Systemic Functional Linguistics: Theory and Practice


On 25 February Dr Lise Fontaine conducted an eight hour seminar on Systemic Functional Linguistics. This seminar was prepared in collaboration with Margaret Berry. The seminar approached the notions of choice, metafunction and meaning. After an initial session on ‘Meaning as choice’, each one of the main metafunctions identified by Halliday received attention in separate sessions (‘Interpersonal meanings with particular reference to getting people to do things’, ‘Textual meanings with particular reference to thematic options and success in writing’, ‘Experiential meanings with particular reference to participants and processes’). After this general description of the functional framework, the closing session was devoted to the subject and its relevance in functional analysis (‘Subject as hub of meaning: doing SFL’). This seminar is available at

Lise Fontaine is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University (Wales). She lectures mainly on functional grammar, word meaning, corpus linguistics, and psycholinguistics, which form part of her research interests, too. She is the author of Analyzing English Grammar: A systemic-functional introduction, CUP (2012) and Referring in Language: An integrated approach, CUP (in preparation with Katy Jones). She is also co-editor of Systemic Functional Linguistics: Exploring Choice (CUP, 2013), The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics (CUP, in preparation) and Choice in Language (Equinox, 2013).

Margaret Berry, now retired, was Reader in English Language at the University of Nottingham, UK. She has published introductory books on systemic linguistics, and articles on systemic functional linguistic theory, context of situation, exchange structure, Theme and Rheme, register variation, and the application of systemic functional linguistics to the teaching of English. She has lectured in China, Australia and Canada, as well as in European countries.

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