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Title: A Theory of Syntax for Systemic Functional Linguistics
Written By: Robin P Fawcett
Series Title: Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 206


This book describes and evaluates alternative approaches within Systemic
Functional Linguistics (SFL) to representing the structure of language at the
level of form. It assumes no prior knowledge of SFL, and can therefore be
read as an introduction to current issues within the theory. It will interest any
linguist who takes a functional approach to understanding language.
Part 1 summarizes the major developments in the forty years of SFL's
history, including alternative approaches within Halliday’s own writings and
the emergence of the "Cardiff Grammar" as an alternative to the "Sydney
Grammar". It questions the theoretical status of the 'multiple structure'
representations in Halliday’s influential Introduction to Functional Grammar
(1994), demonstrating that Halliday’s model additionally needs an integrating
syntax such as that described in Part 2.
Part 2 specifies and discusses the set of 'categories' and 'relationships' that
are needed in a theory of syntax for a modern, computer-implementable
systemic functional grammar. The theoretical concepts are exemplified at
every point, usually from English but occasionally from other languages.
The book is both a critique of Halliday’s current theory of syntax and the
presentation of an alternative version of SFL that is equally systemic and
equally functional.

Table of contents
Acknowledgements v
An invitation vii
List of figures xiv
Preface xv
Preface to the 2010 paperback edition xxv–xxviii
1 Introduction
2 SFL's original theory of syntax: Scale and Category Grammar 15
3 The place of syntax in a modern Systemic Functional Grammar 33
4 Halliday's later changes to the Scale and Category model 45
5 Syntax in a generative systemic functional grammar 77
6 The major concepts of An Introduction to Functional Grammar 95
7 The problem of the representations in IFG (and an alternative approach) 107
8 "Some proposals for systemic syntax" 159
9 A theory of syntax potential 171
10 A new theory of instances of syntax: (1) the categories of syntax 187
11 A new theory of instances of syntax: (2) the relationships between
‘categories’ 233
12 Summary, conclusions and prospects 273
Appendix A: A fragment of a generative systemic functional grammar 297
Appendix B: A summary of English syntax for the text analyst 303
Appendix C: The 'rank scale' debate 309
References 339
Index 353

"Like most linguistic theories, Systemic Functional Linguistics comes in
various flavours. Undoubtedly the two most influential varieties [...] are what
we may call the Sydney and Cardiff approaches, the first [...] being
associated with Halliday and his colleagues in Australia, and the second with
the team headed by Robin Fawcett at Cardiff University. Fawcett's new book
is especially welcome because [it] offers a [...] convincing critique of many
fundamental concepts in Halliday's work and presents a set of proposals
which avoid the problems which have been identified. His book, written in the
spirit of constructive criticism, offers a considerable challenge to the Sydney
grammarians: it remains to be seen whether this challenge will be taken up."
Christopher S. Butler, 2002, University of Wales, Swansea.
"If SFG is to occupy the place which some linguists would say it deserves,
its postulates should be subjected to fair public scrutiny. This is just what
[this] book does."
Christopher S. Butler, 2000, University of Wales, Swansea.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Functional & Systemic Ling
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9027248303
ISBN-13: 9789027248305
Pages: 360
Prices: Europe EURO 39.00
U.S. $ 59.00