The place of systemic functional linguistics as a linguistic theory in the twenty-first century

Authored by: John A. Bateman

The Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415748407
eBook ISBN: 9781315413891
Adobe ISBN: 9781315413884


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In this chapter, I attempt to briefly position systemic functional linguistics (SFL) in relation to the major streams of current linguistic theorising. It will become clear that many of the differences to be observed can be traced back to differences in basic philosophical orientations adopted in the early phases of SFL’s development. This makes any straightforward characterisation or comparison across accounts a considerable challenge and, without some common basis for discussion, meaningful points of contact will be difficult to find. The chapter therefore begins by presenting an abstract scaffold for viewing linguistic accounts of all kinds, then proceeds to address some selected points on which an alignment between SFL and other current theories has been seen as problematic. Particular areas of discussion will include pragmatics, the relationship to cognition, the place of syntax, and general questions of data, validation, verification and explanation.

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