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Systemic Functional Linguistics, Part 1

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The Collected Works of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen covers more than 35 years of work by one of the world's leading scholars in the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) school. It examines the nature, functions and structure of human language from a number of points of view within the framework of contemporary scientific thought. The series is organized into a number of distinct topics that reinforce each other, and together constitute a coherent, cutting-edge body of theoretical and descriptive work. VOLUME 1 provides the foundation for the whole series of collected works, and includes chapters that serve as introduction of and summaries of Systemic Functional Linguistics. It is concerned with the nature of systemic functional linguistics as theory, as framework and as a school of linguistics. It includes an overview of the organization or the architecture of language according to SFL and of the lexicogrammatical subsystem of language, and of Halliday's conception of language as a resource for making meaning. It is also concerned with the history and development of SFL. A new chapter written for this volume addresses the theme underpinning all chapters in the volume: the challenge of theorizing language. It introduces the metaphor of cartography, used by Matthiessen in his work on language, as a way of mapping linguistic theory, showing how all areas relate to one another.

Published: Mar 1, 2021


Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Christian Matthiessen
List of Tables Christian Matthiessen
Acknowledgements Christian Matthiessen
Foreword Erich Steiner
Editorial Introduction Kazuhiro Teruya, Diana Slade, Canzhong Wu
Introduction Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 1
Lexicogrammar in Systemic Functional Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical Developments in the “IFG” Tradition since the 1970s Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 2
The 'Architecture' of Language According to Systemic Functional Theory: Developments since the 1970s Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 3
Ideas and New Directions Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 4
Systemic Functional Linguistics Developing Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 5
Halliday on Language Christian Matthiessen
Chapter 6
The Architecture of Phonology According to Systemic Functional Linguistics Christian Matthiessen
End Matter
References Christian Matthiessen
Index Christian Matthiessen


The depth and breadth of [Matthiessen's] thinking about language manifested in these contributions is exceptional, ranging from questions of the grammar and semantics of English and other languages, through issues in translation, in multimodal communication and in computational linguistics to fundamentals of linguistic and semiotic methodology. It is this breadth, together with a very consistent high level of quality, which constitutes one aspect of Matthiessen's scholarly achievements. Regrettably, too many of his ideas to date have been difficult to access, have not been placed in their most coherent thematic context or have remained unpublished altogether. This makes a representative collection of these works timely and highly welcome for the linguistic community.
From the Foreword by Professor Dr. Erich Steiner, Saarland University

This book and the subsequent volumes in Matthiessen’s collected works will be a key contribution to the field of SFL and linguistics more generally. The depth of the ideas and understanding presented in this volume are integral to understanding SFL; further, the breadth of scholarship and intellectual engagement within and beyond the field is truly impressive.
Language, Context and Text