Blackwell, James Walter (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis explores the text-compositional options that are available for the construction of university-style lectures. In doing so, it employs techniques developed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to investigate how lectures are structured in terms of “genre” and the related issue of what is termed “hierarchy of periodicity”. It applies these techniques to the analysis of a small selection of university lectures to explore the ways in which, and the degree to which, these texts are structured as genres and the extent to which they are simultaneously structured by waves of foreshadowing and reiteration (or periodicity). As to the possible conclusions that might be reached from this type of analysis, this thesis will propose that the principles of “hierarchy of periodicity” and “genre complexes” are likely to be important options for structuring in university lectures, since all of the texts analyzed were found to be structured by such mechanisms. It will also proposes that lectures, although forms of speech, are structured in ways that are closer to forms of writing and that lectures as a set of texts can be categorized by the extent to which they display or do not display, the text-compositional arrangements of such (written) texts.
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