47th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC 47)

18th China National Conference on Discourse Analysis (CNCDA 18)

47th International Systemic Functional Pre-Congress Institute (PCI 47)

21st China Systemics Week (CSW 21)


21-23 July 2022: CSW 21 & PCI 47, SHENZHEN, CHINA

25-27 July 2022: ISFC 47 & CNCDA 18, SHENZHEN, CHINA










Hosted by:

University of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China (深圳大学)


Organised by:

School of Foreign Languages at University of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China

Language, Context and Text: The Social Semiotics Forum


Foreign Languages in China(《中国外语》)


Co-organised by:

Shenzhen Shenda Yifeng Culture Development Co., Ltd.


Welcome Speech

Professor ZHANG Xiaohong

Vice-President, University of Shenzhen


Distinguished international guests,

Dear colleagues and friends, old and new:

It is my great honour to welcome you at this Opening Ceremony of the 47th International Systemic Functional Congress, which was planned to take place two years ago, when I was then the Dean of the School of Foreign Languages.

We, as host of this important academic event, were well-prepared for the Congress in the summer of 2020, to which more than 900 abstracts had been submitted. However, our efforts were frustrated, of course, by the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, with its local and international impact. We so wish that we had been able to realise the original plan. Regrettably, the number of abstracts submitted this year is four times less than that received two years ago. That figure suggests that the global pandemic has frustrated so many systemicists’ interest in Shenzhen, which is, after all, the new international cosmopolitan city.

That frustration is understandable because Shenzhen is now an essential stretch of the Greater Bay Area, of intense interest to China and the world at large. I do hope we will be able to fulfill your wish to visit in the near future, when the health situation turns to normal.

Thank you to the Executive Committee of the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association for accepting our proposal to postpone the Congress until this summer. Thank you also to you all for overcoming considerable difficulties to make a contribution to this annual scholastic activity, which I understand has enjoyed a long-standing reputation from the mid-1970s. You are today taking initiatives, some of which, I am sure, will cause your names to be remembered by future generations.

International colleagues and friends, I am proud to mention the miracle of Shenzhen City, as well as the miracle of University of Shenzhen. Most probably you know the name of this University by the name of the city, but please allow me to tell you that University of Shenzhen also enjoys its own international fame. The University was founded in 1983 and, just through a span of less than 40 years, has achieved a strong international reputation. In fact, a considerable number of research teams are at the frontiers of their disciplines.

Comparatively, we could say that Linguistics here is playing catchup; but we have a large research community who have strong international academic associations and fruitful, international publications. I am confident that my Linguistics colleagues are making extraordinary progress, too, and will attract your attention to their innovative ideas.

The present Congress will, of course, enhance opportunities for in-depth interactions and exchanges among different generation of scholars. The academic growth of our younger generations will benefit from the exchanges, and make significant impact on the Greater Bay Area and beyond. Thank you so much for this.

I sincerely invite you to consider joining us by becoming a member of our Linguistics team, to work together for a prosperous future.

I look forward to meeting you online!

Thank you for participating in this important Congress.

The Theme of the Congress is:

SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS AND PRAXIS: Sustaining dialogue between theory and practice







          Alex) Xuanwei Peng | University of Shenzhen

Geoff Williams | University of Shenzhen & University of Sydney


    This congress will be an opportunity to re-examine praxis in SFL as it continues to expand globally and into new domains of activity. Praxis has been a key concept throughout the development of SFL. Halliday, in reflecting on the Marxist origins of SFL in his contribution to The Bloomsbury Companion to M.A.K. Halliday, commented:


… I have always thought of linguistic theory as something to be applied, to real problems either in research or in some domain of practice; eventually I came up with the term ‘appliable’ linguistics to encapsulate this preoccupation with a theory as a mode of action that is based on understanding. It is of course not specifically Marxist, except perhaps in the notion that there are cycles of mutual reinforcement between practice and theory: theory improves the effectiveness of practice, and practice contributes to the ongoing refinement of theory (Halliday 2015: 97).


    The organising committee again welcomes papers which address the interface between SFL theory and research/practice, oriented from either starting point, or which report advances in the ‘appliability’ of SFL using new theoretical developments.


