Introducing M.A.K. Halliday  book cover
1st Edition

Introducing M.A.K. Halliday

ISBN 9780367763725
Published May 6, 2022 by Routledge
280 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

M.A.K. Halliday (1925–2018) was the founder of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) and, undoubtedly, one of the most influential linguists of his time, credited with changing the way that language and linguistics have been taught. SFL, as an appliable theory that approaches language as social semiotic, is the study of the relationship between language and its functions in social settings. Moreover, SFL conceives of language as a resource for making meaning and organizes language systemically as a huge network of interrelated choices of meaning.

This book is an introduction to the life and seminal works of Halliday. Targeting both SFL and non-SFL scholars, this book introduces Halliday’s life and work in simple terms, expounds his theoretical conceptions, illustrates how his theories have been applied to various areas of linguistics and offers additional readings for researchers who want to explore this area further.

Divided into six sections covering Hallidayan connections, theory and architecture of language, Hallidayan conceptions of language, systems and the modes of meaning, and applications of SFL, this accessible introduction is a key resource for researchers and students within the fields of linguistics and applied linguistics.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

Abbreviations and symbols



Section 1 The Hallidayan connections

Section 2 Towards an appliable theory of language

Section 3 The architecture of language

Section 4 The Hallidayan conceptions of language

Section 5 Systems and the modes of meaning

Section 6 Applications of Systemic Functional Linguistics


Appendix: M.A.K. Halliday’s publications


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Bo Wang is a lecturer at the School of Translation Studies, Jinan University, China. His research interests include Systemic Functional Linguistics, translation studies, discourse analysis and language description. He is co-author of Lao She’s Teahouse and Its Two English Translations (Routledge, 2020).

Yuanyi Ma is a lecturer at the School of International Cooperation, Guangdong Polytechnic of Science and Technology, China. Her research interests include Systemic Functional Linguistics, translation studies, discourse analysis and educational linguistics. She is co-author of Translating Tagore’s Stray Birds into Chinese (Routledge, 2021).


A very exciting volume offering an important contribution to linguistics through its encyclopaedic tour of Halliday’s theory, his influences and the fields he influenced. The breadth of coverage is impressive, complemented by an equally impressive reference list. This dip-in entry-style volume will keep readers coming back for years. 

Lise Fontaine, Cardiff University, UK


With all that has been written by and about M.A.K. Halliday, there is really nothing quite like this volume available today.

From the foreword by Donna R. Miller, University of Bologna, Italy