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Systemic Functional Linguistics

An Introduction to Functional Grammar.
Michael A.K. Halliday.
Edward Arnold. London. 1985.

Language, Context and Text: a social semiotic perspective.
Michael A.K. Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan.
Deakin University Press. Geelong, Victoria. 1985.

Construing experience through meaning: a language-based approach to cognition.
Halliday, Michael A.K. and Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M.
de Gruyter. Berlin. 1999.

Working with Functional Grammar.
Martin, J. R. and Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. and Painter, Clare.
Hodder Education, London. 1996.

Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL) is a theory of language centred around the notion of language function. While SFL accounts for the syntactic structure of language, it places the function of language as central (what language does, and how it does it), in preference to more structural approaches, which place the elements of language and their combinations as central. SFL starts at social context, and looks at how language both acts upon, and is constrained by, this social context. A central notion is 'stratification', such that language is analysed in terms of four strata: Context, Semantics, Lexico-Grammar and Phonology-Graphology.