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Tenor Mode and Feild

  • Date Submitted: 07/30/2015 06:59 AM
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Analyzing English texts for field, mode, tenor and communicative effectiveness
This document provides a scheme for analyzing English texts from a functional
perspective. The document contains information adapted from Chapters 8, 10 and 12 – 16
of Books 2 and 3 of the Open University course E303 English Grammar in Context as it was
presented in 2005, as well as from the set book Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and
Written English and from the course’s associated readings. Skills in functional analysis are
developed in the course books; this document re-iterates in concise form the main points
to consider when performing the analysis.

Map of the document
As is common in functional linguistics, the document analyzes texts from three

From the experiential viewpoint, we analyze the field of a text (page 1). The
treatment of field if brief here because analyzing field amounts to nothing else
then simply answering the question “What is the text about?”.

From the textual viewpoint, we analyze the mode of a text (page 2). Mode
answers questions about the way a text was, or appears to have been,
produced and delivered. The section about mode deals with two main
subtopics, interactivity and spontaneity.

From the interpersonal viewpoint, we analyze the tenor of a text (page 4). The
section about tenor is the longest because analyzing tenor is the most
complicated. Analyzing tenor often involves a lot of “reading between the lines”
and reveals information about what kind of person the author is (or is
pretending to be), how strongly the author believes in the truth of their
message, whether the author and the reader/listener are on equal terms or
not, and so on.

Additionally to the three main topics, there is a section at the end about
communicative effectiveness (page 9) which brings the three topics together and
also introduces the new topics of thematic organization and cohesion.

The field of a...


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