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Intimate, personal and social distance (after Hall 1966)  

Intimate, personal and social distance (after Hall 1966)  

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This chapter draws on foundational and more recent work in proxemics (Hall 1959, Martinec 2001) to explore the role of body alignment as an important mode of meaning in surgical practice and its interaction in that context with linguistic semiosis, particularly in the exchange of what Michael Halliday has termed interpersonal meaning (Halliday 1973...

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Context 1
... key way in which people give off interpersonal meaning is through their bodily proximity to each other. Hall (1966) brings to our attention sets of culturally constructed zones of space around individuals which cultures use to construe interaction as ranging from intimate (up to 18 inches apart -see Figure 1a), to personal distance (18 inches to four feet - Figure 1b) to social (four to twelve feet - Figure 1c) and out to public space (12 to 25+ feet; not illustrated). Hall's ultimate purpose for his model is to make sure that spatial, architectural and urban planning needs are considered to be culturally relative, dependent on how space is bounded and construed. ...
Context 2
... key way in which people give off interpersonal meaning is through their bodily proximity to each other. Hall (1966) brings to our attention sets of culturally constructed zones of space around individuals which cultures use to construe interaction as ranging from intimate (up to 18 inches apart -see Figure 1a), to personal distance (18 inches to four feet - Figure 1b) to social (four to twelve feet - Figure 1c) and out to public space (12 to 25+ feet; not illustrated). Hall's ultimate purpose for his model is to make sure that spatial, architectural and urban planning needs are considered to be culturally relative, dependent on how space is bounded and construed. ...
Context 3
... key way in which people give off interpersonal meaning is through their bodily proximity to each other. Hall (1966) brings to our attention sets of culturally constructed zones of space around individuals which cultures use to construe interaction as ranging from intimate (up to 18 inches apart -see Figure 1a), to personal distance (18 inches to four feet - Figure 1b) to social (four to twelve feet - Figure 1c) and out to public space (12 to 25+ feet; not illustrated). Hall's ultimate purpose for his model is to make sure that spatial, architectural and urban planning needs are considered to be culturally relative, dependent on how space is bounded and construed. ...

