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Time as a base for establishing structure in text: toward a visualization model
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1909-8450
2016 (English)In: Text & Talk, ISSN 1860-7330, E-ISSN 1860-7349, Vol. 36, no 4, 493-517 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Following Halliday and Hasan (1976, Cohesion in English. London: Longman; Halliday and Hasan 1989, Language, context, and text: Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press), text can be defined and studied as a united whole. A "text" which does not appear as a united whole can be very hard to understand and describe. Since this kind of text exists for example in the form of student writing, it is important to have methods and models which can handle all kinds of compositions coherent and clearly structured and the opposite. This article suggests such a model. Relative to available methods, it is beneficial for understanding and comparing many different texts. The model is based on temporal unfolding of texts, realized primarily by tense and Aktionsarten. It uncovers the basic structure of the text and visualizes it - a combination that makes the text accessible for further analysis. Four texts with different structures from the national test in Swedish and Swedish as a second language are used to demonstrate the model. The model is used to discuss and compare the texts and how the students respond to the given instruction. It is shown what information the model reveals and how analysis and information can be added; in this case means for understanding the narrative text.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 36, no 4, 493-517 p.
Keyword [en]
temporal unfolding, text structure, text visualization, student writing, tense, narrative text, Aktionsarten
Keyword [sv]
temporal utveckling, textstruktur, textvisualisering, elevtext, berättande text, tempus, aktionsart
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299148DOI: 10.1515/text-2016-0022ISI: 000378883600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299148DiVA: diva2:949012
Available from: 2016-07-15 Created: 2016-07-15 Last updated: 2017-03-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Språket och skolämnet svenska som andraspråk: Om elevers språk och skolans språksyn
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Språket och skolämnet svenska som andraspråk: Om elevers språk och skolans språksyn
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Swedish as a second language in school : On language use and conceptions of language
Abstract [en]

Since the school subject Swedish as a second language was established in the Swedish school system in the mid-1990s, the organization of the subject has varied widely across schools, and the outcomes have been poor. This thesis investigates these problems linguistically. The main objective is to explore the school subject Swedish as a second language in relation to the language of students taking the subject. Another aim of this thesis is to illuminate the complex relation between the Swedish language and the use and conception of Swedish as a second language. A critique of the concept of ‘language’ and of language attitudes in the school context is a recurring theme in the thesis.

The thesis contains four papers addressing different aspects of the school subject Swedish as a second language. Paper I examines texts and oral presentations from a group of students born in Sweden, analyzing their language from a normative, mainly grammatical, perspective. Paper II develops a model for analyzing text as activity. In Paper III, the model from paper II is applied to analyze students’ narrative texts written as responses to an assignment, focusing on texts that received failing grades. Papers I and III include comparisons with Swedish as a language and as a school subject. Paper IV, finally, analyzes views of language in policy documents.

One critical result of the thesis is the identification of a need for a raised awareness about language in schools and society. In the current situation it is hard to establish a discrete boundary dividing the language of students in the subject Swedish as a second language from the language of students in the subject Swedish, but differences can be observed, which in some sense resonates well with the definition of the subject given by the policy documents. Swedish as a second language in schools can be vaguely defined as Swedish with non-Swedish or foreign markers. The vague definition of the subject and the many linguistic conditions built into the subject entail that Swedish as a second language does not seem well-suited for anyone. Employing a combination of a traditional and an alternative view of language, as proposed in this thesis, may be a fruitful way to accommodate all students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk, 2017. 64 p.
Series
Skrifter utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 101
Keyword
Conception of language, text, Swedish as a second language, national test, policy for education, text analysis, student language, language as system, language as activity, systemic functional grammar
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317496 (URN)978-91-506-2626-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-05, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-12 Created: 2017-03-15 Last updated: 2017-04-12

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