On April 21st, 2016,Christian Matthiessen, renowned professor of Systemic-Functional Linguisticsfrom Hong Kong Polytechnic University, presented a lecture entitled Projection (quoting and reporting) indifferent types of text and ‘modalities’ at the Research Center forLinguistics and Applied Linguistics (CLAL), GDUFS. The lecture was chaired byDoctor Yiqiong Zhang from CLAL.
Professor Matthiessenbegan his lecture by exemplifying linguistic and visual strategies for projectingwhat people say (i.e. speech) and what people think (i.e. thought). Accordingto him, speech and thought can be projected not only through language alone,but also in combination with visual semiotic systems (pictorial and filmic). Innews reporting and academic discourse, projection enables reporters andscholars to identify their sources and to attribute information to them. Apartfrom this, projection also plays a central role in the construction ofstorylines in comics and films. To complete the picture, Professor Matthiessen demonstratedhow projection can be exploited in narrating stories, illustrating this throughthe sequencing in the lyrics of the song TheStreets of Laredo.
In his lecture,Professor Matthiessen presented and illuminated the difficult grammatical issueof projection in a concrete and vivid manner, successfully drawing andmaintaining the audience’s attention. The success of this lecture, however, wasprobably best exemplified through the active speaker-audience interaction inand after the lecture.