Note: This is the paperback edition of a previously announced book.
This is the first grammar of French to provide an overall account of the
language from a systemic functional perspective. Alice Caffarel uses this
approach to linguistics, pioneered by Michael Halliday, to provide a
description of French grammar in terms of its meaning potential and
realizations in structure. This grammar has been developed as a resource
for discourse analysis (including the analysis of literary texts) and for
understanding how French grammar makes meaning in different textual and
One of the key aspects of this description is that it provides various
perspectives from which to explore grammar as a meaning-making potential,
from the system end and the text end of the cline of instantiation. This
multi-perspectival approach brings out both the resources specific to
particular registers and the resources general to the language. In
addition, it provides multiple pathways for exploring how meaning (both
first-order and second-order) is both construed and constructed by
lexicogrammatical patterns in texts.
This systemic functional approach to French therefore reveals a unique new
perspective on one of the world's most widely used international languages.
The book gives a comprehensive account of French grammar which is suitable
for use by undergraduates, postgraduates and academics who wish to analyse
texts of various registers, and researchers in systemic functional and
Dr Alice Caffarel is Senior Lecturer in the Department of French Studies at
the University of Sydney.
Foreword by Professor M. A. K. Halliday (b. 1925). Professor M. A. K.
Halliday was Foundation Professor of Linguistics at the University of
Sydney, Australia, until his retirement and has taught as a Visiting
Professor around the world. As a self-styled ‘generalist’ he has published
in many branches of linguistics.
"[The] consistent interplay between theoretical and applied pursuits has
always been a defining feature of systemic functional theory... This kind
of mutual enrichment is clearly demonstrated in Alice Caffarel's work. The
result is a description which penetrates to the heart of the language,
revealing it at one and the same time as a specimen of the human semiotic
and a unique resource for the continuous creation of meaning."
"In the volume’s foreword, Michael Halliday, the foremost SF linguist,
claims that Caffarel’s work will interest three different groups of
readers: (a) readers already familiar with SF but unfamiliar with French
lexicogrammar, (b) readers already familiar with French but unfamiliar with
SF, and (c) readers interested in a typological approach to linguistic
metafunctions. In my opinion, the work is most appropriate for the first
group of readers... this volume seems best suited for readers already
familiar with discourse-oriented or usage-based grammar, either in terms of
SF grammar or another framework, such as cognitive grammar or construction
- Carl S. Blyth, MLJ Reviews, (Modern Language Journal),
Vol. 92 No. 3, 2008