Systemic Linguistics
(2,848 words)

Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), formulated most noticeably by M.A.K. Halliday (1976, Halliday and Matthiessen 2004/2008), views language as a system of choice of meaning, that means “[a] language is a resource for making meaning, and meaning resides in systemic patterns of choice” (Halliday and Matthiessen 2008:23). Three kinds of metafunctions, that is, meanings in three modes, are defined in SFL: ideational, interpersonal, and textual. The ideational metafunction construes human experie…

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Guowen YANG, “Systemic Linguistics”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 16 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2015

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