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Grammatical metaphor and the social genesis of abstraction in the writing of apprentice scholars using… Ferreira, Alfredo Afonso 2016

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      GRAMMATICAL METAPHOR AND THE SOCIAL GENESIS OF ABSTRACTION  IN THE WRITING OF APPRENTICE SCHOLARS USING  ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE  by  ALFREDO AFONSO FERREIRA  B.A. Honours, Simon Fraser University, 1988 M.A., Columbia University, 2004      A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Language and Literacy Education)        THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2016  © Alfredo Afonso Ferreira, 2016     ii  Abstract  A central feature of written academic discourse is variability in the degrees and functions of abstraction. By means of abstract construals, writers reconfigure direct experiences of the world into abstract, general and technical concepts, compress dynamic reasoning into more stable forms of scholarly thinking, organize discourse to facilitate its interpretation, and present a more objective interpersonal stance (Halliday, 1998). These functions of abstraction often challenge second-language (L2) academic writers using English, who may have gaps in their internalized lexicogrammatical and semantic systems of English and may also be unfamiliar with expectations in scholarly cultures that are associated with these systems (Schleppegrell, 2004b).  This study aims to better understand L2 writers’ use of grammatical metaphor (GM), the central resource of language for construing abstraction (Halliday, 1994, 1998), specifically ideational GM, the sub-type (including nominalization) that is most salient in academic writing. This aim was pursued through analysis of the writing of four Japanese first-language users who were at late undergraduate to early graduate levels in their respective disciplines, and who intended to become professional scholars. The setting was an English for academic purposes (EAP) writing course at a selective national university in Tokyo. The study adopts a transdisciplinary framework (Hasan, 2005/1992) integrating Vygotsky’s psychological (1978) notion of semiotic mediation, systemic functional linguistic (SFL) theory of language as a social semiotic resource (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004), and the sociology of education of Bernstein (1990, 1999), whose concept of socio-semantic dispositions emphasizes social subjects’ robust, cultural-historically evolved tendencies in mediating knowledge through language. Conventional qualitative and quantitative methods of analyzing GM were extended through the development of nominal density (ND) analysis, an instrument that allows for direct, quantitative analysis of GM use. By these means, the study generates insight into the functions of GM-enabled abstraction in students’ writing, notably in detailing the changes in these functions across the students’ individual and aggregated writing corpora. While the limited data do not allow for generalization of the findings to other populations, the study makes appreciable empirical contributions to a rapidly emerging area of research in studies of L2 academic writing and L2 development.  iii  Preface  This dissertation on second-language (L2) writers’ use of grammatical metaphor (GM) in their academic writing is, as a whole, an original intellectual product of the author, Alfredo Afonso Ferreira. The setting of the case study was an EAP writing course in which the present author was also instructor. The collection of data and associated methods were approved by the University of British Columbia’s Research Ethics Board (certificate # H10-02226-A006), with no major provisos in the application or complications in implementation. The primary steps taken to ensure no conflict of interest in my dual roles as instructor and researcher were to highly restrict research-related interventions during the writing course and to ensure that students’ choice of whether or not to participate in the research would not affect their experiences in the writing course.                               iv  Table of Contents  Abstract ........................................................................................................................................................ ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................................................. vii List of Figures ........................................................................................................................................... viii Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................................... ix Dedication .................................................................................................................................................... x  Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 1    1.1 Background .......................................................................................................................................... 1    1.2 Defining grammatical metaphor .......................................................................................................... 2    1.3 Study purposes, subjects, research questions and framework .............................................................. 5    1.4 Organization of the dissertation ........................................................................................................... 7    1.5 Contributions of the study .................................................................................................................... 9  Chapter 2: Semiotic Mediation in Sociocultural Approaches to Second-Language Academic Writing ....................................................................................................................................................... 12    2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 12    2.2 Semiotic mediation ............................................................................................................................ 13    2.3 Second-language writing as situated literacy practice ....................................................................... 19    2.4 Writing as a resource for content learning and second-language learning ........................................ 21    2.5 Semiotic mediation in sociocultural approaches to L2 academic writing .......................................... 24         2.5.1 Academic literacies .................................................................................................................... 24         2.5.2 Academic discourse socialization .............................................................................................. 26         2.5.3 Genre-based approaches: Sydney School .................................................................................. 29         2.5.4 Genre-based approaches: English for specific purposes ............................................................ 32         2.5.5 Activity theory ........................................................................................................................... 35         2.5.6 Systemic functional linguistics .................................................................................................. 36    2.6 Distillation.......................................................................................................................................... 42  Chapter 3: Grammatical Metaphor and its Role in L2 Academic Writing ......................................... 44    3.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 44    3.2 Grammatical metaphor in first-language development ...................................................................... 48    3.3 An outline of grammatical metaphor in the language system ............................................................ 49    3.4 Nominalization and grammatical metaphor in second-language writing research ............................ 54         3.4.1 Nominalization in L2 writing research ...................................................................................... 54         3.4.2 SFL-based studies of grammatical metaphor in L2 academic writing ....................................... 57    3.5 Interpersonal grammatical metaphor in academic writing: Metaphors of modality .......................... 64    3.6 Continuity between grammatical and lexical metaphor ..................................................................... 69    3.7 Grammatical metaphor and variation in commonsense and specialized ways of knowing ............... 71    3.8 Grammatical metaphor in disciplinary practice ................................................................................. 75         3.8.1 Congruency as a feature of scholarly culture ............................................................................. 77         3.8.2 Internal variation in disciplinary sub-cultures ............................................................................ 78         3.8.3 Summary of the role of grammatical metaphor in disciplinary variation .................................. 83    3.9 Distillation.......................................................................................................................................... 85  Chapter 4: Research Setting and Methodology ..................................................................................... 87    4.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 87         4.1.1 The role of the setting in the methodology ................................................................................ 87 v          4.1.2 Classification of the study .......................................................................................................... 89    4.2 Setting ................................................................................................................................................ 91         4.2.1 The nationalization and marketization of government universities ........................................... 92         4.2.2 The stakes in university entrance exams .................................................................................... 98    4.3 Data collection ................................................................................................................................. 101         4.3.1 Researcher positioning ............................................................................................................. 102         4.3.2 Participant recruitment in the Writing I course ........................................................................ 105         4.3.3 Selection of focal participants .................................................................................................. 108    4.4 Focal participants and data collected ............................................................................................... 110         4.4.1 Sotty ......................................................................................................................................... 111         4.4.2 Haru.......................................................................................................................................... 113         4.4.3 Taka.......................................................................................................................................... 115         4.4.4 Yoshi ........................................................................................................................................ 117    4.5 Data collected ................................................................................................................................... 121         4.5.1 Distillation: Data and participants ............................................................................................ 124    4.6 Pedagogical context ......................................................................................................................... 125         4.6.1 The Writing I syllabus.............................................................................................................. 125         4.6.2 Instruction in grammatical metaphor ....................................................................................... 128         4.6.3 The four writing assignments ................................................................................................... 132                 4.6.3.1 The pre-course writing assignment (PC) ....................................................................... 132                 4.6.3.2 The extended definition (DF) ........................................................................................ 133                 4.6.3.3 The data commentary (DC) ........................................................................................... 135                 4.6.3.4 The problem-solution (PS) ............................................................................................ 137         4.6.4 Implications of assignment order for changes in abstraction ................................................... 138     4.7 Distillation....................................................................................................................................... 139  Chapter 5: Operationalizing Grammatical Metaphor in Nominal Density Analysis ....................... 140    5.1 Research questions and introduction to the methodology ................................................................ 140    5.2 Halliday’s typology of grammatical metaphor ................................................................................ 146    5.3 Realized grammatical metaphors: Types of shift ............................................................................. 151         5.3.1 Shifts to entity .......................................................................................................................... 153         5.3.2 Shifts to quality ........................................................................................................................ 154         5.3.3 Shifts to process ....................................................................................................................... 154         5.3.4 Shifts to circumstance .............................................................................................................. 155    5.4 Embedding as grammatical metaphor .............................................................................................. 155    5.5 Genetic analysis of GM-mediated abstraction in L2 academic writing ........................................... 156    5.6 Cross-checking grammatical metaphor analysis using corpus methods .......................................... 159    5.7 Nominal density ............................................................................................................................... 163         5.7.1 Operationalizing nominal density ............................................................................................ 165         5.7.2 Pilot statistical analyses for validating nominal density .......................................................... 168                 5.7.2.1 Assignment of variables and their measurement scales ................................................ 170                 5.7.2.2 Question for statistical analysis and general hypotheses .............................................. 170                 5.7.2.3 Assessment of strength of correlation ........................................................................... 171                 5.7.2.4 Limitations of the inferential statistical analysis ........................................................... 171                 5.7.2.5 Statistical procedures .................................................................................................... 172                 5.7.2.6 Results from the 2-way ANOVA .................................................................................. 173                 5.7.2.7 Distillation of the pilot inferential statistical analysis ................................................... 178    5.8 Distillation........................................................................................................................................ 178  Chapter 6: Grammatical Metaphor and Abstraction in L2 Academic Writing: General Results .. 180    6.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 180 vi     6.2 Results for GM use aggregated from the writing of the four focal subjects .................................... 182    6.3 Three students’ use of GM early in Writing I .................................................................................. 186         6.3.1 Haru’s pre-course text opening ................................................................................................ 187         6.3.2 Yoshi’s pre-course text opening .............................................................................................. 191         6.3.3 Taka’s pre-course text opening ................................................................................................ 193         6.3.4 Distillation from analyses of pre-course text openings ............................................................ 194    6.4 Disciplinary variation in nominal density and lexical density ......................................................... 196         6.4.1 Parallelized difference in pairwise comparisons of students’ writing ...................................... 196         6.4.2 Nominal density and lexical density aggregated by discipline ................................................ 198                6.4.2.1 Two disciplines from the view of nominal density and lexical density ......................... 198                6.4.2.2 Nominal density and lexical density from the view of two disciplines.......................... 