Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The text compositional architecture of university lectures: an exploration of genre and periodicity in spoken academic discourse

By James Walter Blackwell


This thesis explores the text-compositional options that are available for the construction of university-style lectures. In doing so, it employs techniques developed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to investigate how lectures are structured in terms of “genre” and the related issue of what is termed “hierarchy of periodicity”. It applies these techniques to the analysis of a small selection of university lectures to explore the ways in which, and the degree to which, these texts are structured as genres and the extent to which they are simultaneously structured by waves of foreshadowing and reiteration (or periodicity). As to the possible conclusions that might be reached from this type of analysis, this thesis will propose that the principles of “hierarchy of periodicity” and “genre complexes” are likely to be important options for structuring in university lectures, since all of the texts analyzed were found to be structured by such mechanisms. It will also proposes that lectures, although forms of speech, are structured in ways that are closer to forms of writing and that lectures as a set of texts can be categorized by the extent to which they display or do not display, the text-compositional arrangements of such (written) texts

Topics: PE English
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2007b) Genre Systems: Mapping Culture.
  2. (1989). A Brief Introduction to Genre. Sydney: Metropolitan East Disadvantaged Schools Program.
  3. (1994). An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd Edition)
  4. (2004). An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics. (2nd Edition)
  5. (1997). Analyzing Casual Conversation.
  6. (2002). Classroom discourse Analysis. doi
  7. (1992). English Text: System and Structure.
  8. (2001). Expository discourse: A Genre-based Approach to Social Science Research Texts.
  9. (1994). Genre analysis and the identification of textual boundaries’. doi
  10. (1993). Genre as social process’,
  11. (2003). Grammar and Meaning: An Introduction for Primary Teachers. Berry NSW: Target Texts.
  12. (1993). Life as a noun: arresting the universe in science and humanities’,
  13. (1994). Modelling big texts: a systemic function approach to multi-genericty.
  14. (1997). Narrative analysis: oral versions of personal experience’.
  15. (2004). Narrative Counselling: Social and Linguistic Processes of Change. doi
  16. (2002). Reading spoken stories for values: a discursive study of cancer survivors and their professional careers’. Unpublished PhD thesis:
  17. (1985). The structure of a text’,
  18. (1997). Working with Functional Grammar.
  19. (1998). Writing Skills: Narrative and Non-Fiction Text Types.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.