The Congress is interested in but not confined to the following issues:


1. Developments in SFL Theory and Description

2. Case Studies of Individual Languages

3. Emerging Areas for SFL Transdisciplinary Research

4. Grammatical Metaphor and Discourse Strategies

5. Translation Studies

6. Ecolinguistics

7. Healthcare Communication

8. Clinical Linguistics

9. Language Education

10. Disciplinary English

11. Linguistic Studies of Literary Texts

12. Legal Registers

13. Multimodality/Multisemiosis

14. Corpus Research

15. Comparison of Contemporary Online Texts in Different Languages

16. Advances in Digitally-Based Research Methodologies

17. Semiotics and Applied Linguistics in Theoretical Orientations

18. SFL in relation to Modern Sciences (e.g. Quantum Mechanics, Theories of Complex Systems, Cybernetics, System Theory, Information Theory)

General Program of PCI 47 & CSW 21, Shenzhen/Beijing Time


Day 1/21 July

Day 2/22 July

Day 3/23 July



Workshop A:


Introducing Textual Function

ZHU, Yongsheng

Interpersonal Function and Its Realisation

Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840

Workshop A:

YANG, Bingjun

Functional-Semantic Relations in Clause Complex

YANG, Zhong

Grammatical Metaphor: Consensus and Controversy

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725

Workshop A:


Introduction to Multimodal Discourse Analysis

CHANG, Chenguang

Applying SFL in Language Teaching

Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373


Workshop B:

DORAN, Yaegan

The Language of Science (I)

Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840


Workshop C:


Language as Sign System: The Materiality and Sociality of Human Language (I)

Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840

Workshop B:

DORAN, Yaegan

The Language of Science (II)

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725


Workshop C:


Language as Sign System: The Materiality and Sociality of Human Language (II)

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725

Workshop B:

DORAN, Yaegan

The Language of Science (III)

Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373


Workshop C:


Language as Sign System: The Materiality and Sociality of Human Language (III)

Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373



Workshop D: 

LI, Zhanzi

Transitivity and Ideational Meaning

YU, Hui

Below the Clause: Groups and Phrases


Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840

Workshop D: 

HU, Chunyu

Introduction to Disciplinary English

YUAN, Chuanyou

Forensic & Legal Linguistics and Forensic Discourse Study from SFL Perspective

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725

Workshop D:

MIAO, Xingwei

Analysing Transitivity in Discourse

LIU, Chengyu

Meaning-Making in Systemic Functional Linguistics


Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373


Workshop E:

O’Donnell, Mick

Introduction to Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis for SFL (I)

Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840


Workshop F:


Intonation in the Grammar of English (I)

Meeting ID: 934 2319 5084; Code: 505 840

Workshop E:

O’Donnell, Mick

Introduction to Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis for SFL (II)

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725


Workshop F:


Intonation in the Grammar of English (II)

Meeting ID: 945 5503 3558; Code: 736 725

Workshop E: 

O’Donnell, Mick

Introduction to Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis for SFL (III)

Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373


Workshop F: 


Intonation in the Grammar of English (III)

Meeting ID: 944 7106 4609; Code: 974 373

General Program of ISFC 47 & CNCDA 18, Shenzhen/Beijing Time

(25—27 July Monday through Wednesday)

Day 1. ID: 961 2628 7228; Code: 619 903, for all the main Conference Hall

ID: 931 5301 1335; Code: 578 411, for all sessions

25th (Mon.)




Machine Testing


Opening Ceremony:

• Welcome Speech by Professor ZHANG Xiaohong, Vice President of Shenzhen University

• Welcome Speech by Professor HUANG Guowen, Chair of ISFC 47 Academic Committee (AC) & CNCDA

• Speech by Professor J.R. Martin, Senior Systemicist

• Speech by Professor C. Matthiessen, Chair of ISFC 47 AC


PENG Xuanwei


J. R. MARTIN: Construing Entities: Types of Structure (Plenary 1)



YANG Yanning: The Diachronic Typology of Constructions: A Systemic Functional Framework (Plenary 2)





HE Wei: Extension of Systemic Functional Linguistics: Eco-grammar for Ecological Discourse Analysis (Plenary 3)