204    6.5 Comparing change in nominal and lexical density to understand individual variation ................... 205    6.6 Distillation........................................................................................................................................ 207  Chapter 7: Grammatical Metaphor in the Writing of an Economics Student and his Peers .......... 210    7.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 210    7.2 Grammatical metaphor and abstraction in Yoshi’s writing ............................................................. 212         7.2.1 Grammatical metaphor across drafts of Yoshi’s extended definition text ............................... 214                7.2.1.1 Nominal density in definition text drafts: Tension in recontextualizing economics ...... 214                7.2.1.2 Nominal density and topical Theme in Yoshi’s writing ................................................ 220                     7.2.1.2.1 Nominal density of Themes across drafts of the definition text ............................ 221                     7.2.1.2.2  Nominalization and textual signals of moves in Yoshi’s problem-solution text .. 224                     7.2.1.2.3 A revised macro-Theme and macro-New in recontextualizing economics ........... 227                     7.2.1.2.4 The distribution of nominal density in Themes and Rhemes in Yoshi’s writings . 230         7.2.2 Distribution of logical and experiential grammatical metaphor in Yoshi’s writing ................. 233                7.2.2.1 Distribution of logical and experiential GMs in Yoshi’s first and final writings ........... 236                7.2.2.2  Distribution of the most dynamic GM types across Yoshi’s course writings ............... 240                7.2.2.3  Transitivity across Yoshi’s course writings .................................................................. 245    7.3 Nominal density and the ratio of logical and experiential GMs in the writing of Yoshi’s peers ..... 247         7.3.1 Nominal density and the ratio of logical and experiential GMs in Taka’s writings ................ 247         7.3.2 Nominal density and the ratio of logical and experiential GMs in Sotty’s writings ................ 250         7.3.3 Nominal density and the ratio of logical and experiential GMs in Haru’s writings ................ 253    7.4 Overview of empirical findings ....................................................................................................... 256  Chapter 8: Discussion ............................................................................................................................. 262    8.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 262    8.2 EAP writing in a national university in Japan .................................................................................. 262    8.3 Methodological contributions .......................................................................................................... 265    8.4 GM, semiotic mediation and the socio-semantic dispositions in EAP writing ................................ 274         8.4.1 GM use by Yoshi ..................................................................................................................... 274         8.4.2 GM use by Yoshi’s peers ......................................................................................................... 278         8.4.3 Distillation of findings for the research questions ................................................................... 280    8.5 Limitations of the study ................................................................................................................... 287    8.6 Directions for further research ......................................................................................................... 290  References ................................................................................................................................................ 293  Appendix 1: Yoshi’s course writings tagged for grammatical metaphor .................................................. 317 Appendix 2: Student needs survey ............................................................................................................ 325 Appendix 3: Raw quantitative data ........................................................................................................... 327  vii  List of Tables  Table 4.1. Basic profile of students registered in Writing I                           108 Table 4.2. Academic writing profiles of focal participants from needs analysis             110 Table 4.3. Summary of data (core and supplementary data)                            122 Table 4.4. Overview of Research-based Academic Writing I syllabus               127 Table 4.5. Types of grammatical packing: Shifts in meaning & grammar with examples   130 Table 5.1. Types of grammatical metaphor        152 Table 5.2. Summary of correlations between focal variables     174 Table 6.1. Parallelized differences in ND/LD correlation between pairs of students  197 Table 6.2. Percent change in ND and LD between first and final writing tasks  206 Table 7.1. Twelve most dynamic GM types in Yoshi’s texts                                     241 Table 7.2. Percentage of process type per text in three texts spanning the course             245 Table 7.3. Summary of analyses of GM: Methods and findings        257-260                              viii  List of Figures  Figure 1.1. Variation in degrees of abstraction by means of grammatical metaphor     2 Figure 3.1. Grammatical metaphor in the stratal model        50 Figure 3.2. Semantic junction in grammatical metaphor        51 Figure 3.3. Correspondences between Subject, Theme and Given in written discourse   66 Figure 3.4. The academic knowledge continuum         84 Figure 4.1. Nominalizing shifts: Meaning from speech-like to writing-like register             129 Figure 4.2. Pedagogical model for the staging of a data commentary                                   136 Figure 5.1. Types of grammatical metaphor by scope of downgrading                    148 Figure 5.2. Calibrating GM analysis: Concordance result for the GM sub-type 1a  161 Figure 5.3. Calibrating GM analysis: Concordance result for the token developing  162 Figure 5.4. Typology of grammatical metaphor with nominal density values  166 Figure 5.5. Plot graph for ND mean and LD mean      174 Figure 5.6. Plot graph for NDstd.dev and LDstd.dev      175 Figure 5.7. Plot graph for ND mean and GI mean      176 Figure 5.8. Plot graph for ND mean and LC mean      177 Figure 5.9. Plot graph for NDstd.dev and LCstd.dev                 177 Figure 6.1. Aggregated results for ND, LD, LC & GI in four students’ writings   183 Figure 6.2. Nominal density of students’ writing in economics and humanities  199 Figure 6.3. Lexical density of students’ writing in economics and humanities   199 Figure 6.4. Nominal density & lexical density in two economics students’ writing   205 Figure 6.5. Nominal density and lexical density in two humanities students’ writing  205 Figure 7.1. ND, LD & GI in Yoshi’s writings               212 Figure 7.2. Nominal density in draft 1 of Yoshi’s extended definition (DF) text  215 Figure 7.3. Nominal density in draft 2 of Yoshi’s extended definition (DF) text  215 Figure 7.4. Nominal density in draft 3 of Yoshi’s extended definition (DF) text  215 Figure 7.5. Thematic ND in draft 1 of Yoshi’s DF      221 Figure 7.6. Thematic ND in draft 1 of Yoshi’s DF      221 Figure 7.7. Thematic ND in draft 1 of Yoshi’s DF      221 Figure 7.8. Ratio of thematic to rhematic ND in Yoshi’s writings    232 Figure 7.9. GM types with logical and experiential GMs & ND values distinguished 234 Figure 7.10. Ratio of ND: Logical & experiential GM & embedding in Yoshi’s writing 235 Figure 7.11. ND, logical & experiential GMs in Yoshi’s DF1     236 Figure 7.12. ND, logical & experiential GMs in Yoshi’s PS2    236 Figure 7.13. ND, LD & GI in Taka’s writing       248 Figure 7.14. Ratio of ND by GM type in Taka’s writing     248 Figure 7.15. ND, LD & GI in Sotty’s writing      251 Figure 7.16. Ratio of ND by GM type in Sotty’s writing     251 Figure 7.17. ND, LD & GI in Haru’s writing       254 Figure 7.18. Ratio of ND by GM type in Haru’s writing     254  ix  Acknowledgements  I am grateful for the help of many people with this dissertation. I have benefitted in my doctoral studies from the extraordinary intellectual guidance and encouragement of my primary supervisors, Drs. Geoff Williams and Patsy Duff. Geoff has been exceptionally sensitive and sagacious as my primary academic supervisor, finding a way of guiding me in this project’s transdisciplinary and technical landscape while helping me create the kind of project I had envisioned. Patsy has supported many aspects of this project throughout its exacting lifespan, including through detailed feedback at every stage. Patsy’s involvement has been exceptionally varied and generous. I have come to appreciate first-hand why these two scholars, world leaders in their respective fields, are also so well-admired as engaged and caring colleagues.  My third supervisor, Dr. Steven Talmy, in addition to providing encouragement throughout the process and key references and ideas for framing the literature review, linked me to my current teaching context, UBC Vantage College. This innovative, large-scale project in content-based language teaching and learning provides me with a rich context in which to continue discussions that emerged in this dissertation. In relation to Vantage College, my deep thanks also go to the brilliant Director of the Academic English Program, Dr. Sandra Zappa-Hollman, who has helped me so much with challenge of coordinating teaching and research. My family has supported me throughout this project and my education more generally. My daughter Lujan inspires me with her discipline and creativity. My wife, Sonomi, is a perfect friend and companion, bringing balance and love to every moment. I am grateful also to my siblings Fernando, Olivia, and Cidalia, who have heartily supported me in my passions, and to my parents for their faith in education and encouragement of excellence in our professional lives.   Many others have supported me in this project. Among them, I would like to whole-heartedly thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the vibrant international community of systemic functional linguists, two very generous instructors at the Tokyo campus of the Teachers College, Columbia University MA TESOL program, Drs. Terry Royce and Wendy Bowcher, my fellow graduate students at UBC LLED, and, not least, my academic writing students over the years, from whom I have gained so much knowledge and inspiration. I am moved with gratitude for the collective contributions of these individuals and groups to this dissertation and my personal and professional development. x        Dedication             This dissertation is dedicated to my beloved sister, Cidalia Afonso Serrambana Ferreira.1  Chapter 1: Introduction  1.1 Background  A high proportion of English language scholarship is carried out by apprentice and professional scholars whose primary language is not English (e.g., Belcher, 2007; Flowerdew, 2013). A central feature of written academic discourse is variability in the degrees and functions of abstraction. Abstraction serves scholarship across the primary meaning-making functions of language in social context (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999, 2004). By means of abstract construals, writers reconfigure direct experiences of the world into the abstract, general, and technical concepts used by specialists, such as by nominalizing human experience; they compress dynamic processes of logical reasoning into more stable forms of scholarly thinking; writers organize discourse textually; and they present a more objective interpersonal stance (Halliday, 1998). For second-language (L2) academic writers using English, the regulation of these functions of abstraction often presents challenges. The reasons for this may include unfamiliarity with expectations in scholarly cultures as well as possible gaps in the internalized lexicogrammatical and semantic systems of English that underlie the subject’s capacity to reconfigure concrete events and dynamic forms of reasoning as abstract entities (Byrnes, 2009; Schleppegrell, 2004b).  Abstraction is initially defined as a process through which human experiences and reasoning are reconfigured as conceptual entities. As such, abstraction in discourse is achieved by nominalization, which is understood as the choice to represent experiences and reasoning using the grammatical structure of the nominal group, whose foundational semantic role is to construe entities rather than entities plus processes. For example, the nominal group number construes an entity while the nominalized nominal group (and thus grammatical metaphor) calculation construes an abstract entity that also construes the process of calculating (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). In writing and especially scholarly writing, the tendency is to represent experiences and forms of reasoning (such as calculate) as things (Halliday, 1998; Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). Such ‘thingifying’ of discourse is a means of de-coupling ideas from the specific context of their production (the close linking of time, place and language use being a hallmark of casual speech (Halliday, 1985a)); by means of nominalization, writers stabilize ideas across social contexts and facilitate the mobility of specialist ways of conceiving the world. As 2  grammatical metaphor and nominalization are understood to be resources for mediating concept formation in thought, as well as in writing and speech, their functions in cognition have also been studied (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; Holme, 2003).  1.2 Defining grammatical metaphor The central linguistic resource for regulating abstraction was identified by the founder of systemic functional linguistics (SFL), Michael Halliday (1985b, 1998), as grammatical metaphor (GM). The appropriate use of GM in social context is evidence of a developed, adult language system (Halliday, 1993a). The felicitous use of GM in contexts of academic writing is generally contingent on the integrated social, cultural and linguistic disposition that evolves slowly over time as the subject engages in communities of knowledge specialists. Correspondingly, the development of GM typically accelerates with secondary education, together with the development and differentiation of various forms of knowledge specialization (Derewianka, 2003). Predictably, apprentice L2 academic writers, who often have gaps in the relevant lexicogrammatical and semantic systems of English, are known to have a number of challenges with GM use (Byrnes, 2009; Schleppegrell, 2004b).   An initial explanation of the variation between concrete and abstract representation of experience and reasoning enabled by GM is provided in Figure 1.1. The figure presents an academic claim extracted from the writing of an apprentice economist and L2 user of English,               Figure 1.1. Variation in degrees of abstraction by means of grammatical metaphor  3  Yoshi, who is a focal subject in this study. Yoshi’s wording is presented in the bottom row, and a similar claim is represented or construed at two further levels of abstraction, in the middle and top rows. (The verb construe is preferred because it better reflects the role of language use and users in interpreting how the world is perceived and conceived in context (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999).) Although the wording in the bottom row – where the claim is construed using two clauses linked by a conjunction, if – contains some abstractions (e.g., “risk”), it is a more concrete construal of the claim than the construals in the top two rows. In contrast, the top row – which construes the claim with a lower-scale nominal group – is the most abstract construal of semantic configuration among the three.  The variation between concrete and abstract wording shown in the three rows may be perceived intuitively by most experienced readers. However, it is important to understand just how such variation in levels of abstraction is achieved; this claim, indeed, underlies the argument for including GM in L2 academic writing syllabuses (Byrnes, 2009; Schleppegrell, 2004b). The process of GM is typically explained beginning with the more concrete construal because this form of construal is generally considered developmentally prior in language learning (Halliday, 1993a). Construals often described non-technically as ‘concrete’ ‘literal’ or ‘direct’ are known technically as congruent construals, that is, construals in which a semantic configuration is construed through a developmentally-prior lexicogrammatical structure, such as when a process is construed by a verb, an entity is construed by a noun, and a logical relation is construed by a conjunction (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004, 1999). A more detailed discussion of congruency in relation to GM is provided in Chapter 3. A useful initial indication of one of the functions of GM in discourse – its role in reviewing ideas in order to communicate something new about them  – can be gleaned from Figure 1.1 by reading the middle row followed by the top row, as if they appeared in that order in a written text. After doing so, it is easy to perceive that the top row reviews what is written in the middle row; however, lacking a verb, the claim initiated by the entity in the top row is incomplete. Thus, the writer is compelled to write something new about this known entity (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). This example shows how GM is functional in managing points of departure for the message (technically, Theme), which is typically also information that is already known or expected to be known by readers. 