the interpretation of recursive system networks used in the representation of logical resources and of marking conventions while I have highlighted possibilities opened up by the systemic angle of approach and the representation of axial order in language by means of system networks. In this chapter,  I will focus on both challenges and possibilities, starting with a review of the benefits of what we might call the ‘systemic turn’ in linguistics contributed by systemic functional linguistics as a way of understanding language and other semiotic systems as resources. I then compare and contrast possible representations of systemic organization other than system networks — taxonomies, mind maps, flow charts — and explain why system networks have advantages, and illustrate how we can move between systemic representations. Next I identify a challenge to system networks, viz. patterns of agnation that are hard to capture by means of such networks, and I review the complementarity of systemic typologies and topologies, and experiments with fuzzy set theory. I also suggest how indeterminacy can be handled by means of system network, pointing to certain difficulties. Finally, I introduce possible enhancements to system networks, including multilingual system networks, going on to illustrate how they can also be used in language
comparison and typology. I end the chapter with a summary of challenges and opportunities.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 20-Nov-2023
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.38386
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; System in Systemic Functional Linguistics
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd