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Book: Developing Systemic Functional Linguistics

Chapter: 7. Appliable Discourse Analysis

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.19467


There is general agreement that linguistics is the scientific study of language; in Wikipedia, it is characterized as ‘the scientific study of human language’. However, there is as yet no consensus about what actually constitutes the – or even a – scientific study of language and there is also as yet no agreement about the nature of language (see e.g. Halliday, 1977, and Seuren, 1998, on two currents running through the history of scholarly thinking about language – language as resource/ecologists vs. language as rule/formalists): linguists differ in their views about the nature of data, of methodology, and of theory; and they also differ in their views regarding the relationship between data and theory, between description and theory, and between theory and application.

Chapter Contributors

  • Christian Matthiessen ( - cmatthiessen) 'The Hong Kong Polytechnic University'