4  The basic explanation of how GM works is as follows. (A fuller explanation is provided in Chapter 5.) As can be seen in Figure 1.1, an arrow is drawn from the congruent construal “prefer” in the bottom row to “preference” in the middle row; “prefer” is a verb, a grammatical structure that by default realizes a semantic process (as of doing, saying or thinking). Because the lexicogrammatical choice of a verb matches the semantic choice of a process in this word “prefer”, it is a congruent construal. As “preference,” the meaning of “prefer” is reconstrued with a noun, as an entity; the verb has thus been nominalized. As the product of GM, the noun “preference” is not simply an entity (the semantic configuration typically realized by nouns) but rather is an entity whose meaning in context resonates with the process meaning of the verb “prefer” from which it derives. This GM involves the reconstrual of a mental process as a metaphorical – and abstract – entity-process. Since mental processes construe an aspect of human experience, the GM “preference” represents a sub-type of GM, an experiential GM. The reconstrual of “prefer” as the experiential GM “preference” is facilitated by derivational morphology, making the semantic shift between them relatively easy to trace; alternative recontruals of the process “prefer”, such as with the entities choice or favourite, involves GM by means of lexical reformulation, which places greater demands on the subjects’ lexicogrammatical resources than morphological shifts (Derewianka, 2003). The other main sub-type of GM is logical GM. A logical GM involves the reconstrual of logical reasoning (such as cause-conditional reasoning), which is by default realized by such conjunctions as “if”, into a grammatical feature of the clause, such as a verb, adverb, or noun. In Figure 1.1, an arrow is drawn from “if” in the bottom row to the verb “depend on” in the middle row. Thus, “depend on” is a logical GM, in this case a verb (which by default realizes a process) that resonates with the logical semantics of a conditional conjunction. Another arrow is draw between “if” and “correlation” in the top row; “correlation” is a noun, which by default realizes an entity. Thus, “correlation” is an entity with the semantic resonance of a conditional conjunction. Logical GMs tend to be harder to track because they do not involve derivational morphology; rather, logical GMs (as with many experiential GMs) involve lexical reformulation.  As can be seen, the culmination of these (and various other) GMs in the top row results in an experientially concrete and logically dynamic semantic configuration in the bottom row being worded – abstracted – by being reconstrued and reified as an entity in a nominal group.  5  This basic explanation for how GM works, how concrete construals of experience and logical reasoning become abstract ones, will be expanded substantially through this dissertation. It should be noted, too, that while the emphasis in this explanation is on the packing of ideas into gradually smaller-scale structures (such as from two linked clauses to a clause, and further to a nominal group), the reversal of this direction of the GM processes is equally important, especially in ‘unpacking’ dense academic discourse.  The conventional form of GM analysis is qualitative. However, in this dissertation, this model is extended for quantitative research by proposing an instrument called nominal density (ND). Essentially, ND analysis accounts for the extent of all the possible metaphorical shifts between the three scales of construal represented by the three rows in Figure 1.1. “Shift” is used here in the sense of ‘movement between lexicogrammatical functions’, not in the sense of ‘rankshift’, which typically involves embedding (Halliday, 1994), which is one sub-type of GM (further explained in Chapter 5).  A basic explanation of the quantitative calculation of ND is as follows. In Figure 1.1, the experiential GM “preference” and the logical GM “depend on” both involve a shift of a single scale or level; as such, they are given an ND value of 1.0, as shown in the figure. The shift of the logical relator “if” in the bottom row to the entity “correlation” in the top row requires a more encompassing shift, by-passing the clause level; this shift is valued at ND 2.0. In this way, ND analysis accounts for scope of linguistic mediation of experience and reasoning involved in nominalizing and abstracting discourse. While there are other types of GM with their respective ND values, this explanation provides an initial basis for understanding the functions and purposes of GM-enabled abstraction in academic discourse, and how these are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively.  1.3 Study purposes, subjects, research questions and framework The central aim of this study is to better understanding how apprentice L2 academic writers who intend to become professional scholars use GM to regulate the scope of abstraction in their writing assignments for a research-based, English for academic purposes (EAP) writing course. The subjects are four writing students at late undergraduate and early graduate levels in their respective programs, two in subfields of economics and two in subfields of the humanities. Two aspects of the context are important to identify: the EAP course was designed for students 6  from various disciplines; therefore a key feature of the writing context is that these students – who were already well into their disciplinary apprenticeships – were expected to recontextualize topics in their respective disciplines for educated non-expert readers. Another important feature of this context is that the EAP course was delivered in a highly selective national university in Tokyo; at the time of data collection, the subjects were considered very successful learners.  The research questions are as follows:  (1) What are the functions of GM as a mediating resource in students’ writing for regulating the nature and extent of abstraction in the construal of valued academic knowledge?  (2) How do patterns of GM use in student writing change during the writing course? (3) What is the relationship between the patterns of GM use and the sociocultural functions of the registers of students’ texts?   These questions query the apprentice scholars’ use of GM from various perspectives. The first question asks about the known functions of GMs as meaning-making resources in construing academic knowledge. The second question expands on this synoptic view of GM to consider the scope of changes in the functionality of GM in the students’ writing over the three-month period of the writing course. The third question ensures that, in investigating GM in its synoptic and dynamic aspects, the objective is to understand how students use GM to make meaning in situated social contexts.  In order to address these questions, the study adopts a transdisciplinary psychological, linguistic, and sociological theoretical framework initially proposed by Hasan (2005/1992). The framework integrates Vygotsky’s (1978) notion of semiotic mediation, systemic functional linguistic (SFL) theory and description of language as a social semiotic resource (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004), and the sociology of education of Bernstein (1990, 1999), whose concept of socially-evolved semantic dispositions ties the framework together by emphasizing the social subjects’ robust, cultural-historically evolved tendencies for mediating knowledge and the typically slow change in these dispositions. Although the links between academic knowledge, writing and nominalization are broadly recognized in applied linguistics, the specific explanatory links between the role of nominalizing GMs in construing disciplinary knowledge in writing and situated contexts of writing are provided by the SFL concept of register. As noted in the previous 7  section, conventional analysis of GM was expanded by means of nominal density analysis to allow for quantitative analysis.  1.4 Organization of the dissertation  Following this introduction, Chapters 2 and 3 review the literature; Chapters 4 and 5 are given to the methods and setting, including the pedagogical context; Chapters 6 and 7 present the analyses and findings; and Chapter 8 discusses the findings, contributions and limitations. More specifically, Chapter 2 reviews the literature in socio-cultural approaches to L2 academic writing. First, the research on situated literacy practice and content and language learning is reviewed with particular attention to tertiary contexts. The chapter then moves to review the L2 academic writing literature, which is organized by the six main socio-culturally-oriented approaches to L2 academic writing. This body of research is reviewed through the lens of semiotic mediation as conceived by Vygotsky (1998) and Hasan (2005/1992). Chapter 3 reviews the literature on nominalization and GM with a focus on L2 academic writing, including subsections on research on nominalization from within and outside of SFL, and research on the role of GM in disciplinary discourse.  Chapter 4 presents aspects of the methods, including data collection, research ethics, focal participants, and pedagogical context, including the nature of instruction on GM in the writing course and the tasks from which the primary data were drawn – the four course writing assignments. In Chapter 4, the setting is given particular attention in the description of the case study. The operationalization of GM in the study is presented in Chapter 5. This includes explanations of Halliday’s GM typology (1998) and embedding as GM, the analysis of GM by means of genetic analysis (i.e., unpacking the GM by tracing the metaphorized semantic configuration through its semiotic history), and the corpus methods used to cross-examine the GM analysis of students’ writing.  The second part of Chapter 5 presents the concept of nominal density (ND) and its operationalization in ND analysis. This section includes a pilot inferential statistical analysis whose purpose is to suggest future methods for validating ND statistically, especially against lexical density (LD), which is currently the main instrument for quantifying GM-mediated abstraction (e.g., Byrnes, 2009). Because of the small size of the dataset used, the results from the inferential statistical analysis should be taken as indicative only, and cannot be used to 8  generalize beyond the studied population. The raw quantitative data for ND, LD as well as length of clause (LC) and grammatical intricacy (GI) for all the students’ writing is presented in Appendix 3.   The analysis of GM in student writing is divided into two chapters, with Chapter 6 focusing on the findings for ND aggregated by text-type and discipline. GM use in the writing is analyzed using five kinds of analysis in Chapter 6. Three of these involve analysis of aggregated data to show overall tendencies in GM use for the four students or for pairs of students in the same fields. However, an initial analysis of individual students’ use of GM early in the course is provided to establish points of reference in their socio-semantic dispositions as apprentice scholars. This more fine-grained view is helpful for understanding individual variation and also provides a basis for understanding the disciplinary variation in the writing associated with GM use.  A final analysis of one aspect of individual variation in GM use – a comparative analysis of degrees of change in ND and LD between the first and final texts written by each of the students – provides a bridge to the focus on individual variation in Chapter 7 while also highlighting the greater sensitivity to variation in GM use resulting from ND analysis in comparison with LD analysis.   Chapter 7 focuses on GM in Yoshi’s writing while reporting more briefly on the analysis of his peers’ use of GM. The analyses include various methods of sampling, from the entire corpus to comparative samples of text from early and late in the course. The focus on Yoshi’s use of GM begins with an overview of his trajectory in using GM across writing assignments and drafts thereof. The focus allows for greater delicacy of analysis of various subfunctions of GM, notably the analysis of the relative distribution of ND in Themes compared with Rhemes, and the ratio of experiential compared with logical GMs as a proportion of total ND. Chapter 7 closes with a briefer analysis of GM use by each of the three other focal participants, including the trajectory of GM use during the course and the changes in the relative distributions of experiential and logical GMs. The sixteen kinds of analysis presented in the two analysis chapters are summarized in a table at the end of Chapter 7 by linguistic instrument, functional focus in GM use, scope of texts analyzed, and distillation of findings.  Chapter 8 discusses the findings and presents the contributions and limitations. The discussion begins with a reflection on the socio-political context of the case study. This is followed by a discussion of the contributions of the novel construct and instrument of ND. The 9  review of the methods is helpful in recapitulating and discussing the findings for the use of GM by Yoshi and his peers. These findings are then discussed with specific reference to the research questions. The chapter closes by reviewing the limitations and considering the directions for further research.   1.5 Contributions of the study  This transdisciplinary, quantitative and qualitative, multiple case study of GM use in L2 academic writing aims to contribute in several important ways to research in L2 writing, L2 development, and educational linguistics. The literature on GM is still in its infancy, with relatively few studies of L2 academic writing in tertiary settings conducted to date focusing specifically on GM. The main contribution, therefore, is empirical as the study seeks to provide broad insight into four apprentice scholars’ use of GM in their course writings. While the study includes a strong focus on the variable and dynamic trajectories of students’ use of GM within and across their course writings, claims of language and literacy development are tempered by recognition of the slow development of GM-related capacities and relatively brief period of data collection. The main aspects of interest are the functions GM serves in individual texts, across drafts of the same text and across the entire corpus of the students’ writing in the course. For example, insights are expected into the relative distribution of GM in Themes in order to better understand the quality of flow in text organization, and how writers order information to facilitate (or not facilitate) readers’ interpretations. Likewise, the study aims to clarify the relationship between experiential and logical GMs in writing. A salient aspect of these contributions is that systematic quantitative analysis of ideational GM across a corpus of student writing is unprecedented, as is the quantitative differentiation of specific functions of GM. Furthermore, as noted below, the basis of these analyses on ND facilitates direct correspondence between qualitative and quantitative results. One of the more interesting affordances of this analysis is the quantitative and qualitative identification of median levels of abstraction of various scales of meaning-making. For example, the changing levels of abstraction of a specific claim can be tracked across a corpus. Likewise, the method allows the characterization of median levels of abstraction of sections of a text, of texts themselves and of the corpora in which texts are situated. The coordination of quantitative 10  and qualitative analysis in the analyses is central to the contributions; in particular, comprehensive quantitative analysis is very helpful in identifying patterns and trends in GM use that are otherwise difficult to pick up through qualitative analysis alone. By these kinds of analysis, the study seeks to understand the relationship between the context of the students’ writing (including such factors as the assignment parameters, text-types, and the writers’ purposes and disciplinary interests), the quality of their writing, and the nature of GM use in its synoptic and dynamic aspects. While the study takes place in an instructional context, the close focus on GM in student writing precludes comprehensive analysis of the relationship between instruction and student writing practice, even as a relatively detailed description of the pedagogical context is provided and, at various points in the analysis, productive if limited attention is given to the relationship between instruction and students’ use of GM.   The methodological contributions of the study evolved with the study. The foundational, qualitative GM analysis is a method that combines Halliday’s (1998) and Halliday and Matthiessen’s (1999) approach with adaptations using transitivity systems introduced by Ravelli (1985/1999) and extended by Jones (2006). It was determined that a comprehensive analysis of GM in the students’ writing was necessary for the study to adequately address the research questions and achieve the research aims; the comprehensiveness in accounting for GM use is highly desirable given the aims of the study for an enhanced understanding of GM use as an aspect of semiotic mediation and students’ robust socio-semantic dispositions. Existing studies of GM tend to use proxy measures of GM, notably lexical density, grammatical intricacy and nominalizations per clause in coordination with GM analysis of extracts from the texts. As they provide useful but proxy measures of semiotic mediation, these existing instruments are limited in supporting claims of the functions of GM in the students’ mediation of meaning in context and the socio-semantic dispositions with which such mediation is associated. The ND instrument addresses this gap by linking the register-wide implications of GM use directly to students’ writing and other practices of mediation. In doing so, ND analysis enhances our understanding of a highly determining and yet also tacit aspect of advanced L2 language development and L2 academic writing practice.   