Jennifer Yameng LIANG





Parallel 1: Discourse Analysis, Group I

MIAO Xingwei 

Parallel 2: Ecolinguistics

DI Yanhua

Parallel 3: Legal Registers

YUAN Chuanyou 

Parallel 4: Discourse Analysis, Group II

YANG Linxiu 

Parallel 5: Discourse Analysis, Group III

WU Geqi 

Parallel 6: Nominalisation

QU Yingmei 

Parallel 7: Disciplinary English, Group I

YU Zhigang 


Panel 1: Discourse of Family, Parenting and Motherhood


Panel 2: Applying Appraisal Theory in the Analysis of Stance and Persuasiveness




Christian M. I. M. MATTHIESSEN: The Language (Registers, Discourses) of Healthcare: Theory and Practice (Plenary 4)






Panel 3: A Multimodal Corpus-based Approach to Discourse Analysis

Parallel 8: Praxis of SFL, Group I

Anannya MONDAL

Parallel 9: Praxis of SFL, Group II


Parallel 10: Praxis of SFL, Group III

XU Hongying 


Teresa OTEÍZA: The appraisal System in Spanish: Resources for Building Graduation (Plenary 5)



Parallel 11: Praxis of SFL, Group IV

HAO Jing 


Panel 4: System Network as A Resource in Language Education

Day 2. ID: 961 6411 4470; Code: 500 302, for all main Conference Hall

ID: 928 4741 3759; Code: 306 902, for all sessions

26th (Tues.)




David BUTT: Semantic Cycles: From Context to Lexicogrammar, and Back Again (Plenary 6)



Panel 5: Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar

Panel 6: Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL

Parallel 12: Developments in SFL Theory & Description, Group I

YANG Bingjun 

Parallel 13: Image/Identity Construction

TANG Qingye 

Parallel 14: Praxis of Appraisal, Group I

LI Zhanzi 

Parallel 15: Praxis of Appraisal, Group II

YU Hui 

Parallel 16: SFL and Pedagogy

ZHAO Qingli 

Parallel 17: Disciplinary English, Group II

HU Chunyu 

Parallel 18: Multimodality & Paralanguage

XING Junjun 

Parallel 19: Grammatical Metaphor, Group I

Gao Yanmei




WANG Pin: Nominal Group Systems and Structures: A Systemic Typological Perspective (Plenary 7)



Panel 5: Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar

Panel 6: Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL

Parallel 12: Developments in SFL Theory & Description, Group I

YANG Bingjun 

Parallel 13: Image/Identity Construction

TANG Qingye 

Parallel 14: Praxis of Appraisal, Group I

LI Zhanzi 

Parallel 15: Praxis of Appraisal, Group II

YU Hui 

Parallel 16: SFL and Pedagogy

ZHAO Qingli 

Parallel 17: Disciplinary English, Group II

HU Chunyu 

Parallel 18: Multimodality & Paralanguage

XING Junjun 

Parallel 19: Grammatical Metaphor, Group I

Gao Yanmei




John BATEMAN: Challenges in Multimodality Research and the Need to Reconnect Theory, Empiricism and Practice (Plenary 8)

HE Yufei




ISFLA AGM: anyone who would like to participate in this meeting is welcome.




Day 3. ID: 937 7441 3480; Code: 078 882, for all main conference Hall

ID: 960 5209 7461; Code: 480 826, for all sessions

27th (Wed.)




Lise FONTAINE: Lexis beyond Rank (Plenary 9)



Parallel 20: Second Language Writing

HE Qingshun 

Parallel 21: Translation Studies


Parallel 22: SFL in Relation to Modern Sciences

LIU Chengyu 

Parallel 23: Interpersonality

YANG Caiying 

Parallel 24: Grammatical Metaphor, Group II

HE Zhongqing

Parallel 25: Developments in SFL Theory & Description, Group II

GAO Hua 


Shooshi DREYFUS: From the Personal and Private to the Community and Public – Using SFL to Improve the Lives of People with Severe Intellectual Disability (Plenary 10)






