A genre is described by Martin as a staged, goal oriented, purposeful activity in which speakers engage as members of our culture.
Genre analysis is described by Dudley Evans and St John as the study of the structural and linguistic regularities of particular genres or text types and the role the play withing a discourse community. They suggest that the terms discourse analysis and genre analysis might best seen as two everlapping terms with discourse analysis being an umbrella term that includes the examination of characteristic features of particular genres.
The Systematic Perspective
Systematic functional linguistic consider language primarily as a resource for making meaning rather than a set of rules. The systematic component of systematic functional grammar derives from the fact that the grammar describes language as being made up of these systems of choice. The functional dimension of systemic functional grammar aims to describe what the language is doing in particular context ; that is the role it is playing in the particular social activity in which in located. Labels given to the components of a clause are described, therefore in terms of what they are doing in the clause in functional, rather than the grammatical terms of what they are doing in the clause in functional, rather than grammatical terms hence, the term systemic functional.
A number different ways of describing textual structures have emerged in systemic genre studies. The most influential of these is the description presented by Martin and Rothery in which the analysis of the schematic structure of texts involves the identification of the discourse structure of a text. This work originates in their examination of student writing in Australian primary school classrooms but has more recently moved to the examination of language use in secondary academic and workplaece settings, and the use of English for social purpose.
Generic Structure Potential
A further approach to the description of textual structures is presented in Hasan’s of generic structure potential. A generic structure potential ams to identify obligatory andoptional structural elements in texts as well as sequencing and repetition of textual structures.
Genre And Transitivity, Mood And Theme
Description of language patterns in systemic genre studies draw mostly on Haliday’s functional description of the clause and Halliday and Hasan’s and Martin’s description of patterns of cohesion. The clause within a systemic functional framework is divided into three simultaneously strands of structural organization, each of which realize a simultaneously strand of meaning. These trands are term transivity, mood and theme.
The transivity sytem encodes the ideational content of the text ; that is content and ideas expressed by the text. This content is typically expressed by patterns of processes, participants, and circumstances. Process are typically realized by verbal groups and described in functional terms such as material processes and mental processes. Participants are typically realized by nominal groups and described in terms suchas actor and goal and sensor and phenomenon. Circumstances describe aspect such as location, time and manner and typically realized by adverbial or prepositional groups.
The mood system of clause encodes the relationship between participants in an interaction as well as the speaker’s or writter’s attitude and a comment.included here for example are indicative,imperative and interrogative construction.
Theme is the element which serves as the point of departure of the message. It also introduced information prominence into the clause. Theme is often described as what clause is about. The remainder of the clause is called the rheme.
Genre And Context
A genre is more than just its discourse structure and patterns of language. There are many factors that are important to consider such as the sociocultural context of the text, the purpose of the text, the audience of the text, expectations of the particular discourse community and the relationship the text has with other instances of the genre.