It was, in fact, the close linking of qualitative GM analysis and its quantification in ND analysis as a direct measure of GM use that initially motived the development of the new 11  instrument. The immediacy of quantitative measures that can be directly linked to qualitative features of the writing facilitates understanding of GM as an aspect of semiotic mediation. Specifically, figures reporting quantitative results for students’ use of GM were deemed to satisfy the need for a comprehensible picture of variation in GM use. While analyzing these figures, I recognized that the ND analysis itself provided appreciable new insights into GM use. Furthermore, when the results of the ND analysis were compared statistically with those of LD analysis, ND was found to account for greater variation in GM use than LD analysis. These observations led to the recasting of ND analysis as a new concept and research instrument for the analysis of GM-construed abstraction in discourse. Subsequent developments from this dissertation have included the use of ND analysis to isolate textual, experiential and logical functions of GM.  Thus, the primary methodological contribution of the study is the quantification of the GM. This contribution is especially valuable because ND is a direct measure of GM use and abstraction while LD and other instruments are proxy measures. That ND is a direct measure of GM use implies a direct correspondence between quantitative and qualitative analysis of GM, a feature that allows the analyst to maximize insights by shunting between these two perspectives on the data. A minor extension of this contribution is the initial attempt at statistical validation of the ND measure against LD and other instruments as a measure of GM. While the present interest is in understanding the use of GM in the case study of L2 academic writing by apprentice scholars, the ND instrument can be used as a primary or supplementary tool for discourse analysis in any research aiming to understand the role of linguistically-mediated abstraction.                12  Chapter 2: Semiotic Mediation in Sociocultural Approaches to Second-Language Academic Writing  2.1 Introduction This chapter presents the theoretical framework for investigating abstraction in the writing of apprentice L2 scholars. The framework is based on Vygotsky’s (1978) notion of semiotic mediation, which is adopted in the transdisciplinary psychological (Vygotsky), sociological (Bernstein), and linguistic (Halliday) perspective developed by Hasan (2005/1992). The chapter presents the framework by first discussing academic writing as situated literacy practice and as a mediating resource for content and language learning. The discussion then moves to how the main sociocultural approaches to L2 writing research orient to semiotic mediation as understood by Vygotsky and Hasan. The review closes with the discussion of SFL as the selected theoretical framework for studying abstraction and grammatical metaphor in apprentice L2 academic writing. While this theoretical chapter focuses on semiotic mediation in writing research, Chapter 3 presents grammatical metaphor as a central resource of semiotic mediation in writing, and reviews the empirical literature on GM (including nominalization) in L2 writing.   The review that follows considers six of the main sociocultural approaches to L2 academic writing research. They are academic literacies, academic discourse socialization, genre from the Sydney School of SFL, the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach to genre, sociocultural activity theory, and Halliday’s register-based approach in SFL.  These approaches are complexly interrelated in their treatment of academic writing as sociocultural practice, each with a mix of shared and unique features. They were selected as representative strands of globally diffused socioculturally oriented research in L2 academic writing. For lack of space, it is not possible to give similar attention to other relevant approaches to L2 writing, such as contrastive and intercultural rhetoric (e.g., Connor, 1996, 2011), rhetorical genre studies (e.g., Artemeva & Freedman, 2008; Bazerman, 1988, 2013; Paré, 2010) and corpus linguistics (e.g., Boulton, Carter-Thomas & Rowley-Jolivet, 2012; Flowerdew, 2008; Granger, 2003). Given the common interest in the processes involved in semiotic mediation among sociocultural approaches to L2 academic writing, the review in this chapter provides a basis for encouraging dialogue within and among these approaches. The interdisciplinary dialogue is initiated in the 13  following section of this chapter with the concept of semiotic mediation, and is then picked up again in the discussion section.  2.2 Semiotic mediation  The main sociocultural approaches to second-language (L2) academic writing are described and differentiated here by orientation to the concept of semiotic mediation as proposed by Vygotsky (1978) and refined by Hasan (2005/1992, 2005). Semiotic mediation is the key explanatory concept in Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of human sociocultural development. Human consciousness is understood to develop over time as the person uses semiotic tools, chiefly language, in their social interactions. Semiotic mediation is the use of socially-shaped semiotic tools through which the person’s social semantic dispositions – their internalized orientations to meaning – are formed. A key contribution of the concept is that it accounts for individual development of dispositions without invoking Cartesian mind-body dualism (Wells, 2007). As such, Vygotsky’s concept has been highly productive in many areas of social science but especially so in studies of L2 development (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Semiotic mediation as initially conceived by Vygotsky has been refined by Hasan (2005/1992). While Vygotsky (1978) provided a conceptual tool for understanding how social context and the social subject shape each other, the process as he proposed it does not adequately address social and historical contingencies in the subject’s development (Luria, 1986; Hasan, 2005/1992, 2005). (In reflecting on Vygotsky’s concept, it is important to recognize the cultural and historical context of his work, the largely pre-industrial rural areas of early twentieth century Russia and its neighbours).  In Vygotsky’s (1981) formulation of semiotic mediation, subjects are understood to internalize the interactional functions of semiosis over time through everyday interaction:  Any function in the child’s cultural development appears twice, or on two planes. First it appears on the social plane, and then on the psychological plane. First it appears between people as an inter-psychological category, and then within the child as an intra-psychological category. This is equally true with regard to voluntary attention, logical memory, the formation of concepts, and the development of volition… it goes without saying that internalisation transforms the process itself and changes its structure and 14  functions. Social relations or relations among people genetically underlie all higher functions and their relationships (p.163).  Thus, the recursive process of using language in social interactions and the internal development of language as a resource for mediating social life accompanies changes from involuntary to voluntary mental functions. Voluntary mental functions serve the purpose of self-direction through communication with the self (Vygotsky, 1986). However, initial empirical work with the concept yielded an important proviso. The work of Vygotsky’s colleague Luria (1976) in rural Uzbekistan highlighted early on that the phenomenon of semiotic mediation does not itself lead to the intellectual regulation of functions. Rather, this change of consciousness was found to be the outcome of certain forms of mediation.  Thus, semiotic mediation in Vygotsky’s (1978) formulation is limited to the subject who progresses to higher order consciousness by means of the abstract semiotic system of language and participation in schooling. The relevance of literacy learning to semiotic mediation has been usefully described as follows:  At the centre of development during the school age is the transition from the lower functions of attention and memory to higher functions of voluntary attention and logical memory… the intellectualisation of functions and their mastery represent two moments of one and the same process – the transition to higher psychological functions… The voluntariness in the activity of a function is always the other side of its conscious realisation. To say that memory is intellectualised in school is exactly the same as to say that voluntary recall emerges (Wertsch, 1985, p. 26).  However, even with schooling, children vary substantially in their development of such consciousness, such that time and schooling do not always lead unproblematically to privileged forms of higher order consciousness and success in school and beyond (Bernstein, 1990, 2000). A parallel finding in the development of L2 academic writing in adults is reported from empirical work in sociocultural approaches to abstraction and grammatical metaphor in L2 academic writing (e.g., Ivanič, 1998; Klein & Unsworth, 2014; Mohan & Beckett, 2001; Schleppegrell, 2004a; for a review, see the next chapter).  15  Writing in university calls for a honed capacity for construing specialized kinds of knowledge from a very broad range of experiences and ideas, enacting often unfamiliar kinds of interpersonal relations with readers and with scholarly communities, and organizing these complex activities into coherent texts (Schleppegrell, 2004a, 2004b). Social subjects approach these unfamiliar acts of meaning as culturally and historically formed subjects with well-established dispositions to social life as they encounter it in their everyday living:  wherever there is language in use, i.e. discourse, there is semiotic mediation going on. From this perspective, the overwhelming experience of semiotic mediation that each and every member of a society encounters is that which occurs in local sites i.e., in the ordinary, everyday living of life, for to say that the site for semiotic mediation is discourse is to say that the site is social life (Hasan, 2005, p. 138)  Hasan’s (2004, 2005) formulation of semiotic mediation as the process of forming social semantic dispositions is deeply informed by Bernstein’s (1990) sociological concept of coding orientation; coding orientations are the robust socio-semantic dispositions whose variation is associated with socially-stratified distribution in forms of semiotic mediation. Hasan (2005) emphasizes meaning as the foundational principle that motivates human activity and development; this is meaning that arises in everyday social life – including of course social life in pedagogical and academic contexts – chiefly in the form of language: “The distinctive characteristic of human learning is that it is a process of making meaning – a semiotic process; and the prototypical form of human semiotic is language” (Halliday, 1993a, p. 93). The realms of second-language and academic writing practice imply new kinds of language-mediated meaning-making. From Hasan’s view of semiotic mediation, learners engage in these contexts with the discursive resources afforded them by their unique social histories.  While Bernstein’s and Hasan’s claims are based on work with very different populations than the L2 academic writers presently in focus, the general assertion that subjects’ social semiotic histories introduce contingencies and variation in their developmental trajectories is highly relevant because, as Vygotsky (1978, 1997) was apparently aware, such contingencies are associated with variation in mediation by the abstract semiotic of language versus by material tools. Hasan (2005) again provides a clear explication of his insight: 16   This is where the concrete and abstract tools differ in a crucial way: the participation of a conscious other, which is a condition of mediation by the abstract tool, alters the nature of the process. We can still maintain that the mediator has the initiative and active power to impart the semiotic/semantic energy, but here the user/mediator has far less control on what happens to this mediated energy: the mediator may impart semiotic energy, but the mediatee may or may not respond to its force, or respond to it in a way not intended by the user. At the heart of semiotic mediation there is this element of uncertainty (p. 137).  Such uncertainty in semiotic mediation can readily be understood to occur in contexts of L2 use in tertiary education, where learners are expected to practice specialized ways of knowing and engaging by means of the abstract semiotic resource of language, which, in addition, is the learners’ second language (see Chapter 3 for further discussion). The following statement on semiotic mediation by Hasan (2011a) draws the concept closer in social, psychological and educational terms to the context of disciplinary sub-cultures investigated in the present study:   The central aspect of learner identity that should concern the educator has to do primarily with the learners’ learning styles and the formation of these to a very large extent rests upon those conditions of semiotic mediation that the learner has experienced and is experiencing in his/her social life . . . [T]he primary point of interest for educators has to be the learner’s “mental disposition”—the pathways of the brain used habitually for engaging with new information—because it is such “habits of mind” which will deal with the information presented as educational knowledge. Given this genesis of learner identity, variation is obviously inherent to the concept (Hasan, 2011a, p. xii).  This positioning of semiotic mediation draws on Hasan’s (2005) close readings in psychology (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1985) and sociology of education (Bernstein, 1990, 2000), from which Hasan and others have drawn transdisciplinary associations with SFL as elaborated by Halliday (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999, 2004).  This chapter asks how each of the six reviewed approaches to L2 academic writing addresses “the conditions of semiotic mediation” by which learners engage as L2 academic 17  writers. However, characterizing the ways that social disposition or identity – Hasan (2011a) later adjusts this description, “more appropriately identities” (p. xii) – are formed in social interaction by semiotic means is difficult. In Vygotsky’s terms, these “genetic processes” are “automatic” and “their automatic character creates great difficulties for psychological analysis” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 64). Hasan (2011a) concurs, noting the analysis is “not amenable to definitive empirical proof. What can, however, be empirically proved is that where communities habitually differ in their semantic orientation [also known as socio-semantic disposition], there the nature of human consciousness differs systematically” (p. 70). For Hasan’s and her students’ empirical explorations of this question, see, for example, Hasan (2009) and Williams (2001). Luria’s (1976) early study of rural Uzbeks, which takes the cognitive perspective as central, is complementary. The relation between socio-semantic variation and human consciousness is explicated in detail in Williams (2005b), linking these also to Bernstein’s sociology of education.  All the approaches reviewed in this chapter take an interest in L2 academic learners’ developing socio-semantic orientations such as their textual, ontogenetic and/or cultural tendencies in knowledge construction and social positioning within academic communities. The discussion of semiotic mediation in relation to L2 academic writing is relevant to the specific empirical focus of the study, which is the phenomenon of grammatical metaphor (GM) in L2 academic writing in university. As noted in Chapter 1, GM is a linguistic concept that helps explain how social subjects use the affordances of grammar to construct experience and logical relations as meaning at various degrees of abstraction (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). As such, GM is understood as a central resource for constructing academic knowledge in writing and enacting subjective dispositions associated with the academic communities in which subjects are engaged (e.g., Klein & Unsworth, 2014; Schleppegrell, 2004b). The deep linkages between GM and writing can begin to be appreciated from this statement by Halliday (1993a), which informs his claim that GM – the primary resource of the “synoptic mode” of writing (explained below) – marks the achievement of mature adult language:  In a written culture, in which education is part of life, children learn to construe their experience in two complementary modes: the dynamic mode of the everyday commonsense grammar and the synoptic mode of the elaborated written grammar. Any 18  particular instance, of any kind of phenomenon, may be interpreted as some product of the two – once the adolescent has transcended the semiotic barrier between them (p. 112).  