Theo van LEEUWEN: The Human Touch: Power and Solidarity in Online Shopping (Plenary 11)

Yaegan DORAN




Geoff WILLIAMS: Symposium for Discussions and Interactions of Congress Theme


Closing Ceremony

PENG Xuanwei









47th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC 47)

18th China National Conference on Discourse Analysis (CNCDA 18)

47th International Systemic Functional Pre-Congress Institute (PCI 47)

21st China Systemics Week (CSW 21)




Program in Detail


Monday, 25 July 2022 Shenzhen/Beijing Time

ISFC 47 & CNCDA 18


Machine Testing


Opening Ceremony

Chair: PENG Xuanwei

ID: 961 2628 7228;

Code: 619 903

Start at 08:30


J. R. MARTIN: Construing Entities: Types of Structure (Plenary speech 1)

Chair: Derek IRWIN


YANG Yanning: The Diachronic Typology of Constructions: A Systemic Functional Framework (Plenary speech 2)

Chair: Sue HOOD




HE Wei: Extension of Systemic Functional Linguistics: Eco-grammar for Ecological Discourse Analysis (Plenary speech 3)

Chair: Jennifer Yameng LIANG

Same as Above


Parallel 1:

Discourse Analysis,

Group I



MIAO Xingwei


Parallel 2:






DI Yanhua


Parallel 3:






YUAN  Chuanyou

Parallel 4:

Discourse Analysis, Group II



YANG Linxiu


Parallel 5:

Discourse Analysis,

Group III



WU Geqi


Parallel 6:






QU Yingmei


Parallel 7:

Disciplinary English,

Group I



YU Zhigang


Panel 1:

Discourse of Family, Parenting and Motherhood




Panel 2:

Applying Appraisal Theory in the Analysis of Stance and Persuasiveness



ID: 931 5301 1335; Code: 578 411, for all division sessions 


Working mechanisms and discourse functions of participant prominence


MIAO Xingwei

A corpus-based study of ecological metaphors in Chinese political discourse


DI Yanhua

Justice must be seen to be done: a multimodal discourse analysis of closing arguments in the murder case of George Floyd


YUAN Chuanyou,

Cao Huishu

Integrity and innovation in evidential studies


YANG Linxiu

From the “happy few” to the “happy many”: a social semiotic analysis of luxury branding discourse in the social media


Esterina NERVINO

Nominalisations in abstracts of master theses by EFL writers


QU Yingmei,

LIU Meishan

The role of genre embedding in creating a research gap in reports of randomised controlled trials


Dragana STOSIC


Wendy L. BOWCHER, CHANG Xinping, Jennifer Y. LIANG, Tana X. NIE, ZHANG Qianqian, ZHAO Wenting


XU Qingxin,



The interpersonal meaning of dialogue-structured self-help books: a case study of The Courage to be Disliked


LIN Xiaoling

The multimodal construction of ecological values in ecological print advertisements from the perspective of environmental communication: a case study of China’s wildlife conservation advertisements



JIN Shangran


Discursive construction of legal reasoning: A genre study of the U.S. Supreme Court opinions


LU Nan

An exploration on the interactivities of adverbial conjunctions in dramatic works in English and Chinese


YUAN Surong

A contrastive study of Chinese and American condemning in politics: a speech act?


SHI Wenrui




(HOU Jianbo)


Chemical formalisms in secondary school chemistry: toward a semiotic typology


YU Zhigang,

Yaegan DORAN




An analysis of impoliteness from the perspective of prosodic factors in Donald Trump’s speeches


LI Peng

A probe into the framing strategies of mediation discourse: from the perspective of harmonious discourse analysis




Fact reconstruction in criminal trials: a rhetorical process of discourse synergy


WU Qijing

A comparative discursive news values analysis of English reporting on China’s air pollution in The New York Times and China Daily (2013-2018)




A study on knowledge dynamism in online health communication video


WANG Shanghao

A corpus based study on nominalisation of Chinese college students’ English academic writing


DAI Yujie

When methods and results are intertwined: from a combined perspective of SFL and ESP


