Socialsemiotiske perspektiver på social kognition. En SFL-funderet metode til analyse af mentalisering

  • Christina Fogtmann Københavns Universitet
  • Jacob Thøgersen Københavns Universitet


Mentalization describes the ability to understand the actions of others and oneself in relation to mental states. A range of methods is available to investigate mentalizing abilities (Luyten et al. 2012). It is common for the majority of these that mentalizing is assessed based on informants’ linguistic realizations. The methods, however, derive from the field of psychology, and they share a remarkable lack of focus on the description and importance of linguistic features. We propose a method to assess mentalizing founded in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). By including a grammar that has a metafunctional and social semiotic basis, we intend to develop a method that provides more transparent and nuanced analyses of mentalizing as it is displayed through language. The method connects various characteristics of mentalizing to both contextual, semantic and lexicogrammatical aspects in SFL. Related to the development of a linguistically sensitive method to assess metalizing, we also discuss the theoretical implications of considering grammatical choices as reflecting subjects’ mental states, i.e. how language relates to cognition. In particular, we discuss the concept of choice which is both central to SFL and also a somewhat problematic concept.

Tema: Teoriudvikling