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An Introduction to Relational Network Theory

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This book offers an updated introduction to Relational Network Theory (RNT), a neurocognitive model of language compatible with systemic-functional tenets. It describes and illustrates the logical types of relations found in a linguistic network. Part I traces the evolution of RNT from the 1960s to the present, highlighting its systemic and stratificational origins, introducing its main notational devices, and identifying successive theoretical milestones (from structural, to operational, to neurocognitive considerations). Part II offers an unprecedented collection of case studies showing descriptive applications of RNT. The studies deal with varied linguistic phenomena in different languages (phonological patterns in Russian, morphological systems in Polish and Spanish, pronouns and nouns in English discourse, speech errors in English and Polish). The book is prefaced by Michael Halliday and includes a recent interview with Sydney Lamb, the main developer of the theory. Its didactic style and descriptive rigor render it useful for both linguistics students and professional linguists.

Published: May 1, 2017


Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures and Tables Adolfo García
Acknowledgments Adolfo García
Foreword: On the Creation and Creator of RNT M.A.K. Halliday
Introduction Adolfo García
Part I: Convergences: Linguistic, operational, and neurological considerations
1. The Origins of Relational Network Theory Adolfo García
2. From Language Structure to Language Processing Adolfo García
3. From Neurological Structures to Language Processing Adolfo García
Part II: Descriptive Applications
4. An RNT Approach to Russian Obstruent Onsets Adolfo García
5. An RNT Approach to the Polish Genitive Adolfo García
6. An RNT Approach to Spanish Pronominal Clitics and Verb Endings Adolfo García
7. An RNT Approach to Participants in English Texts Adolfo García
8. An RNT Approach to Speech Errors in English and Polish Adolfo García
Afterword Adolfo García
An Interview with Sydney Lamb Adolfo García
End Matter
Glossary of Terms Adolfo García
References Adolfo García
Indexes Adolfo García


The reason the present book is so timely is that it will provide another mode of access to [Relational Network Theory], for those who would be able to approach it with the required specialist knowledge. It is time that such people let [...] us know how it shapes up, as an account of the linguistic system, and of the processes of learning and using language, in the light of current research.
From the Foreword by MAK Halliday