Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

5. Method and imagination in Halliday’s science of linguistics

Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

David Butt [+-]
Macquarie University
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David Butt is associate Professor in linguistics at Macquarie University and for more than a decade has been the Director of the University Research Centre for Language in Social Life (CLSL: now a Research Network). This Centre has conducted projects across communities and institutions for which functional linguistics provided significant evidence about the management of change. Through the Centre, he has been actively engaged with professionals in medicine (surgery and psychiatry), counselling, care for people with disabilities, intelligent systems design and brain sciences, cultural analysis (literature, theatre, world Englishes), complexity theory and 'smart spaces', Vygotskian approaches to education and training, financial reporting, courtroom explanations and forensic evidence, media and journalism, and child language development (in the traditions of Trevarthen and Halliday). The Centre has also investigated the interrelations between linguistics, verbal art (especially poetry), philosophy and the arguments of natural sciences (viz biology; genetics; and physics). The Centre has actively promoted educational developments in various cultures beyond Australia - Singapore, India, and especially with Timor and in Indonesia. David has published extensively on verbal art and has conducted many research projects and classes on the subject.

Description

Linguists, like other varieties of scientists, have varied in the degree to which they invest space and rhetorical energy in telling other linguists what is and is not linguistics and what is and is not science. Halliday appears to have done little of such telling; certainly by comparison with other influential figures of his era. This lower visibility as a gatekeeper to a science of linguistics has led to a number of seriously mistaken assumptions amongst linguists themselves and amongst those in the wider academic community who, at various removes from linguistic investigations, have had to rely on generalised reports of the goals, methods and findings of linguistic research. The first mistake has been to assume that Halliday has not been as scientific as other linguists who have protested their conceptions of science ostentatiously (viz. Bloomfield, 1933: Chapter 9; Chomsky, 1972: 112–14 and 115ff).

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Citation

Butt, David. 5. Method and imagination in Halliday’s science of linguistics. Continuing Discourse on Language - A Functional Perspective, Volumes 1 and 2. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 81 - 116 Nov 2005. ISBN 9781845531140. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19784. Date accessed: 08 Aug 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19784. Nov 2005

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