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An Introduction to Functional Grammar [Paperback]

Michael Halliday , Christian Matthiessen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Jun 2004 0340761679 978-0340761670 3
This third edition of An Introduction to Functional Grammar has been extensively revised. While retaining the organization and coverage of the earlier editions, it incorporates a considerable amount of new material. This includes strengthening the grammar through the use of data from a large-scale corpus, upgrading the description throughout, and giving greater emphasis to the systemic perspective, in which grammaticalization is understood in the context of an overall model of language.

The approach taken in the book overcomes the distinction between theoretical and applied linguistics. The description of grammar is grounded in a comprehensive theory, but it is a theory which evolves in the process of being applied.

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 3 edition (25 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340761679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340761670
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 17.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 519,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review invaluable presentation of, and rationale for, the central descriptive apparatus of Halliday's systemic-functional grammar of English...essential reading for all students of English textual structure, teeming with insights.
Michael Toolan, University of Birmingham, UK

Anyone who claims any interest in practical grammar and its relationship to theoretical grammar should certainly familiarise themselves with it.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition

This is a must if one is to study functional linguistics.
Dr E Ventola, University of Salzburg

'Very complete - best textbook for functional grammar.'
Prof C Sionis, La Rochell University

This book does what it sets out to do - it presents a (very detailed) introduction to (systemic) functional grammar ... The book is well signposted, with clear chapter headings and section subheadings. There is also extensive cross-referencing between sections throughout ... I recommend this book to readers who want to understand what systemic-functional grammar offers to text analysis.

Elaine W. Vine, NZSAL

About the Author

Michael Halliday is Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney
Christian Matthiessen is Professor of Linguistics at Macquarie University, Australia

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Language Beyond the Clause 14 Sep 2004
The third edition of "An Introduction to Functional Grammar" presents an updated and accurate account of Systemic Linguistics and its applications to Language Studies. Far from being a complex book, this grammar introduces the reader to a wide range of key aspects of english and its open-ended linguistic questions about clause structure, meaning, and use. So rather than being complex, it is complete. In a threefold perspective, this book depicts language as the realization of a system of linguistic choices as writers or speakers interact with people (interpersonal function) and represent their social and cultural experiences (ideational function) through texts (textual function). What is more, Halliday's and Matthiessen's grammar also presents a fully comprehensive account of clause complexes (noun groups, verbal groups, and coordination and subordination), cohesion (the linkage between lexis, clauses, texts and discourse) and metaphorical modes of expression (language used in its normal structure or metaphorically). It is undoubtedly a very useful resource for Critical Discourse Analysts, Language Teachers, Translators, Corpus Linguists and several qualified professionals who study language and/or live by it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taking this one slowly 23 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is quite a technical book for students of English language. The focus is on grammar and I really think it's more than an 'Introduction' since there is a lot in it that seems very advanced. It's one to work through slowly as some of the concepts are very complex and you need to work them out before they click. It's a set book for one of the Open University English Language modules.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grammar that's about Meaning 29 Mar 2003
By JLL - Published on
Halliday's Introduction to Functional Grammar, now in its revised and improved Second Edition, is the best book you can read if you want to understand how English grammar is a resource for making meaning. Most formal grammar is just about syntax -- how words get put together grammatically, with no consideration of how people use language to communicate a meaning. This book has been the basis for many of the most successful applications of linguistics to education, language teaching, and studies of culture, communication, mass media, politics, etc. It's a book to read, use, and keep.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't be a stranger 23 May 2000
By "imarij" - Published on
It often happens when you read an introduction into a linguistic theory, whichever linguistic theory, that you lose track somewhere halfway page 3 or so. The terminology that gets thrown at you is confusing and before you know it you decide that you are not a welcome visitor in this particular area of linguistics. That is one thing that will not happen to you when reading Halliday's Introduction into Systemtic Functional Grammar. The book is clear, well-written and provides a lot of examples which are analyzed in detail. With regard to the theory that is discussed in the book, one may feel compelled to attack the necessity of some of the concepts that Halliday has thought up; one may want to contest the definition of other concepts (especially the concept of Theme is heatedly debated), or one may want to vehemently disagree with their application (I certainly do at times). But when you are looking for a quick and clear introduction into this theory (for instance, because you would like to join the discussion on Theme), this is the book to get your hands on.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Intro 7 May 2007
By T. Bean - Published on
An accessible introduction to systemic functional linguistics. My linguistics professor calls this book "the Bible." :)
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice alternaive to Chomskyan models 13 May 2013
By stan mccray - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although most people, linguists and laymen, believe that linguistics begins and ends with Noam Chomsky, substantial work in the area of Functional Grammar proves that this is not the case. Halliday's version of the theory is laid out in this impressive work which, though laborious at times, is well worth the effort of attentive reading and comparison with other more well-known models.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, great illustrations 26 Jan 2013
By Justin R. Woods - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the concepts, and illustrations that helped to solidify them which Halliday uses. What is especially noted about this grammar as one of the major contributions of SFL is Halliday's concept of transitivity and its relationship to the ideational metafunction of discourse. This was the book that propelled me to dig deeper into sociolinguistics (see Halliday, Language as Social Semiotic) and thinking with an SFL mindset throughout my graduate education in Biblical Studies (MDiv, and MA). Although my application may not appeal to all, the general theory of a functional orientation to linguistic study can be applied across the board of human behavior and sociology. For me, it's the reorientation of putting "man" back into the linguistic analysis that sparked my desire.

For me, highly recommended.
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