A Systemic Linguistic Analysis of Malay Process Types in Professional Forestry Report Genre


Author: Wan Farah Wani binti Wan Fakhruddin (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Speaker: Wan Farah Wani binti Wan Fakhruddin
Topic:Language, Dialect, Sociolect, Genre
CALA 2020 General Session


Abstract

Despite previous genre studies investigating various professional report genres in different contexts, disciplines and languages, professional report genre in forestry discipline remains the least explored, particularly from a Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) perspective. To date, limited findings were reported on how Malay language is used in forestry professional context. This study explored how language is used to represent experiential meaning in forest resource reports (FRR) in forestry discipline focusing on the analysis of process types realised in FRR genre. Six FRR written in Malay and three interviews with forestry officers were used as research data in this study. This study utilised SFL analytical frameworks following the SFL framework of Malay process types established by Idris (2012; 2013). The use of Action process in FRR is useful in order to explain about fieldwork activities performed by district forestry officers as well as the actions affecting material and abstract entities. The reports also rely on Situation process which helps in the construal of the condition of forest areas in terms of its geographical conditions and the surrounding areas. Additionally, Situation process also allows descriptions to be made on how specific forest areas are regarded or conditioned in relation to the forestry department’s management plans and the gazetted protected areas outlined in the National Forestry Act (1984). In FRR genre, Verbal process is used to express the suggestion on the respective forest monitoring stations that are assigned for fieldwork monitoring and tax collection activities. The Mental process, although being used only once in the reports, is used in order to expound the disapproval on the application for forest harvesting activities received. Relational process is used in FRR genre to represent attributes of tree poles recorded in terms of its size and estimation of its quantities per hectare. The use of Existence process in the genre is deemed to be significant which helps to inform about the existence of entities such as tree species, orang asli settlements and cemeteries and other entities found in the forest areas. Finally, the use of Description process in the reports includes providing descriptions about forest areas in terms of their size, terrain and topographical conditions, distribution of tree stands, and forest types following the forestry department’s records. The implication of this study centres on how representation of experiential meaning focusing on process types can be explored from SFL perspective when analysing Malay professional text.

Keywords: Malay Process Types