Register analysis in systemic functional linguistics
The term register has had considerable currency within and beyond systemic functional linguistics (SFL) for more than fifty years. But this currency masks a persistent conflation of disparate views, including views about the location and centrality of register in a functional theory of language, and views about the kinds of analytic methods that can best characterise register and 'capture' registerial variation. As a result of its position within the overall 'architecture' of SFL as a theory of language, the concept of register has been topicalised or implicated in most of the theory's development since the 1960s. Yet although the term register is still in frequent use, it has recently been argued that register classification itself is now 'in limbo' within SFL (Hasan 2014).
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