The Language Of The University: A Systemic Functional Analysis
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This study examines the negotiation of interpersonal meaning in the language of university administrators in their communications with students. The three texts in this study were written by the president of a large university to the student body and concern a controversy which arose on campus. The study uses Systemic Functional Grammar to examine how the language of the texts constructs interpersonal relationships between administration and students, as well as the extent to which such language changes when significant contextual issues become a factor. Specifically, in this study data analysis reveals that the language used changes in different contexts in an effort to maintain a positive interpersonal relationship between the university and the students in light of negative contextual factors. These findings suggest that the university values its relationship with the students and desires to preserve a delicate balance of authority and solidarity, even in challenging situations.