Citations

... To illustrate Hasan's networks applied to healthcare I draw from a study of systemic safety in surgery (Butt et al. 2016;Moore 2016b; see also Lukin et al. 2011). The study is based on video ethnography of 50 hours of interaction between team members in an operating theatre, including advanced surgical trainees. ...
... One analysis of particular interest focuses on the common practice in teaching hospitals of a trainee surgeon and their mentor "swapping sides", which implies swapping the role of lead surgeon and assistant. Options in relation enactment were used to analyse the sequence and frequency of command types, and their distribution across team members, in conjunction with analysis of contextual configurations using Butt's (2004) network, lexicogrammatical patterning (following Halliday & Matthiessen 2004) and some analysis of tone (Halliday 1976) 8 as well as body alignment between team members (Moore 2016b). This "networks all the way" method arguably gives us a more satisfactory explanation of the register patterns observed than analyses at clause level alone (viz. ...
Article
Halliday ( 1978 : 111) defines register as “the configuration of semantic resources that the member of a culture typically associates with a situation type.” Elsewhere, however, he stresses that when we talk of “a register” this is a term of convenience: register is more properly theorised as continuous variation along many linguistic dimensions. In this paper I review progress in our capacity to describe register and context of situation and ask whether the tension between discrete and continuous models of register might hinder such progress. I then consider Hasan’s ( 1983 , 2013 ) contextually-open networked model of message semantics, arguing that in conjunction with context networks it has potential to map register variation but still needs to be tested across a large and varied set of domains. Examples from healthcare interaction ground the discussion.
... A potential way to revise the networks that seems "theoretically problematic" but is "empirically worth exploring", according to Moore (2016a: 106), is that "the terms in the system might be the same for all contexts, but the realisations are at least somewhat context-specific". In cautiously suggesting this line of further research Moore (2016a) also brings evidence from the application of Hasan's semantic networks to the analysis of meaning in other registers including surgical discourse (Lukin et al. 2011;Moore 2016b) and telephone service encounters (Matthiessen et al. 2005). Other contexts to which Hasan's semantic networks have been applied include joint bookreading between mothers and four-year-old children, and between teachers and kindergarten classes at the beginning of school (Williams 1995), media interviews (Lukin 2012a(Lukin , 2012b, courtroom discourse (Maley & Fahey 1991), classroom interaction (Chu 2011;Wake 2006) and police interviews (Hall 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores one aspect of the operationalisation of a patient-centred ideology of care by examining an oncologist’s answers to questions asked by her patient and his companion during a palliative oncology consultation and comparing her answers to the markedly different answers of another oncologist. Halliday’s concept of register and Hasan’s semantic networks are used to examine the oncologists’ answers. Patients’ questions create the semiotic environment for clinicians to provide the information patients need for informed decision-making – an important aspect of patient-centredness. The answers clinicians provide construe their position towards this ideology of care. Findings suggest that one way patient-centredness can be operationalised, at the level of semantics, is through providing elaborated answers that explicitly display the reasoning employed by the oncologist.
... Analysis of language, gaze, and body alignment patterns in surgical interaction has supported arguments for a registerially sensitive approach to proxemics using SFL principles (Moore 2006) and for a 'language' of surgery . Body alignment between senior and trainee surgeons has been shown to contribute crucially to the construal and negotiation of agency in the surgical process, and to the phasing and layering of professional and pedagogical activities Moore 2016). The study also explores the operationalization of Halliday's distinct notion of register, critically engaging with Hasan's system of Message Semantics (see Moore's case study in Lukin et al. 2011; also see Moore 2016). ...
Chapter
This chapter profiles the contribution of systemic functional linguistics to the study of language and medicine from early in the history of SFL to the present. It outlines the health problems and settings on which such studies have focused, summarises pertinent findings, reviews the theoretical and descriptive tools used, and considers how the role of language in healthcare has been conceptualised. A brief research example is given, from a study of genetic counselling for women with a family history of breast cancer, which combines contextual, semantic, and multimodal text analysis to account for unexpected overestimation of cancer risk among women who were provided with expert counselling. The chapter argues that SFL has generated a significant body of work around language and medicine, with some important impacts on theory and practice, but there is scope for this field to develop into a more prominent and strategic application of Systemic Functional Linguistics that makes a substantial contribution to improving health and healthcare. Crucial to such a goal are enhanced co-ordination between research groups and a broader conception of how discourse and health are related.
... Analysis of language, gaze, and body alignment patterns in surgical interaction has supported arguments for a registerially sensitive approach to proxemics using SFL principles (Moore 2006) and for a 'language' of surgery . Body alignment between senior and trainee surgeons has been shown to contribute crucially to the construal and negotiation of agency in the surgical process, and to the phasing and layering of professional and pedagogical activities Moore 2016). The study also explores the operationalization of Halliday's distinct notion of register, critically engaging with Hasan's system of Message Semantics (see Moore's case study in Lukin et al. 2011; also see Moore 2016). ...
Article
The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics - edited by Geoff Thompson May 2019
