Dr Alice Caffarel-Cayron
PhD (University of Sydney), BA Honours (University of Sydney), D.E.U.G Anglais-Portugais (Université de Bordeaux III)
Room 743, A18 Christopher Brennan Building
+61 2 9351 3378
Alice Caffarel-Cayron has been teaching French and Linguistics in the Department of French Studies since 1996. Her main research interests are the grammar and semantics of French, Discourse analysis, stylistics and language typology. She has developed a systemic functional description of the grammar of French that she has applied to the teaching of French, linguistics, discourse analysis and stylistics in the Department of French Studies. Her Systemic Functional Interpretation of French Grammar was first published by Continuum in 2006 and republished as paperback in 2008. She is currently conducting research on the language of Simone de Beauvoir and the impact her writings had on readers.
- Systemic functional linguistics
- French grammar and semantics
- Discourse analysis
- Register variation and semantic variation
- Language Typology
- The role and use of functional grammar in the teaching of French
1. The transcendental power of Simone de Beauvoir’s language
Alice Caffarel-Cayron is currently developing the first comprehensive account of the language of the influential French writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. This projects aims to elucidate Beauvoir’s use of language as a mode of action and tool for change by analyzing recurrent linguistic choices that are significant to her philosophy and to the communicative force of her writings. It explores the aspects of Beauvoir’s language that, on the one hand, contribute a particular vision of the world that promotes freedom and change, and, on the other hand, extend agency and transcendence to her readers. In addition, to illustrate the linguistic argumentation, this project documents the impact of Beauvoir’s writings by compiling comments and reactions from the numerous letters sent to Beauvoir by readers, which are in the Beauvoir archives of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), including letters from Alice Caffarel-Cayron’s mother, Claire Cayron, whose correspondence with Beauvoir spanned two decades (1964-1984).
2. Translating second-order meanings
Alice Caffarel-Cayron is also conducting research on the translatability of second-order meanings such as ideological, social and philosophical meanings. She is currently writing a paper that contrasts the two English translations of Camus’s L’Étranger and the original with the aim of unraveling how second-order meanings, e.g. Camus’ philosophy of the absurd, are rendered in translation when some of the linguistic resources essential to their realization in French are not available in English.
- Caffarel, A. 2006. A systemic functional interpretation of French grammar: from grammar to discourse. Continuum Publishing: London
"The consistent interplay between theoretical and applied pursuits has always been a defining feature of systemic functional theory: This kind of mutual enrichment is clearly demonstrated in Alice Caffarel's work. The result is a description which penetrates to the heart of language, revealing it at one and the same time as a specimen of the human semiotic and a unique resource for the continuous creation of meaning." Professor M.A.K. Halliday writing in the Preface
- Caffarel and J.R. Martin and C.M.I.M Matthiessen (eds). 2004. Language Typology: a functional perspective. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. Benjamins: Amsterdam
Scholarly Book Chapters
- Caffarel-Cayron, A (In press). ‘Beauvoir and the Agency of Writing’, in La transitivité en français, edited by David Banks. L’Harmattan: Paris. (Accepted for publication in September 2011)
- Caffarel, A. 2010/2012. ‘Systemic Functional Grammar and the Study of Meaning’. The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, edited by Bernd Heine and Heiko Narrog. Oxford University Press.
- Caffarel, A. 2009. ‘ La representation grammaticale de l’expérience: transitivité et agence’. La Linguistique systémique fonctionnelle et la langue Française, edited by David Banks, Simon Eason and Janet Ormond. L’Harmattan: Paris.
- Caffarel, A and Rechniewski, E. 2008. 'When is a handover not a handover? A case study of ideologically opposed French News Stories' In E. Thomson and P. White (eds.), Communicating Conflict: Multilingual Case Studies of the Rhetoric of the News Media. Continuum: London.
- Caffarel, A. 2007. "Learning Advanced French through SFL; Learning SFL in French." In H. Byrnes (ed.), Advanced Language Learning: The Contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky. Continuum: London.
- Teruya, Akerejola, Andersen, Caffarel, Lavid, Matthiessen, Petersen, Patpong and Smedegaard. 2008. "Typology of MOOD: a text-based and system-based functional view." In Continuing Discourse on Language. A Functional Perspective Volume 2. Equinox: London.
- Caffarel, A and Rechniewski, E (2009). ‘A Systemic Functional approach to analysing and interpreting ideology: an illustration from French editorials’. In Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses (RAEI). Special Issue on Persuasive Discourse.
- French language, Functional linguistics, stylistics and discourse analysis
- Systemic Functional Linguistics, Language Typology, Discourse analysis, Stylistics, First and Second language development (from a functional perspective)
- 128th MLA Annual Convention, Boston 3-6 January 2013. Presented a paper as part of a joint session organised by the Simone de Beauvoir Society and Women in French on the influence of Simone de Beauvoir on women’s writers: The influence of Simone de Beauvoir on Claire Cayron’s personal and creative life: a preliminary journey through their correspondence.
- 39th ISFC Congress, UTS 16-20 July 2012. Paper presented: The Language of Simone de Beauvoir: Influence and Transcendence.
- 38th ISFC Congress, Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 25-29 July 2011. Paper presented: The transcendental power of Simone de Beauvoir’s language.
- ASFS 2011: French Connections: traduction, didactique et analyse du discours. ANU, Canberra, 27-28 November 2011. Paper presented: Une analyse systémique fonctionnelle du langage de Simone de Beauvoir: influence et transcendance.