As reviewed in the next two chapters, GM is an analytically traceable resource of language centrally involved in writing students’ dynamic mediation – micro-genesis – of knowledge in textual instances of academic engagement. At the same time, GM is a valuable indicator of learners’ developing socio-semantic dispositions as participants in producing academic texts, their shared local context of an academic writing course, and their respective disciplinary sub-cultures. This latter role is especially highlighted by ND analysis, which illuminates disciplinary variation by quantifying patterns of GM use. The traceability of this dynamism in texts is subtly indicated in Halliday’s statement above that “[a]ny particular instance… may be interpreted as some product of the two,” referring to commonsense, concrete, dynamic construals of experience and synoptic, elaborated, metaphorical ones. As such, GM is a suitable focus for genetic analysis (Vygotsky, 1978) in L2 academic writing, that is, the analysis of the role of semiotic mediation in the subject’s social and semiotic development. The above discussion can be distilled as a set of claims that motivate the present study as a sociocultural study of L2 academic writing. These claims reflect a social constructivist lens through which researchers seek in various ways to show that meanings realized by language are cultural artifacts (Hasan, 2005). They also reflect the constructivist view of the social subject, as researchers attribute the genesis of the subject to social interaction mediated by language and the meaning-making systems in which language plays a central role. In seeking to understand how writing develops (or does not develop) in cultural and historical context, researchers in this area understand academic enculturation as contingent, non-linear and variable between individuals. This assumption problematizes conceptions of the development of higher order thinking that is associated with academic writing as “given by nature” (Hasan, 2005, p. 132). Two specific aspects of researching L2 academic writing from a sociocultural perspective that help guide the study are writing as situated literacy practice and writing as a resource for content and language learning. These are discussed in turn below.   19  2.3 Second-language writing as situated literacy practice In socioculturally-oriented approaches to L2 academic writing research, the general consensus is that to improve our understanding and support of L2 academic writing we need to account for how L2 students use the second language in and around the academic communities in which they participate (e.g., Coffin, Curry, Goodman, Hewings, Lillis, & Swann, 2003; Hyland, 2006, 2012; Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008; Manchón, 2009; Ravelli & Ellis, 2004; Schleppegrell, 2011). A basic assumption associated with this view is the distinction between writing as a set of practices and writing as a textual product. As noted by Cumming (1998), writing is more than a material product – the written script – of an information exchange; it is “the acts of thinking, composing, and encoding language into such text; these acts also necessarily entail discourse interactions within a socio-cultural context” (Cumming, 1998, p. 61).  Importantly, Cumming’s statement defines writing as a set of practices involving the writer’s internal psychological processes, material actions, and situated interaction in and across contexts.  This conception of writing also highlights writing as a process, which is a term used in both pedagogical and psychological modelling. Conceived as the integration of systems of meaning-making, writing is understood as a more complex set of practices than is suggested by the notion of writing as a process of completing well-ordered stages of sub-tasks.  Presenting a process view of writing, Zamel (1983) points out that writing is a “non-linear, exploratory and generative process whereby writers discover and reformulate their ideas as they attempt to approximate meaning” (p. 165). This conception of writing as a recursive, complex process of negotiated meaning-making is integrated by Breen (1987) and Breen and Littlejohn (2000), for example, in a model of process-oriented, task-based instruction. These points of departure for understanding the social dimensions of writing imply a view of writing as literacy practice (e.g., Halliday & Martin, 1993; Ivanič, 1998, 2004; Lillis, 2003; Matsuda, 2013; Martin, 1992; Ong, 1982; Schleppegrell & Colombi, 2002). As literacy practice, writing is a complex cluster of activities involving the written code through which the social subject – as writer and reader – comes to a unique, socially-shaped understanding and position in relation to specific social fields.  Reading, therefore, is centrally implicated in writing as situated literacy practice. For example, in writing instruction informed by such constructivist views, new academic writers are often encouraged to read as a writer, whereby “writerly reading is the act of thinking like a writer 20  while reading” (Hirvela, 2004, p. 121).  Behind this claim is the recognition of writing not as a reification of knowledge to “some complete, irreducible quality (according to a mythic view of literary creation), it is not what designates the individuality of each text, what names, signs, finishes off each work with a flourish” (Barthes, 1990/1974, p. 3). Rather, writing is understood as a nexus of social subjectivities; the goal of writing “is to make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of the text” (Barthes, 1974/1990, p. 4).  The connections drawn by Hirvela and Barthes between reading and writing accord with Bakhtin’s (1981) well-known notion of dialogism. This is the notion that all utterances – including ostensibly monologic written texts – are responses to past and future utterances in the same social field. And these views of reading accord with a fundamental feature of sign-mediated meaning noted above: “the mediator may impart semiotic energy, but the mediatee may or may not respond to its force, or respond to it in a way not intended by the user” (Hasan, 2005, p. 137).  Two especially relevant aspects of readership emerge from these claims for understanding literacy and mediation (Grabe & Stoller, 2002): readership entails past and future readers in the academic community whose interests and questions are engaged by the writer in the process of writing, and actual readers of the completed written text who produce interpretive texts within the dialogic network in which the writing is a nexus.  As a literacy activity, writing has the potential to help learners move beyond the recognition of forms or even the production of social and educational norms, and move towards the generation of new potentials for academic practice, that is, the opening of new social positions in the production of specialized knowledge. In university settings in particular, writing provides a context for developing the potential for what Hasan (1996) calls reflection literacy: “Participation in the production of knowledge will call for an ability to use language to reflect, to enquire and to analyse, which is the necessary basis for challenging what are seen as facts” (Hasan, 1996, p. 408). The intimate association of reflection literacy and semiotic mediation as social and linguistic phenomena is clear.  The practice of such reflection literacy would thus appear to be highly relevant in L2 writing focused on content learning, a topic of the next section. In content learning, the focus on content may occlude the already cryptic role of language as, first, a resource for negotiating interpersonal relations. As Hasan (2004) notes, “[t]he crucial part played in this process [of forging a self through interaction with others] by semiotic mediation is most clearly manifested 21  in unselfconscious discourse: it is here that interpersonal relations are semiotically created, maintained and changed” (p. 162). In this view, reflection literacy implies subjects who make visible to themselves and others the interpersonally situated process of knowledge construction.   2.4 Writing as a resource for content learning and second-language learning Associated with the conception of writing as a widely integrating literacy practice is the understanding of writing as a resource for learning academic content and the L2. In relation to semiotic mediation, the central aim of introducing the topic of academic writing and content knowledge learning is to emphasize that the development of knowledge is implied in the development of abstract tools such as language for mediating knowledge construction. As analyzed by Kozulin (2003), these two processes are fruitfully distinguished: “The process of appropriation of psychological tools differs from the process of content learning” (p. 25). However, studies of language development and, more specifically, of the development of grammatical metaphor, inform us that subjects learn to construct esoteric knowledge as they appropriate and internalize the mediational features of language (Derewianka, 2003; Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; also see Chapter 3). This view is importantly different from Kozulin’s claim that “[t]his difference reflects the fact that whereas content material often reproduces empirical realities with which students become acquainted in everyday life, psychological tools can be acquired only in the course of special learning activities” (p. 25). Rather, the difference between language learning and content learning can be more clearly understood as one of part-whole relations: the development of uncommonsense or specialized content knowledge, and the capacity for developing it, occurs in the course of (as part of) the development of language as a resource for mediating the multiple functions of discourse in everyday context, including the capacity to construe both material and esoteric experiences. As GM is a resource that allows subjects to generate nominal, information-dense academic discourse (Halliday, 1998) by reconstruing the semantic resources of everyday word-meaning relations (e.g., the entity meaning of nouns is used to create an entity-process in de-verbal nominalizations), mature use of GM must develop from early, elemental systems of word-meaning relations (Halliday, 1993a; Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). While it is quite clear that not all adult learners go on to develop enhanced capacities for the particular forms of “higher mental functions” associated, for example, with academic writing in university and the 22  development may be contingent on the subject’s engagement in “special learning activities,” it is important to recognize that language itself provides a resource precisely for the development of such content knowledge (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; Matthiessen, 2006).  A summary of the research into the role of writing in learners’ apprenticeships in the academic content areas gives us reason for optimism about the value of writing for content learning (Hirvela, 2011). For example, studies of writing in social science areas such as education, political science, and economics show a positive relationship between L2 writing and content area learning. Hirvela’s (2011) report also highlights the need to differentiate the specific nature of the populations and programmes involved and, in particular, the nature of the content-based L2 literacy instruction involved. One key instructional factor, for example, that emerged from Hyland’s (2006) review of studies in English for academic purposes (EAP) appeared to have a determining force: instructor preparation (see also Gebhard, 2010). Such preparation is a central challenge for advanced-level EAP and its cousin field, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), where language instructors are expected to demonstrate insight into the content area and facilitate learners in gaining such insight (Dalton-Puffer, 2007). In CLIL, it is more often the case that language teachers have this role given that subject-area instructors are less commonly tasked with, and prepared for, teaching about the role of language in constructing subject-area knowledge (Dalton-Puffer, 2007).  These circumstances seem likely to improve, especially with developments in interdisciplinary practice and policies at the institutional level. Two general results about the nature of content learning through L2 writing provide insight into possible improvements: learners tend to value L2 writing as a means of gaining content-area knowledge, and while the process of content-area learning through L2 writing is productive, the benefits typically arise only after a significant investment of time (Hirvela, 2011). Thus, in designing and implementing such processes, teachers, faculties, and universities need time to exploit the locally-relevant links between writing and content-area knowledge (Duff, Ferreira & Zappa-Hollman, 2015; Gebhard, 2010). Generally positive results for CLIL also arise from Europe, drawing attention to the relevance of the scale of support to the policy level and corresponding timelines through which multi-scalar developments in this area can occur (Dalton-Puffer, 2007). In this regard, it is encouraging to see recent developments in public education policy also in Australia and some 23  states in the United States towards language-based criteria for content learning (Duff, Ferreira, & Zappa-Hollman, 2015).  The focus of the review now shifts from the contributions of L2 writing to learning in the content areas to its role in L2 learning. The contributions of writing to L2 learning are the focus of the writing-to-learn literature (Manchón, 2011). Writing is widely considered necessary for well-rounded development of language competencies, while capacities to write academically are generally considered criterial for the development of advanced language abilities, particularly those associated with professional academic practice (Hyland, 2007a; Ortega, 2011, 2015; Norris & Manchón, 2012). The focus on professional practice is salient because this is the career aim of the four apprentice scholars investigated in this study.  Harklau (2002) insists that “it is important to investigate how L2 learners learn how to write, but it just as important to learn more about the instrumental role that writing can play in the acquisition of a second language in educational settings” (p. 345). In contexts of English as a foreign language (EFL), where reading and writing are the primary means of engaging with the target language, the potential of writing as a resource for language learning is especially relevant for language learning (Manchón, 2009).  Contemporary conceptions of writing as socioculturally situated practice that contributes to both content and language learning have identifiable roots in the concept of semiotic mediation and the social genesis of mind described earlier in this chapter (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Vygotsky, 1981). However, and unsurprisingly, socioculturally-informed approaches to L2 academic writing do vary along several dimensions in their conceptions of development. Approaches differ, for instance, on whether or to what degree learning to write is understood in terms of situated performance, the appropriation of mediating tools, the internal re-systemization of mediating tools, or the simple internalization of such tools (Manchón, 2012). Another aspect that differentiates approaches is the relative focus on the textual, contextual, broader socio-political aspects of L2 academic writing, and/or the relationship between and among these.  This range implies variation in the respective focus on the mediating roles of language, register, genre, systems of cultural activity, and/or dynamics of social power that are reviewed in the next section.   24  2.5 Semiotic mediation in sociocultural approaches to L2 academic writing In outlining sociocultural approaches to writing, it is recognized that, in practice, L2 academic writing research does not typically adopt single-theory frameworks. Indeed, research in L2 academic writing is frequently carried out across boundaries of the frameworks reviewed in this chapter. This state of affairs is understandable considering the explanatory power of Vygotsky’s notions of the sociogenesis of mind and the complexity of academic writing as a literacy practice and factor in L2 learning. For example, in researching L2 writing as a social practice, it is often necessary to at least acknowledge, as virtually all studies do, some form of intrapersonal engagement, that is, a mental and/or affective dimensions of writing practice. These dimensions emerge in concepts as variable as linguistic choice in semiotic mediation, strategic decision-making in negotiating meaning, positioning and identity in relation to orders of social power, and/or intentionality.    It is also important to recognize that research in L2 academic writing (and applied linguistics more generally) may be primarily data-driven and theory building rather than emerging from a particular theory (Duff, 2008). This is characteristic of many case studies of L2 writing (e.g., Belcher & Connor, 2001; Casanave, 1998; Spack, 1997; see Duff, 2008, pp. 89-91). Norris and Manchón (2012), for example, encourage multiple case studies “to identify common grounds regarding the most salient variables of interest for determining the what, why, and how of L2 writing development” (p. 231).  As outlined in this section, the interconnectedness between theories, methods and data contribute significantly to the vitality of sociocultural research in L2 academic writing (Leki, Cumming, & Silva, 2008; Manchón, 2009, 2012). The following sub-sections provide a brief account of the main approaches in sociocultural research on L2 academic writing, focusing on their tendencies in conceptualizing and operationalizing aspects of semiotic mediation.        2.5.1 Academic literacies Academic literacies research is concerned with literacy as situated second-language practice, mainly in contexts of higher education. It follows that research on academic writing is well represented in this approach (Ivanič, 1998, 2004; Lillis, 2003; Street, 1984, 1995; Zamel & Spack, 1998). The general aims of academic literacies research are to support critical, transformative, equitable practice for learners and also, directly or by extension, in educational 25  institutions and society. These aims entail focus beyond an unelaborated “identify and induct” approach in which learners are assumed to be inducted into the conventions identified in the writing of expert practitioners (Lillis & Scott, 2007, p. 13). While recognizing the educational value of these conventions, the approach frames them in contexts of imbalances in social power, encouraging learners to negotiate new social, discursive and ontogenetic spaces for themselves as knowers. The origins of academic literacies can be traced to linguistic anthropology (e.g., Rampton, 2007), cultural studies, and Street’s (1984) New Literacies, which distinguishes autonomous, skills-based literacy practices from ideological literacies, which are aimed at contesting discursive and other norms and redistributing social power.  