The Architecture of Phonology According to Systemic Functional Linguistics
Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen [+]
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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.