(linguistics) The primary communicative roles of language or the relationships between linguistic forms and the social contexts of their use (seecontext of situation). In the 1930s, Bühler listed the representational or referential function to represent the real world, the expressive function to express the speaker's feelings, and the appellative or conative function to appeal to or influence the hearer. In 1960, Jakobson argued that the dominance of any one of six factors within an utterance reflects a different linguistic function: referential, expressive: conative, poetic (or aesthetic), phatic, and metalingual. In any given situation one of these factors is ‘dominant’, and this dominant function influences the general character of the message. In Halliday's linguistic typology, the seven basic functions identified in children's usage are: heuristic, imaginative, informative, instrumental, interactional, personal, and regulative. He adds three adult metafunctions: ideational, interpersonal, and textual. See alsocommunicative functions; Jakobson's model.
Subjects: Media Studies.