The research methods used are for the most part ethnographic, aiming to draw out stakeholders’ emic perspectives on practices as the source of ideological literacies (Lillis & Scott, 2007). Typically, the ethnographic methods employed involve multiple sources of data such as semi-structured interviews, autobiographical accounts, and/or students ‘talking around’ their written texts in accordance with their particular concerns and investments (Lillis, 2008).  Lillis and Scott (2007) notably express a concern about varieties of academic literacies research closely associated with cultural studies approaches in which “detailed empirical observation is often lacking” (p. 13). This practice in literacies research is also critiqued by Tomaselli and Mboti (2013) researching in a South African context, where social action on literacy is in focus.  Lillis and Scott (2007) espouse “transformative interest in meaning making set alongside a critical ethnographic gaze focusing on situated text production and practice” (p. 13). Correspondingly, mainstream academic literacies research seeks to develop arguments for change in practices and policies supported by evidence from situated contexts and subjects. As outlined above, academic literacies research shows some clearly observable tendencies in relation to semiotic mediation. The aspect of semiotic mediation most in focus in academic literacies research is the ways writers use language to mediate and claim discursive space for subjective social positions – including their own – that are underrepresented and/or at risk. Thus, the role of language in enacting social positions tends to be emphasized in the approach over other functions. While language use is by nature the claim to discursive space in social context, academic literacies emphasizes the enduring subjective and socio-political implications of language use. Furthermore, while the interest is in L2 users’ subjectivities as 26  these emerge in local practices and in context of socio-political change, the research methods are not necessarily or explicitly longitudinal.    The work of Ivanič (e.g., 1998) on academic identities is often cited as exemplary. She shows how learners gain a sense of social and discursive power by engaging in critical reflection on conventional linguistic forms – often made visible through explicit instruction in academic writing – and social orders of academic practice. This sense is the source of learners’ evolving, critically-engaged semantic orientation which can be locally instantiated in academic identities.      2.5.2 Academic discourse socialization Research in academic discourse socialization (ADS) has emerged relatively recently as a sub-type of language socialization (LS) research. Language socialization is defined as the long-term process of enculturation of novices into social positions, cultural orientations, and fields of knowledge through linguistically mediated interaction with peers and mentors (Duff, 1995, 2010a; Duff & Hornberger, 2008; Duff & Talmy, 2011; Garrett & Baquedano-Lopez, 2002). Language is theorized as both a means and product of socialization (Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986), a position that parallels Halliday’s (1975; 1993a) conception of learning as learning language, learning through language, and learning about language. LS research originates mainly from anthropology but also has roots in sociology, linguistics, education, and neo-Vygotskian psychology (Duff, 2010a; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986). Correspondingly, LS research adopts case study and ethnographic methods, with emphasis on longitudinal data and ecological validity (Duff, 2008; Kramsch, 2002). Studies in LS have been carried out internationally, and within and across educational cultures (Duff, 2010b). Key findings cluster around subjects’ writing processes and challenges associated with, for example, specific instructional interventions, university courses, graduate programmes, and scholarly publication (e.g., Berkenkotter & Huckin, 1995; Berkenkotter et al.,1988, 1991; Casanave, 1992, 2002; Casanave & Vandrick, 2003; Duff, 2002, 2003, 2007; Haneda, 2006; Séror, 2008; Spack, 1997). A general description of language socialization that applies to academic discourse socialization is that it is “lifelong and lifewide” (Duff, 2003, p. 238; italics in original).  LS research problematizes assumptions that learners progress through institutionally ordered, linear models of development of the type that can be inferred in some uses of the term apprenticeship (Duff, 2010a). As an approach to understanding language development, although 27  LS research encompasses the acquisition of forms (Duff, 2010b), the approach is not concerned with natural order of acquisition of formal grammatical features advanced in second language acquisition (SLA) research (see Ellis, 2008). As such, LS research orients towards the unique trajectories experienced by subjects through the socialization process as they converge to, accommodate, negotiate, resist and/or contest cultural practices (Duff, 2010a). Diversity is recognized as well in the kinds of academic cultural practices conventionalized at various scales, including nationally (e.g., Duff, 1995) and in specific classrooms (e.g., Talmy, 2009). These features of ADS research indicate espousal of an ethos of diversity, inclusivity and generalized sociopolitical engagement in contexts of academic enculturation such as universities. In this aspect, ADS resonates with research in academic literacies. Indeed, Duff (2010a) asserts that the ways prevailing ideologies are locally contested by discursive means, and by implication the contestation itself, are within the scope of ADS research. It is important to recognize also that ADS research frequently encompasses channels of mediation other than language. Socializing processes of mediation may be understood to be diffused in visual and other non-linguistic channels in situated contexts. This aspect of ADS research is evidenced in a subsection of Duff (2010b), “Language Socialization: Linguistic and Nonlinguistic Dimensions.”   The multisemiotic scope of semiotic mediation of some ADS research is consistent with the affiliations of ADS with the neo-Vygotskian tradition of activity theory, in which semiotic mediation is understood to occur through local, culturally-organized, multimodal systems of activity. For example, studies by Morita (2004) and Abdi (2008) highlight the relevance of L2 learners’ socialization to their constrained access to and participation in the multi-semiotic activity systems in their respective educational contexts. This theorization of semiotic mediation as an emergent feature of activity systems in large part accounts for the “neo” in neo-Vygotskian theory, distinguishing it from a more specific focus on the mediation of meaning by language, which is the hallmark of Vygotsky’s original formulation of semiotic mediation (1978, 1997; Hasan, 2004). Given the interest in ADS in the complex socializing effects of instructional interactions, it also recognizes the value of Vygotskian notion of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) or instructional scaffolding:  28  the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86).  Further, given the fundamental interest in ADS in exploring multiple factors and directions in trajectories of socialization, ADS researchers are careful to avoid the naïve notion that learners necessarily converge to the ZPDs presented in instruction.  In this sense, as mediation accounts for the subjects’ multiple semiotic engagements and corresponding social dispositions more holistically, ADS research can be understood to prioritize the role of semiotic mediation in activity systems over ZPD as a factor of academic socialization.  In this relation, ADS research has come to recognize the ways socialization processes operate bi- and multi-directionally, whereby cultural learning and teaching are understood as inherent features of participation in discourse: participants socialize each other (Talmy, 2008). Thus, the discursive practices of ostensive apprentices also direct the cultural learning of their peers and mentors (Talmy, 2008; Duff & Talmy, 2011). From the view of semiotic mediation, as an account of the roles language and discourse play in the formation of social dispositions, this development in ADS research is crucial in accounting for the dynamic and contested nature of discourse as a point of contact of different mediating resources and subjective dispositions. As such, the development makes visible potentially under-acknowledged agentive social roles of L2 learners (Talmy, 2008).  The roots of ADS research in linguistic anthropology are evident in the frequent reliance on context-sensitive discourse analysis. While the aim is for triangulation of linguistic data sources, the approach tends to favour observation and participant interview data; for example, ADS studies of L2 academic writing may be considered sufficiently well-informed by contextual data that analysis of the writing itself is not essential (e.g., Anderson, 2016). Thus, the forms of linguistic mediation considered relevant in ADS research on writing are highly varied (Duff, 2003). They include macrofeatures of discourse such as academic genres and other routinized sociolinguistic practices, voice, language play, directness of speech acts, and various other aspects of register variation. Microfeatures of language typically in focus are lexical and grammatical choices considered to be especially revealing of subjects’ affective, epistemic and 29  sociopolitical positioning. Various kinds of discourse analysis may be involved, including conversation analysis, speech act theory, Goffman’s (1981) notion of footing, and forms of genre and register analysis.  The valuing of triangulated, broadly sourced, longitudinal data in ADS research underlines an appreciation that the semantic dispositions observed in case studies emerge uniquely through long-term and multifaceted processes of meaning-making.      2.5.3 Genre-based approaches: Sydney School Genre has emerged as a central concept in the study and instruction of L2 academic writing (Hyland, 2004). The term genre is generally used across applied linguistic and L2 writing research to refer to conventionalized text types.  The term is defined more specifically in the two genre-based approaches to academic discourse that have focused on understanding and supporting L2 academic writing: the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach associated with the work of John Swales (1990, 2004), and the Sydney School approach to literacy instruction associated with SFL (Christie & Martin, 1997; Martin, 1989, 1992 (especially Chapter 7); Martin & Rose, 2008). Both approaches treat genre as a socioculturally-evolved discursive pattern that aids mediation by at once constraining and clarifying meanings in context (Christie, 1987). They also both focus on how writers achieve (or do not achieve) their rhetorical aims in a conventionalized patterning of ordered stages (Sydney School) or moves (ESP). As applied in L2 writing instruction, explicit descriptions of the conventionalized patterns that facilitate the achievement of the author’s purpose by culturally recognizable means are the basis for applications of Vygotskian pedagogical principles (Hyland, 2007b), resulting in what Bernstein (1990) described as a “visible pedagogy” (p. 73).  As a frequently and widely used concept for understanding how social and cultural contexts are mediated in discourse, genre is a core concept for L2 academic writing research (Hyland, 2004). Internationally, applied linguistic research adopting SFL-based genre analysis has come to be called the Sydney School approach to genre; however, it is important to note that Sydney School theorists themselves tend to reserve this name specifically for the program of SFL-informed, genre-based literacy pedagogy. The analytic techniques, as discussed below, are more accurately referred to as SFL-based discourse semantic analysis. However, in applied linguistics, the semantic force of ‘Sydney School’ extends this label to include research associated with the 30  pedagogy and the discourse model. This common usage is adopted in this dissertation for ease of reference.  In the Sydney School approach, genre is defined as a “staged, goal-oriented, purposeful activity in which speakers engage as members of our culture” (Martin 1984, p. 25): [It is] “Social because we participate in genres with other people; goal-oriented because we use genres to get things done; staged because it usually takes us a few steps to reach our goals” (Martin & Rose, 2007, p.8). As such, genre is understood to be the fundamental cultural tool in subjects’ mediation of sociocultural contexts. Multiple purposes agglomerate in macro-genres (Martin, 1992) such as research articles (RAs), which contain various primary genres such as procedures, reports and recounts (Martin & Rose, 2008). A writer’s purposes are understood to be achieved not by producing texts that are formally classified within a canonically-staged genre but rather through the relations between genres that emerge in texts and their contexts (Martin & Rose, 2005, 2008). In texts, authors’ purposes are achieved through functionally distinguishable stages, which are understood to be realized in lexicogrammatically and discursively patterned ways corresponding to known genre descriptions, such as the primary genres of schooling (Martin & Rose, 2008) and genre families of student writing in university (Nesi & Gardner, 2012). At the more granular or delicate level, genres as cultural activity are understood to be realized by discourse systems “beyond the clause” (Martin & Rose, 2007). Individual discourse systems serve one of three general social functions or metafunctions in context, a formalization drawn initially from systemic functional grammar (in this following list, the SFG formalisms are shown in parentheses): Ideation (ideational/experiential metafunction), Conjunction (ideational/logical), Identification (textual), Periodicity (textual), Appraisal (interpersonal) and Negotiation (interpersonal). In the Sydney School approach, the ideational, interpersonal and textual metafunctions are lexicogrammatical systems which in combination realize the register variables of, respectively, Field, Tenor and Mode.  Thus, the Sydney School approach to analysing texts and genres typically uses both the clause-based lexicogrammar of SFL (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) and SFL-based discourse semantic analysis developed by Martin (1992; Martin & Rose, 2007). The involvement of staging schemes and register variables in genre descriptions reflect how, in the Martinian interpretation of SFL (Martin, 1992; Martin & Rose, 2007), the context of a text is stratified into 31  the layers of register (the context of situation) and genre (the context of culture). It is noted that Martin’s approach to register is different from that of Halliday, Hasan, Williams and others, for whom register is a situation-typical selection of language features that instantiates aspects of the wider meaning-making potential of language in social context (e.g., Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004); the latter, Hallidayan, approach is taken in the present study. Compared to the ESP and rhetorical approaches to genre, the Sydney School approach “is perhaps the most clearly articulated and pedagogically successful of the three orientations” (Hyland, 2004, p. 25). SFL genre pedagogy is advanced through a “teaching-learning cycle” developed from the Vygotskian notions of ZPD and semiotic mediation. It involves instructor-led modelling of the genre, joint negotiation of a text involving the teacher scaffolding of the task with the learner, and independent construction of text by the student in activities such as drafting, conferencing and editing (Macken-Horarik, 2002). The pedagogy appears to have yielded positive literacy results in primary and secondary schools (e.g., Christie, 2002; Coffin, 1997; Veel, 1997). The results in university programs are also positive (e.g., Byrnes, Maxim & Norris, 2010; Yasuda, 2011).  Along with academic literacies and academic discourse socialization research, Sydney School research espouses the Vygotskian concept of semiotic mediation. In the literacies and socialization approaches, semiotic mediation is a social phenomenon that is richly instantiated in the use of language and other semiotic modalities, as well as related features of discursive context such as genre, register, discourse orders, subjective social identities and institutional roles, which are understood as both means and products of literacy and socialization. A difference between these approaches to researching semiotic mediation in academic writing and the Sydney School is that the latter focuses on linguistic data analyzed through a theory of language extended to a theory of discourse (Martin & Rose, 2008). In this regard, the Sydney School research produces empirical results and also has the potential for feeding back to the theory of language and discourse. As noted above, academic literacy and language socialization and other socially engaged theories used in L2 academic writing research develop from their empirical bases, but the theoretical contributions of these studies are not typically oriented towards linguistic theory (noting that outside the domain of L2 writing, second-language LS research has such an orientation, such as Yoshimi (1999)). Sydney School theorists, as linguists, seek to refine their theoretical understanding of the complex role of language in context to high 32  levels of generality (or better, systematicity) and delicacy; as such, “SFL has been described as an ‘extravagant’ theory; its extravagance has evolved to manage the complexity of the phenomenon it describes” (Martin & Rose, 2007, p. 3).  