The Architecture of Phonology According to Systemic Functional Linguistics

Systemic Functional Linguistics, Part 1 - Volume 1 - Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen

Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen [+-]
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
View Website
Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen is a Swedish-born linguist and a leading figure in the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) school, having authored or co-authored more than 100 books, refereed journal articles, and papers in refereed conference proceedings, with contributions to three television programs. He is currently Chair Professor in the Department of English at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before this, he was Chair of the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney. Professor Matthiessen has worked in areas as diverse as language typology, linguistics and computing, grammatical descriptions, grammar and discourse, functional grammar for English-language teachers, text analysis and translation, the evolution of language.


In this chapter, I will locate the process of creating theory in the overall realm of linguistic activities, placing it in a hierarchy of such activities according to the “size” of the domain of data that must be covered by the activity: theorizing (language in general, as a human semiotic) — comparing and typologizing (languages as particular manifestations of language) — describing (a particular language) — analysing (text instantiating a particular language). I will suggest how to model the theory itself as a resource for undertaking other linguistic activities, including also the activity of applying the outcomes of linguistic activities to solve problems that arise in different institutions in the community and the continued development of the theory. This thus also relates to metatheoretical concerns — the choice among different kinds of theory, the relationship between theory and data, the question of how to relate theories from different disciplines, theory and the consumer. The chapter will not only provide an overview map of current theory but also of issues that need to be addressed as the theory is revised and developed to give it greater power, extended its theoretical potential.

Notify A Colleague


Matthiessen, Christian. The Architecture of Phonology According to Systemic Functional Linguistics. Systemic Functional Linguistics, Part 1 - Volume 1. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2020. ISBN 9781781797082. Date accessed: 16 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34628. Sep 2020

Dublin Core Metadata