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Table 3 Register typology based on socio-semiotic processes (field of activity)

From: A survey of studies in systemic functional language description and typology

• expounding: contexts where natural phenomena such as cold fronts are explicated to help readers or listeners as part of the construction of “knowledge” about general classes of phenomena – either by categorizing (or “documenting”) these phenomena or by explaining them.
• reporting: contexts where the flow of particular human events are recounted to help readers or listeners keep up with or review events — chronicling the flow of particular events (as in historical recounts or news reports), surveying particular places (as in guide books) or inventorying particular entities (as in catalogues).
• recreating: contexts where the flow of particular human imaginary events are constructed to achieve some kind of aesthetic effect — recreating the world imaginatively through narration and/or through dramatization.
• sharing: contexts where personal values and experiences are exchanged to help interactants relate to one another for example by calibrating their sense of moral values in a work place — sharing our personal experiences and/or sharing our personal values.
• doing: contexts where people are engaged in a joint social activity, using language to facilitate the performance of this activity — either by members of one group collaborating with one another or by one person directing the other members of a group.
• enabling: contexts where a course of action is modelled semiotically and made possible through guidance — either by instructing people on how to undertake an activity or by regulating their behavior.
• recommending: contexts where a course of action is recommended for the benefit of the addressee — either by advising them (recommendation for the benefit of the addressee, as in consultations) or inducing them (promotion: recommendation for the benefit of the speaker, as in advertisements).
• exploring: contexts where public values and ideas are put forward and debated — either by reviewing a commodity (goods-&-services) or by arguing about positions and ideas.
  1. Source: Matthiessen (2015)c: 6, 8-9 – slightly modified by integrating definitions on p. 6 with p. 8-9