In this aspect, SFL-based understanding of semiotic mediation is developed both through empirical study and continual updating of the linguistic theory. The Sydney School research has generated a number of theoretical off-shoots, including in the association between SFL and Bernstein’s sociology of education (notably through developments in Legitimation Code Theory (Maton, 2016)), Vygotsky’s educational psychology (notably, the Genre Pedagogy (Martin & Rose, 2005)), and in discourse semantics, notably Appraisal Theory (Martin & White, 2005).  With this profile, Sydney School research makes many points of contact with the concept of semiotic mediation as elaborated by Hasan in the transdisciplinary sociological (Bernstein), psychological (Vygotsky) and linguistic (Halliday) framework but is not co-extensive with it. As noted below, the present study adopts Halliday’s approach in SFL (often referred to as the IFG approach, after Halliday’s (1985) seminal work Introduction to Functional Grammar, now in its fourth edition (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014)). The differences between Halliday’s and Martin’s approaches are sufficiently large, especially in the modelling of context (see Hasan, 1995), for the notion of genre to be avoided in the present study. This study adopts the related concept of register, which is a context-specific variation of the meaning potential of language in social life (see Section 2.5.6).      2.5.4 Genre-based approaches: English for specific purposes In Swales’ English for specific purposes (ESP) approach to genre-based pedagogy (e.g., Swales & Feak, 2004), genres are also defined by their communicative purpose (Swales, 1990). For Swales (1990, pp. 33-61), genre is a communicative event, enacted centrally through language, that shares communicative purposes with similar events. Despite this similarity with the Sydney School approach, the ESP approach takes a more eclectic and pragmatic direction in describing genres for the purposes of academic writing instruction as well as research in L2 writing. Swales (1990) reasons that “it may be objected that purpose is a somewhat less overt and demonstrable feature than, say, form and therefore serves less well as a primary criterion. However, the fact that purposes of some genres may be hard to get at is itself of considerable 33  heuristic value” (Swales, 1990, p. 46). Developed as a way of understanding academic genres in order to teach writing to L2 users of English, the ESP approach describes genre moves using a rhetorical-linguistic framework that coordinates the author’s purpose, disciplinary conventions, and rhetorical and functional linguistic structures (Hyland, 2004; Swales, 1990). However, in relation to genre, this approach is distinct from the Sydney School, which distinguishes genres by traceable discourse semantic and lexicogrammatical features organized formally and metafunctionally in accordance with discourse semantic and SFL theory. The best-known genre description to emerge from the ESP tradition is the Create a Research Space (CARS) model for research paper introductions (Swales, 2004; Swales & Feak, 2004). The pragmatism of the ESP approach has been implicated in critiques of the validity of its genre descriptions: that, for example, the CARS model does not provide a valid generalization of the scope of research report introductions (e.g., Sawaki, 2014).   The intellectual roots of the ESP approach to genre are varied. They include principally ethnographic and sociolinguistic research on speech/discourse communities (e.g., Bizzell, 1992), rhetorical genre studies (e.g., Bazerman, 1988), the concept of dialogism, and functional linguistic tools (including SFL) for understanding text organization (Hyland, 2004; Swales, 1990). Discourse communities are an especially salient construct for Swales (1990); they are "sociorhetorical networks that form in order to work towards sets of common goals" (p. 9). Given the orientation to community practices, there is little enthusiasm in ESP for approaches that emphasize the writer’s internal processes, in which the relationship between the writing and the writer’s cognition are thought to be overemphasized (Swales, 1990). In its pedagogy, the ESP approach also does not espouse investing significantly in linguistic metalanguage to set up systematic linguistic links between textual and community practices in relation to genre; for example, Swales (1990) insists that genre is “valuable because it is clarificatory, not because it is classificatory” (p. 37). This dialogic, rhetorical approach to text-context relations is complemented by a pragmatic lexicogrammatical analysis of some specific features of academic writing such as use of verb tenses and articles, and a suite of resources concerning “formal grammar style” including contractions, negative forms, “run on” expression such as “so forth”, reader address, and adverb placement (Swales & Feak, 2004, pp. 22-23).  Explicit instruction in salient aspects of disciplinary writing is strongly encouraged. For example, Swales (2004) challenges arguments from rhetorical genre scholars on the benefits of 34  immersion over explicit instruction. In his arguments for explicit instruction, Swales (2004) subtly critiques the links between rhetorical genre studies and activity theory, specifically the concern for the diffusion of situated meaning across forms of mediation. Swales (2004) asks whether “going beyond what is discoursally salient is really worth the effort” (p. 98).  For its focus on directing learners to the conventions of disciplinary writing, the ESP genre approach has been labelled “pragmatic and accommodationist” (Casanave, 2004, p. 205), meaning that it risks perpetuating hegemonies of scholarly discourse and associated social orders. However, there are strong counter-arguments to this claim. Swales (1997) does not regard English for academic purposes (EAP) as a “culturally and politically neutral enterprise” (p. 37). Also, while his very popular textbooks (e.g., Swales & Feak, 2000, 2004) explicitly teach conventions of writing, they also include pedagogical tasks that support awareness of the hegemony of English, its position as a “Tyrannosaurus Rex” (Swales, 1997) relative to less-diffused languages and local cultural practices in global scholarship.  As instantiated in the textbooks (e.g., Swales & Feak, 2000, 2004), the pedagogy is organized by genres. Thus, the ESP genre approach, even as a language-centric enterprise, would appear to conceptualize semiotic mediation as a widely diffused process guided by foundational academic genres such as extended definitions, data commentaries, and problem-solution texts. Indeed, it is the writing by EAP students of precisely these three text-types that is analyzed in the present study, since the syllabus of the introductory academic writing course under investigation adopted Swales and Feak’s (2004) most popular textbook for early graduate students.  Other pedagogical works based in ESP address canonical genres of scholarship such as the four sections of the Introduction-Methods-Results-Discussion (IMRD) report. These are achieved by means of a variety of mediating tools recontextualized from linguistics with what in ESP is considered just enough technicality to enable focused analysis, reflection and practice. However, the trend in ESP publications has been towards slightly elevated levels of technicality; for example, new editions of the textbooks include appreciably detailed instruction on the notion of Given-New information structure (Swales & Feak, 2011). However, with genre being the guiding concept of the pedagogy, the tools and tasks vary considerably in their functional linguistic footing. In this way, ESP genre pedagogy and research positions genres as central mediating tools in learners’ apprenticeship as academic writers.  35     2.5.5 Activity theory As indicated by the above discussions of academic discourse socialization, rhetorical genres studies, and the ESP genre approach, sociocultural activity theory provides a framework for understanding mediation in many studies of L2 academic writing. Activity theory was first developed by Leont’ev (1978), one of Vygotsky’s students and collaborators.  He reformulated Vygotsky’s (1978) conceptualizations of human cognition through semiotic mediation to cognition mediated by socioculturally motivated activities. Thus, the key psychological construct in sociocultural theory remains mediation. The activity theory perspective is well diffused in applied linguistics, where meaning-making systems such as language are often understood to arise from a complex of meaning-making activity involving many material and semiotic elements. Such a perspective is provided very clearly by Kramsch (2002), who, though not considered an activity theorist, is a central figure in applied linguistics:  meaning lies in relationships between artifacts, persons, and events, not in the objects themselves; language, as one of the many semiotic systems, emerges from semiotic activity through affordances brought forth by active engagement with material, social, and discourse processes… ecological models of language development see it as an open process mediated by various semiotic tools in various activities (pp. 20-21).  While Vygotsky (1978, 1997) divided mediation into tool-based mediation, directed externally to control of objects, and sign-based mediation, which is directed internally to regulate oneself, in activity systems, these two forms of mediation are recognized but conflated in their functions in mediating microsystems of culture. Activity theory (and the wider sociocultural theory from which it emerges) is concerned with human development at the levels of culture (phylogenesis), the individual (ontogenesis), and shorter-term mental functions and processes (microgenesis) (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Applied linguistic research has tended to focus on microgenesis of L2 learners’ cultural and linguistic experiences and development (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Leont’ev (1978) defined activity as comprising the three layers of motive, action, and condition. This triad of layers assists researchers to hold in view multiple aspects of human cultural endeavour while at the same time helping researchers avoid dichotomies such as individual-society, past-present, and cause-effect. This interest in understanding human goal-36  oriented behaviour in its multiple culturally-mediated aspects subsequently prompted Engeström (1999) to significantly expand Leont’ev’s three-part model of activity. Contemporary activity theory is widely used in social research, especially in interdisciplinary frameworks involving case-study and ethnography, where the notion that humans mediate their endeavours in cultural micro-systems has been productive (Swain, Kinnear & Steinman, 2011). Unsurprisingly, these perspectives from contemporary activity theory have also been applied to research on L2 academic writing (Cumming, 2006). The complementarities between activity theory and academic discourse socialization are noted by Duff (2010a). One complementary aspect is cultural indexicality, or the ways linguistic and other meaningful cues in context index particular (sets of) cultural meanings, such as membership categories and sociocultural knowledge: “Learners, like their mentors or interlocutors, must become very good at interpreting and using such cues appropriately” (Duff, 2007,  p. 313). This focus has the potential to draw out the details of felicitous (or otherwise) discursive indexes involved in L2 academic writing and connect these to cultural meanings in play in the activity system.      2.5.6 Systemic functional linguistics The concept of sign-based or semiotic mediation as Vygotsky (1978) originally proposed resonates strongly in Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics, which conceptualizes language as a semiotic resource with mediating roles in both interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts (Halliday, 1978). It is important to distinguish the nature of mediation that is modelled in SFL: language is not understood to be a lexicogrammatical construct whose role is to index phenomena in social context, because this formulation appears to posit a two-stage shift linking a pre-verbal conception of context to a verbal sign, which is not formally possible in a language-as-social-semiotic interpretation of semiotic mediation. This perspective is illustrated in a discussion of early literacy by Williams (2005a):   [Vygotsky] considered ‘words’ to be the primary means through which children’s attention is directed to entities. This view, I believe, can be readily re-expressed from a semiotic perspective as thought being primarily formed by language in use (p. 288).  37  Rather than an index, language is understood as a resource for construing and enacting context. As such, it is a complex semiotic system that provides the basis for activating semantic features in the context in coordination with lexicogrammatical choices made by interacting participants. The nature of the co-genesis of text and context is that the semantic systems in play in context probabilistically constrain the lexicogrammatical choices in texts, and lexicogrammatical choices in text realize the semantic systems in context (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999, 2004). The notion of construal accommodates the fact of a text not constructing the context into some inevitable form, but rather of the text skewing the construction of the situational context towards a particular semantic profile (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999).  With the central concept of register, SFL theorizes three different but coordinated lexicogrammatical systems that are co-genetic with three aspects of the semantics in situated contexts (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; 2004). These co-genetic relationships are understood to be activated with every instance of language use, that is, in every text: ideational lexicogrammatical systems are co-genetic with the experiential domain of semantics, which realizes the contextual variable Field (what is going on); interpersonal lexicogrammatical systems are co-genetic with interpersonal domain of semantics, which realizes the contextual variable Tenor (how interactants relate socially); and textual systems are co-genetic with Mode (what channels and linguistic mediums are used). These three sets of systems work simultaneously and in an integrated way to realize situation-specific discourse – an instance of a register – in the context of situation (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004).  As a situation-specific language practice mediated by social subjects, registers can be understood as being co-extensive with the notion of literacies, situated academically or otherwise (G. Williams, personal communication, July 12, 2013). Language development from the view of semiotic mediation, as this is understood in SFL, is a sociogenic process (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986; Halliday, 1975, 1991; Hasan, 2005, 2011b). That is, the human capacity to use language and other semiotic modalities to mediate social and mental life starts in the social world, where subjects appropriate and eventually internalize the language that they come into contact with in interpersonal interaction (Vygotsky, 1981). Herein is the theoretical basis for language as the central means of semiotic mediation and the development of socio-semantic dispositions. However, according to SFL-informed theorists of literacy, the implications of semiotic mediation have been underemphasized in literacy research, 38  especially relative to the far more specific Vygotskian concept of ZPD:  “The selective use of the [Vygotskian] theory exacerbates the problem of limited theorising of 'context'” (Williams, 1994, p. 30). Accordingly, in parallel with ADS research, SFL-informed research on semiotic mediation draws attention to the relatively large socializing and developmental implications of sustained, informal and unself-conscious interaction (Hasan, 2005/1992). Such interactions are considered an important basis of subjects’ robust socio-semantic dispositions or semantic orientations (Bernstein, 1990, 1999). Instances of language use in the social world are systematized internally as they self-organize (i.e., emerge unconsciously) into multiple, parallel functional potentials for making meaning (Halliday, 1975, 1993a). These systems are employed, in turn, in the internalization of further functional systems. It is in this light that the functional linguistic grammar is understood to be a complex meaning-making system with the capacity for exponentially expanding the human potential to make meaning. Correspondingly, language learning is understood as the expansion of the individual’s meaning-making system toward greater scope for subjective engagement in society. This development is typically tracked in close relation to the scope of the subject’s registerial repertoire (Halliday, 1975, 1993a); that is, the subject’s semiotic preparation to interact interpersonally and intrapersonally in self-directed and satisfying ways across social contexts. The expanding SFL model of language as a system of systems of meaning potential offers a scrutable framework from which to observe developments in individuals’ and groups’ meaning-making practices. The concept of semiotic mediation highlights transdisciplinary links that emanate from SFL theory. The links to Vygotsky’s psychology and Bernstein’s sociology have been indicated; another valuable link is to the anthropological linguistics of Whorf (1956/1939), which posits that social subjects construe and enact sociocultural reality as organized by the grammatical systems they unconsciously use. Like registers but on a massive scale, languages are resources for meaning that are co-genetic with the contexts and cultures in which they are used. Whorf – whose work predates the distinction between register and dialect – posited that the co-genetic (i.e., dialectic) relation between language and culture results in enculturated individuals developing linguistically- and culturally-specific mental maps of their world (Whorf, 1956/1939). Enculturated individuals are largely unconscious of the preferred lexicogrammatical configurations and shared basis for ‘common sense’ that are engendered by these mental maps: 39   We cut nature up – organise it into concepts and ascribe significances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organise it this way – an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language. The agreement is, of course, an implicit and unstated one, but its terms are absolutely obligatory; we cannot talk at all except by subscribing to the organisation and classification of data which the agreement decrees (Whorf, 1956, p. 213).  