'Halliday's investigations into grammatical metaphor take us deeply into
the way we construct and expand meanings, starting with representations of
concrete experienced events and ending with theoretical worlds populated by
abstract entities linked through generalized relations and causalities. He
finds these processes most strikingly in the development of the modern
sciences that have historically created robust virtual worlds of theory
from observable material events. He sees the same processes of grammatical
metaphor as children learn to participate in our built symbolic
environment, particularly as they are introduced to these meaning systems
in schools, an institution designed expressly for that purpose.'
Professor Charles Bazerman, University of California, Santa Barbara.
The fifth volume of the collected works of Professor M.A.K. Halliday, 'The
Language of Science' explores "the semantic character of scientific
discourse." The chapters are organized into two sections, one being on
grammatical metaphor; the other dealing with scientific English. In
language, there exists the potential for constructing new discourses, among
them scientific discourse. The volume opens with a new work from Professor
Halliday addressing the question, "How big is a language?" It is a question
that goes to the heart of the paradigmatic complexity, or meaning
potential, that characterizes language.