Stance-taking and the construal of textual persona in written contexts
Social Contact revisited
Keywords:performed identity, stance-taking, tenor, interpersonal semantics
This paper proposes that two ‘sub-dimensions' of contact - labelled affiliation and alignment - be theoretically distinguished as part of tenor. Under systemic functional linguistics, tenor has been discussed as having two primary dimensions, status and contact. While status is conceived of as related to ‘vertical' relations of roles and socially recognized hierarchies of authority, contact is theorized as a matter of ‘horizontal' relations, pertaining more particularly to shared knowledge and experiences. The paper argues that by taking note of how interactants position themselves in relation to socially-recognized stances related to dimensions of status and contact, it enables further insight into reader-writer relations, and hence a more fine-grained means of tracking the construal of textual persona(e).
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