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Book: Describing Language: Form and Function

Chapter: Chapter 6: The Grammarian's Dream: Lexis as Most Delicate Grammar [1987]

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24908


Halliday’s quote ‘The grammarian’s dream is … to turn the whole of linguistic form into grammar, hoping to show that lexis can be defined as “most delicate grammar” ’ (1961: 267) is the basis for arguing for an uninterrupted continuity between grammar and lexis. Realizing the grammarian’s dream of lexis as “most delicate grammar” requires extending the delicacy of each of the four lexicogrammatical networks, each specified by one of the four metafunctions – experiential, logical, interpersonal and textual – so as to turn it into a device for the description and generation of units of form called “lexical item”.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ruqaiya Hasan ( - book-auth-41) 'Macquarie University (Emeritus)'