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Metafunctions of language

In Systemic Functional Linguistics, upon which CDA draws heavily, M.A.K. Halliday identifies three meta-functions of language. The ideational function is the 'content function of language' (Halliday 2007: 183).  It is realised in transitivity and serves to represent situations and events in the world and the entities, actions and processes involved.  It is in the ideational function that the text-producer embodies in language their experience of the phenomena of the real world (Halliday 1973: 106). The interpersonal function is the 'participatory function of language' (Halliday 2007: 184).  It allows for the expression of attitudes and evaluations and is realised by mood and modality.  It also allows the expression of a relation set up between the text-producer and the text-consumer (Halliday and Matthiessen 1999: 7).   The textual function of language is an enabling one (Halliday and Matthiessen 1999: 7-8).  It is in the textual function that ideational and interpersonal meanings are actualized (Halliday 2007: 184).  The textual function is realised in information structure and cohesion.