As Hasan (2005) noted for semantic dispositions that arise with this process of semiotic mediation, it is difficult to account for the “implicit” process; however, the general variation in groups’ “systems of agreement” is quite traceable (as per phylogenesis), as is variation between individuals at the more delicate levels of the language system (as per ontogenesis) and between textual instances of interaction (as per logogenesis). It follows that variation in cultural “fashions of speaking” (Whorf, 1956/1939) can be observed among subcultures. Academic sub-cultures, to take a relevant example, engender particular fashions of speaking and “mental habits” with corresponding lexicogrammatical realizations that, to initiated individuals or “old timers” (Lave & Wenger 1991), are commonsensical but to newcomers may well be inaccessible without appropriate support or extensive exposure. In this relation, Whorf (1956/1939) provides a simple yet sophisticated insight. According to Whorf, the newcomer’s disposition will also include “patterned resistances” to the unfamiliar dispositions and discourse: “Every language and every well-knit technical sublanguage incorporates certain points of view and certain patterned resistances to widely divergent points of view” (Whorf, 1956 [1939], p. 247). This insight indicates that, from Whorf’s view, the dispositions and discourses of disciplinary sub-cultures are self-reinforcing semantic systems whereby positive dispositions to particular semantic and lexicogrammatical options imply dispreference for other sets of options, other subcultural dispositions. Accordingly, although Whorf’s ideas predate the differentiation between dialect and register, he was thinking not only functionally but also systematically about the dialectic relation between language and culture. Whorf offers an example from disciplinary use of lexis:   40  What we call “scientific thought” is a specialization of the western Indo-European type of language, which has developed not only a set of different dialectics, but actually a set of different dialects. THESE DIALECTS ARE NOW BECOMING MUTUALLY UNINTELLIGIBLE. The term ‘space,’ for instance, does not and CANNOT mean the same thing to a psychologist as to a physicist (Whorf, 1956/1939, p. 246; emphasis in original).  The paradox here is that while psychologists and physicists may not speak the same professional dialect, they also must have much in common given that they speak the same language. The semantic domains they share are mainly the domains of everyday life. In this way, Whorf’s notion of fashions of speaking accords with what is known about how schooled and disciplinary ways of knowing, which are intimately related with writing (Coffin, 2001; Halliday, 1993a; Moore, 2006; Ortega, 2015), emerge from commonsense ways of knowing. Halliday has shown that the written registers of science in English evolved with grammatical metaphor from the kinds of knowledge construals associated with informal registers (Halliday, 1993b).  Ontogenetically, as noted at the beginning of this chapter, a similar process was found by Halliday (1993a) to occur in a shorter timescale, with grammatical metaphor and abstract knowledge developing (in favourable social and pedagogical contexts) on the basis of the children’s semiotic mediation of their everyday experiences, knowledge and interactions.  Whorf arrived at a related finding.  Whorf also made an important and systematic distinction between commonsense and uncommonsense knowledge, showing how the vicissitudes of the evolution of the latter are related to commonsense knowledge constructed by everyday fashions of speaking wherein the lexicogrammatical patterns of a language assume a background status, making certain concepts of reality appear inevitably real (Hasan, 2005, p. 271).  Whorf’s (1956/1939) anthropological linguistic research reaffirms the robustness of commonsense construals of the world as a basis for the development of esoteric knowledge. As noted above, SFL provides tools for observing the role of grammatical metaphor in this cryptic process at the logogenetic, ontogenetic and phylogenetic scales of development (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999). 41   In the discussion of semiotic mediation in SFL it remains to address more specifically the focus on language in SFL rather than all semiotic modalities. First, in the context of researching writing, the pragmatic question asked by Swales applies here, whether “going beyond what is discoursally salient is really worth the effort” (Swales, 2004, p. 98). However, the focus on language of course reflects more than a methodological choice associated with research in the language-rich activity of writing. In SFL, language is the “prototypical form of human semiotic” (Halliday, 1993, p. 93). Specifically, subjects’ use of language to participate in contexts of situation can self-organize as register use – registers being understood as situation-typical variations of language use that at once realize the context of situation and are constrained by it (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). Learning in this view is the process of learning the context both interpersonally and intrapersonally by means of language:  In the development of the child as a social being, language has the central role. Language is the main channel through which the patterns of living are transmitted to him, through which he learns to act as a member of a “society” – in and through the various social groups, the family, the neighborhood, and so on – and to adopt its “culture,” its modes of thought and action, its beliefs and its values. This … happens indirectly, through the accumulated experience of numerous small events, insignificant in themselves, in which his behavior is guided and controlled, and in the course of which he constructs and develops personal relationships of all kinds. All this takes place through the medium of language (Halliday, 1978, p. 9).  Hasan (2004) extends the argument for the focus on language in studies of semiotic mediation by citing cognitive research into the co-genetic relation between language and the brain that demonstrates how language has a central role in the development of the brain (Deacon, 1997; Greenfield, 1997). She also notes that the focus on language “is in keeping with the dominant Vygotskian practice”; indeed, Vygotsky (1997, chapter 2) maintained the separation of sign- and artefact-mediated activity and critiqued their conflation. Finally, in keeping with the focus of this study on the role of grammatical metaphor in learners’ academic writing, the study focuses on language because language provides a well-theorized basis for empirically investigating the construction and development of esoteric knowledge and associated disciplinary dispositions 42  (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999).  The details of these processes are explained and the relevant empirical literature in L2 academic writing is reviewed in the following chapter.  2.6 Distillation This chapter has reviewed some key theoretical dimensions of L2 academic writing. These include academic writing as situated literacy practice and as a resource for content and language learning. These aspects draw attention to writing as a tool for mediating academic meanings in social context. As an act of meaning-making, academic writing has been conceived in this review as a nexus of practice in which apprentice L2 academic writers bridge established and new dispositions to meaning-making as they participate in the knowledge construction practices of their respective academic communities. The concept of semiotic mediation is found to be a rich source of dialogue between research approaches in the field, highlighting areas of commonality, as just noted, as well as differences in emphasis. One difference is the well-known variation in the treatment of mediation as either diffused across multisemiotic systems of activity involved in writing or as a linguistic phenomenon. A second, related difference is in the conception of the relationship between language use (and possibly other meaning-making systems) and situated context, with two key options being the concepts of indexicality and realization.  The present study opts for a focus on language as the central semiotic involved in mediating L2 academic writing practices and the development of textual and disciplinary dispositions through these practices. And, adopting SFL, the study opts for the conception of text-context relations as realizational, whereby linguistic choices are understood, via theorization of language as a system of meaning potentials, to realize meanings in types of contexts of situation. The value of these choices for the study of grammatical metaphor, in particular, should become clearer in the following chapters.  Several related claims emerged in this review that help to focus the investigation. If it is the case that everyday fashions of speaking provide the implicit epistemological base for specialized understandings of reality, as Whorf (1956/1939) claims, and these specialized ways of knowing are indeed largely achieved by the development of abstract, language-mediated concepts, as Vygotsky (1978) claims, and that the realization of these concepts within their disciplinary epistemologies is achieved in large part through metaphorical construals of 43  experience and reasoning in writing, as claimed by Halliday (1993a, 1998), then an opportunity at hand for L2 academic writing research is to clarify the roles of grammatical metaphor in the writing of apprentice L2 academic scholars and its development. Chapter 3 reviews the research in the area of grammatical metaphor and closes with the specific research questions pursued in this study.                          44  Chapter 3: Grammatical Metaphor and its Role in L2 Academic Writing  Models are built on metaphors, often unconsciously… but sometimes with conscious human design. Evolved systems – in particular those expressing human purposes but which incorporate material and biological levels as instruments of those purposes – rarely appear elegant or minimal (from the perspective of ‘design’). Yet these ‘messy’ accretions of levels, layers and redundancies persist…         David Butt (2008, p. 63)  3.1 Introduction This chapter is concerned with grammatical metaphor (GM) as a linguistic phenomenon that has evolved in the course of human activity and experience as a resource for constructing academic knowledge. As Butt suggests, the apparently messy systems that express human purpose – systems such as GM – have evolved as robust systems in human activity. In reviewing the research literature on GM in L2 academic writing, the chapter emphasizes the relation between social linguistic complexity of GM in context and its robust role in the mediation of academic knowledge and gradual development of subjects’ socio-semantic dispositions towards the construal of such knowledge (Hasan, 2005/1992; 2011b). As GM is a theoretical development of SFL that has only relatively recently begun to gain traction in the literature beyond SFL, much of the review focuses on SFL-informed studies. However, the interest in L2 academic writing, particularly in nominalization – the main type of GM – makes relevant the wider literature in L2 writing from areas such as second language acquisition (SLA). As with the previous chapter, this chapter also shows the complementarities between approaches and the fuzziness of their boundaries.  This review of studies of nominalization and other types of GMs in academic writing addresses key interests and questions relevant to the study of GM in L2 academic writing in tertiary contexts: the use of GM in academic writing in L2 and other contexts; the rationale for particularly focusing on nominalization in GM studies; the nature of ideational GM in its experiential and logical sub-functions; the still-important role of interpersonal GM and the continuities within GM between interpersonal and ideational metaphor in academic writing; the developmental implications of GM in language and literacy learning; and the role of GM in the construal of commonsense and disciplinary kinds of knowing. By these means, the chapter sets out the foundations for the analysis of GM in the writing of apprentice L2 scholars. The typology 45  of GMs is presented in full in the next chapter, where the technical details are especially relevant to the operationalization of GM in the present study. As reviewed below, the implications of GM in scholarly writing are significant (Byrnes, 2013; Halliday, 1998; Halliday & Martin, 1993; Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; Martin, 2008; Ortega, 2015; Schleppegrell, 2004a). GM is a key resource for generating disciplinary abstraction (Klein & Unsworth, 2014; Martin, 1991) as well as abstractions that help manage text coherence (Ravelli, 2004). It is largely through experiential GMs and operations of logical GM that information comes to have a high functional load in academic writing, and the text becomes informationally dense (Halliday, 1993b, 1998). Logical GMs are also deeply implicated in the arguments, explanations and other forms of reasoning that are recognized as claims, observations, rhetorical patterns, and theories (Martin, 1992; Ryshina-Pankova, 2010). Additionally, with the expectation in academic writing that claims are to be negotiated, interpersonal GM is implicated in realizing a distanced, objective stance that enacts typically valued kinds of interpersonal relations between writer and reader (Schleppegrell, 2004b).  While many scholars writing in their second language use GM as an unproblematic resource for academic engagement, apprentice L2 scholars commonly have difficulty with GM: “Often, learners’ early attempts at non-congruent [metaphorical] forms such as nominalization are clumsy and awkward” (Mohan & Beckett, 2001, p. 142). The problems are often not due to apprentice L2 (and L1) writers’ insufficient use of GM; it happens that  bundling of nominalizations… within the clause at times is so heavy as to approach unintelligibility or, at least, to conjure up a bureaucratic, clumsy writing style – the ‘profundity to bullshit’ continuum (Byrnes, 2009, p. 63).  Byrnes (2009) dispels here any notion that more GM is necessarily better. L2 writing students’ misuse of GM, as with other kinds of errors and infelicities in the writing, are understood from the view of language as a social semiotic as contingent on the context-specific construal of meaning; a suggested response is contextually- and developmentally-relevant instruction focused not on error correction but rather on building the learner’s capacity to mean (Achugar, Schleppegrell & Oteíza, 2007). In relation to GM itself, the key point here is that GM is a resource for L2 academic writers’ self-directed regulation of abstraction in context.  46  Schleppegrell (2004b) identifies significant difficulties with GM in L2 science students’ writing in all the major functional areas referred to above – the ideational (including experiential and logical functions), textual, and interpersonal functions.  Collectively, the issues potentially degrade the effectiveness of the students’ texts in their rhetorical contexts. The key linguistic features associated with mature use of GM that are known to develop relatively late and thus to challenge even advanced L2 learners have been listed by Ortega (2015). These include command of derivational morphology; large vocabulary, including simple agnation (suspect-suspicious) and agnation using different lemmas, i.e., with lexical reformulation (e.g., far-distance), and collocation (e.g., “to offer instruction” (Byrnes, 2009, p. 63)); and cohesive links (e.g., involved in identifying arguments and previewing and reviewing discourse (e.g., Ravelli, 2004)).  The notion of agnation as it is used here reflects the paradigmatic perspective on meaning-making:  grammatical metaphor forms a paradigm of alternative realisations for given meanings. Thus any one realisation ought to have an agnate form, which would be of a different word class or of a different rank (Ravelli, 1985/1999, p. 65; emphasis in original).  This range of resources helps with mapping especially advanced L2 language learning, in which the more fundamental strata of language resources are understood to become automated, and development shifts to the more “delicate” areas of meaningful choices (Matthiessen, 2006, p. 34). However, the developmental process is recursive as L2 academic writers tend to be active across academic contexts; new cont