ReviewsThis hugely original book remaps the territory for the study of language generally, and systemic functional linguistics in particular, as we enter the mid-21st century. O’Grady and Bartlett cover vast swathes of research, juxtaposing approaches that are normally kept separate by disciplinary and sectarian boundaries. No cow is sacred for them, yet neither do they indulge in iconoclasm for its own sake. They are unafraid to rethink the subject from the ground up, taking in its most complex and abstract dimensions and aiming to extract the key principles underlying them. And they possess the rare ability to get those dimensions across to readers in clear and engaging language. Halliday’s dream of a social semiotic is here realised on a solid empirical footing. A true tour de force.
John E. Joseph, Professor of Applied Linguistics, School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh
The Language Dynamic is a significant contribution not only to systemic-functional linguistics, but to the language sciences more broadly. Authors Gerard O'Grady and Tom Bartlett articulate a series of compelling arguments to demonstrate the irreducibility of 'language' to abstract form. They show how languaging involves the co-articulation of multi-scalar dynamics that range from and integrate the neural, the bodily, and the socio-cultural scales. Both the extensive and elegant empirical analyses and the carefully argued theoretical re-working of key constructs such as articulation, criteriality, stratification, system, meta-redundancy, and others provide readers with important new analytical and theoretical tools for re-thinking many core constructs of SFL in the light of recent advances in the developing dialogue between the biological, cognitive, ecological, linguistic, and social sciences. The book is a major contribution to this dialogue. Highly recommended.
Paul J. Thibault, professor emeritus, linguistics & communication sciences, University of Agder, Kristiansand.
O'Grady and Bartlett's insightful and inclusive synthesis is just what the current clogged-up discipline of Linguistics needs as a basis for the next stage of Theory. I love the way their key concept, "dynamic" so elegantly extends the scope of Linguistics into a well-motivated three-way interdisciplinarity, in which so many problematic dyads (language and society, body and mind, grammar and discourse, biology and language, future and past)come together as intrinsically related strands of language and life.
Bob Hodge, Author of Social Semiotics for a Complex World (2017).