Michael Halliday bigraphy, stories - Linguists

Michael Halliday : biography

13 April 1925 -

Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday (often M.A.K. Halliday) (born 13 April 1925) is a British-born Australian linguist who developed the internationally influential systemic functional linguistic model of language. His grammatical descriptions go by the name of systemic functional grammar (SFG).See Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. "On Grammar: Volume 1" in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London: Continuum. Halliday describes language as a semiotic system, "not in the sense of a system of signs, but a systemic resource for meaning".Halliday, M.A.K. 1985. Systemic Background. In "Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, Vol. 1: Selected Theoretical Papers" from the Ninth International Systemic Workshop, James D. Benson and William S. Greaves (eds). Ablex. Reprinted in Full in Volume 3 in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London: Continuum. p. 192. For Halliday, language is a "meaning potential"; by extension, he defines linguistics as the study of "how people exchange meanings by 'languaging'".Halliday, M.A.K. 1985. Systemic Background. In "Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, Vol. 1: Selected Theoretical Papers" from the Ninth International Systemic Workshop, James D. Benson and William S. Greaves (eds). Ablex. Reprinted in Full in Volume 3 in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London: Continuum. p. 193. Halliday describes himself as a generalist, meaning that he has tried "to look at language from every possible vantage point", and has described his work as "wander[ing] the highways and byways of language".Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. A Personal Perspective. In "On Grammar: Volume 1" in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London: Continuum. pp. 7, 14 However, he has claimed that "to the extent that I favoured any one angle, it was the social: language as the creature and creator of human society".Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. A Personal Perspective. In "On Grammar: Volume 1" in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London: Continuum. p. 6

Studies of grammar

Halliday's first major work on the subject of grammar was "Categories of the theory of grammar", published in the journal Word in 1961.Halliday, M.A.K. 1961. "Categories of the theory of grammar". Word, 17 (3), pp. 241–92. In this paper, he argued for four "fundamental categories" for the theory of grammar: unit, structure, class, and system. These categories, he argued, are "of the highest order of abstraction", but he defended them as those necessary to "make possible a coherent account of what grammar is and of its place in language"Halliday, M.A.K. 1961 "Categories of the theory of grammar. Word 17(3). Reprinted in full in Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. "On Grammar". Volume 1 in the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. p. 41. In articulating the category unit, Halliday proposed the notion of a rank scale. The units of grammar formed a "hierarchy", a scale from "largest" to "smallest" which he proposed as: "sentence", "clause", "group/phrase", "word" and "morpheme".Halliday, M.A.K. 1961 "Categories of the theory of grammar. Word 17(3). Reprinted in full in Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. "On Grammar". Volume 1 in the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. p. 45. Halliday defined structure as "likeness between events in successivity" and as "an arrangement of elements ordered in places'.Halliday, M.A.K. 1961 "Categories of the theory of grammar. Word 17(3). Reprinted in full in Halliday, M.A.K. 2002. "On Grammar". Volume 1 in the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. p. 46. Halliday rejects a view of structure as "strings of classes, such as nominal group + verbalgroup + nominal group" among which there is just a kind of mechanical solidarity" describing it instead as "configurations of functions, where the solidarity is organic".Halliday, M.A.K. 2005. Introduction. Studies in English Language. Volume 7 in the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday. London and New York: Continuum. pxvii.

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