... Senior surgeons were found to use subtle variations in command type to control the phasing of surgery, and to accomplish critical moments such as 'swapping sides' with their trainees (Moore et al. 2010, Moore 2016, Lukin et al 2011. Such interpersonal registerial competence was shown to be a vital, but institutionally invisible, aspect of professional expertise. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Revisits Halliday's model of register as a variety of language that realizes a Contextual Configuration of Field, Tenor and Mode, and illustrates how it can be operationalised using networks at the levels of context, semantics and lexicogrammar.
... The value of this is that it can then be mapped into a more complete model of semiosis which includes other modalities providing a common metalanguage or ontology between different modes of communication. In researching behaviour during surgery, Moore [17] adapted Martinec's [16] model to account for some of the variability that occurs in such settings. He suggests that certain measures of body alignment and proximity, together with visual target, can be taken to realise certain interpersonal meanings, specifically, various levels of engagement. ...
... In the section below we compare the behaviour of people walking through a door with that of people standing near a door and talking or waiting in order to distinguish the behaviours which signal intention to walk though a door. Drawing on Moore's [17] adaptation of Martinec [16] work, we have focused on the representation of body alignment, proximity and visual target. These three features of human behaviour have been associated with the interpersonal function of communication. ...
... Martinec [16] has produced a model of interpersonal engagement that has precise and robust measurements for variability in body alignment and proximity for contexts such as waiting or casually chatting. Moore [17] has shown that the particular values and even the behavioural measures themselves can vary from one social context to another but that this variability is predictable and even useful since it helps us to move beyond context specific descriptions to see what contexts share. In future work we aim to describe the variability in measures for intention to walk through a door and to make these measurements machine readable such that they are useful for opening a door. ...
Conference Paper
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Truly smart systems need to interface with the behaviour of human and non human actors in their surroundings. Systems with such interfaces could prove beneficial in supporting those with non standard commu- nication practices, the elderly living alone, people with disabilities, and many others. While the benefits are clear, the means of achieving true behavioural interfaces are yet unclear. In this paper we outline how semiotics helps us to understand behaviour. We show how such an ap- proach may be put to use in modelling the intention to walk through a door. We begin by outlining the semiotic approach and then discuss the behaviours which need to be described to model intention. We also discuss how this varies according to context and suggest the potential for a more general model of behaviour.
Article
Linguistics has embraced the functional and contextual turn but, when building tools for systematic contextual description, we have not made as much use as we could of our own functional traditions. Rather, we have largely relied on the metaphors of law and rule, which do not adequately capture tensions between consistency and variability in how language and context relate to each other. Our aim in this paper is to show the economy and practicality of representing context as a pathway through a network, drawing on the network technique for mapping systems of grammatical choice introduced by Michael Halliday, and on its application to other linguistic strata first offered by Ruqaiya Hasan. The paper begins by outlining why alternative frameworks are needed for describing context-language relations. We then present a contextual network for one specific domain of the Systemic Functional Linguistic notion of Tenor, namely social distance , and use this to explore how different configurations of features of social distance influence the way that traditions of practice are passed on as a specialised legacy in two different professional collaborations. While the kind of context modelling discussed here is in a very early phase of development compared to phonetic, morphological and grammatical description, it has many advantages: contextual networks are paradigmatic in orientation; they help display and theorise metastability in language; they are “ad hoc” in Firth’s positive sense; and they constitute a proposal to be tested against observed behaviour within specific cultural and situational settings.
Chapter
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Perhaps the most important line of argument in Ruqaiya Hasan’s work is the idea that the semantic stratum of language can be modelled paradigmatically, through the tool which has been used to model other strata, namely, the system network (Hasan, 1996a, 2009b). As Hasan and Cloran put it (2009[1990], p. 95): Since the principle of paradigmatic organisation applies to all levels of language, it is reasonable to suppose that the facts at the semantic level can also be represented as systems of interlocking choices.
Chapter
Hasan describes context in the following way: ‘context of situation as construed by discourse is a tripartite entity, each component of which is always active in the production of a text’ (Hasan, 2004, p. 21). This description of context of situation as an entity may be due to a number of reasons. For instance, there is a language-driven semantic drift towards reification because once we start to talk about ‘context’ we come to refer to it as an entity since all our language pushes us in that direction. There is also a discourse focus on context, in the sense that ‘context of situation is construed by discourse’ (Hasan, 2004, p. 21). And there is a bounded notion of discourse, in that a text view of discourse tends towards strong boundaries that make it more likely for context to be seen as an entity.
Article
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The paper discusses the challenges faced by researchers in developing effective digital interfaces for analyzing the meaning-making processes of multimodal phenomena. The authors propose a social semiotic approach as the underlying theoretical foundation, because interactive digital technology is the embodiment of multimodal social semiotic communication. The paper outlines the complex issues with which researchers are confronted in designing digital interface frameworks for modeling, analyzing, and retrieving meaning from multimodal data, giving due consideration to the multiplicity of theoretical frameworks and theories which have been developed for the study of multimodal text within social semiotics, and their impact on the development of a computer-based tool for the exploration, annotation, and analysis of multimodal data.