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Research Seminar : "Between Context and Text in the Da Vinci Code"
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Topic:  Research Seminar : "Between Context and Text in the Da Vinci Code"
posted itemPosted - 11/09/2006 :  15:58:20
City University of Hong Kong Dep

City University of Hong Kong
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Research Seminar

Between Context and Text in the Da Vinci Code

Presented by

Mr. Marvin Lam

Department of Chinese,Translation and Linguistics, City University

Date: 13 September 2006, Wednesday
Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm
B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU

Language: English


The development towards a dialogical perspective in SFL is reflected in the conception of the relationship between context and text: from the unidirectional and monological relations, according to which context determines text, to the bidirectional and cogenetic logical interaction, within which the perception of context activates the choice of meaning, and meaning in text construes context. Given this bidirectional perspective, the main concern of this study is the interaction between context and text, and the specific question is: can we trace the development of social distance, as described in terms of Hasan's idea of it as related to the interactive biography of participants (Hasan 1985)? Our investigation is based on the popular novel, the Da Vinci Code, and the focus is on interactions between the two principal characters Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. The genre of novel construes a variety of contexts, usually presented in the non-dialogic descriptive part, while we may think of the dialogues between characters as texts; these two ways of narrating are blended together into one unified narrative. Given the aim of my paper, the development of social distance between the two major characters will be measured both in terms of Bogardus' Social Distance Scale (Bogardus 1959) based on sociological theories, and on the concept of interactive biography based on Hasan's model of text analysis. For the analysis of the dialogues, the MOOD system of English is used, because this is the principal grammatical system relevant to the creating and maintaining of relationships and this is of interest in a study concerning the development of social distance.


Mr. Marvin Lam Man Kit is currently a MPhil research student in the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong. His research interests mainly concern with context of situation in the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics.

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Enquiry: LTenquiry@cityu.edu.hk