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ERIC Number: EJ824615
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Defining and Classifying in Classroom Discourse: Some Evidence from Greek Pre-School Education
Kondyli, Marianna; Lykou, Christina
Language and Education, v22 n6 p331-344 2008
Subscribing to Systemic Functional Linguistics approach, this paper examines aspects of decontextualised language, such as classification and definitions, in Greek pre-school instructional contexts. Following the assumption that such decontextualised uses are considered critical to the transition from commonsense to educational knowledge, we attempt a lexicogrammatical analysis of taxonomic meanings occurring in these educational settings. The analysis of instances of classroom discourse in terms of identifying and attributive clauses has shown that classification and definitions, conceived as critical for educational knowledge development, seem to be a reiterated pattern by which teachers recontextualise commonsense meanings into educational knowledge. Different lexicogrammatical realisations of categorisation and definitions with respect to their meaning potentiality are discussed, and evidence of variation in lexicogrammatical choices regarding the continuum from common to uncommon experience is also illustrated. Another point worth mentioning is that social/abstract entities tend to be categorised and/or defined through saying verbs, while physical/concrete entities through being verbs. This variation appears to be a tendency in reproducing the paradigmatic distinction between physical and social science which characterises actual school discourse from very early school age.
Multlingual Matters. Available from Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece