Charting constellations in the unfolding of texts: analysing Daily Sun political news articles using LCT and SFL

20 September 2016 -13 September 2016 @ 17:00 - 18:00


September 20, 2016
05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Room 4, Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University
Event Type:


Ian Siebörger
046 603 7420

Legitimation Code Theory’s (LCT) concept of constellations is an extremely useful tool for analysing the ways in which stances and ideas are clustered together and charged with moral, aesthetic or political values in discourse (Maton 2014).  In the process of clustering and charging, these stances and ideas tend to gain in axiological-semantic density, the strength of the relations between different meanings related to “affective, aesthetic, ethical, political and moral stances” (Maton 2014: 153) in a given social practice.  One place in which these processes of clustering and charging can be observed is in logogenesis, that is, in the unfolding of an individual text (Martin 2010).  In this seminar I will demonstrate this through brief complementary LCT and Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) analyses of a political news article from the Daily Sun.  Following this, I will lead a discussion in which seminar participants and I will jointly analyse a second article to identify the constellations (re)produced in it.  These articles give clues as to the dominant cosmologies, or bases on which ideas are judged to be virtuous or morally reprehensible, reflected in the Daily Sun’s political news coverage.  

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