WANG Yingyu


A study of projecting processes in news discourse


JIA Peipei

An ecological discourse analysis of animal news based on Appraisal System



The semantic effects of interpersonal grammatical metaphor: a comparative study of Chinese and English judicial judgement/



XU Wentao

Critical discourse analysis of inaugural speech of Biden



Engaging with negative attitudes in academic book reviews: a cross-linguistic analysis


BU Zhanting

A corpus-based study of nominalisations in the sports news of Shanghai Gazette (1919-1920)


LI Bingru

From textuality to intertextuality: a functional discourse analysis of Hawking’s popular science text on Black Holes





An analysis of the interpersonal meaning of The New Year Address for 2022 by President Xi Jinping


HU Yuling


An ecological discourse analysis of Sino-British news reports on marine ecological construction from the perspective of engagement resources: taking China Daily and The Times for example


WU Yayin, ZHANG Yi


The interpersonal semantics of rhetoric: reasoning in criminal judgments in China


ZHANG Ranran





(ZHANG Yulan)

Rapport management in university enrolment posts on WeChat: an analysis of metadiscourse resources


WU Geqi

The formation and function of complex nominal groups: the case of nominalisation


LIU Zhiping

An interdisciplinary comparative analysis of personal pronouns in academic discourse: a case study of the first-person pronoun “WE”






Christian M. I. M. MATTHIESSEN: The Language (Registers, Discourses) of Healthcare: Theory and Practice (Plenary speech 4)

Chair: FANG Yan

ID: 961 2628 7228; Code: 619 903




Panel 3:

A Multimodal Corpus-based Approach to Discourse Analysis


Parallel 8:

Praxis of SFL, Group I


Chair: Anannya MONDAL


Parallel 9:

Praxis of SFL, Group II


Chair: Arianna MAIORANI


Parallel 10:

Praxis of SFL, Group III


Chair: XU Hongying


ID: 931 5301 1335; Code: 578 411



John BATEMAN, KONG Youqi, LIN Wei, HE Yufei,

XU Qingxin, WU Xiaoqin

The variation of Bangla tones in formal English conversation of interrogative clauses: a systemic functional linguistic study


Anannya MONDAL


Development of a digital corpus of Portuguese didactical texts for genre research


Mário Amado ALVES, Ângela QUARESMA, Carlos A. M. GOUVEIA, Fausto CAELS, Joana Vieira SANTOS, Helga ARNAUTH, Luís Filipe BARBEIRO, Marta Filipe ALEXANDRE, Paulo Nunes da SILVA


A multimodal discourse analysis of Disney’s Highest Grossing 21st Century Animated Adventure-comedy movie posters




ELT in India: some considerations from an SFL perspective



A two-pronged approach on expansion stratification and instantiation of the Chinese Academic English Corpus




The modal value in the subjectified clausal epistemic modality


LU Jiqiang


Detecting early warning signs of aggression in criminal language: multimodal forensic linguistic analysis of Samantha Wohlford’s YouTube videos




The Kinesemiotic Body: investigating the multimodal discourse organization of ballet through the Functional Grammar of Dance


Arianna MAIORANI, Russell LOCK, Massimiliano ZECCA, LIU Chun, John BATEMAN, Dayana MARKHABAYEVA


Information complexity of nominal expressions in English text


XU Hongying


Teresa OTEÍZA: The appraisal System in Spanish: Resources for Building Graduation (Plenary speech 5)

Chair: Lise FONTAINE

ID: 961 2628 7228; Code: 619 903


Parallel 11:

Praxis of SFL, Group IV


Chair: HAO Jing


ID: 931 5301 1335; Code: 578 411


Panel 4:

System Network as A Resource in Language Education




ID: 931 5301 1335; Code: 578 411



Winfred Wenhui XUAN, Christian MATTHIESSEN






Describing Chinese ideational discourse semantic resources: the construal of activities in historical recounts


HAO Jing




Logical grammatical metaphor on the scale of text: from paratactic to hypotactic


LI Xuejiao



A descriptive approach to the cryptogrammar of semiosis: hypotactic projection in Spanish


Beatriz QUIROZ


Tuesday, 26 July 2022

ISFC 47 & CNCDA 18


David BUTT: Semantic Cycles: From Context to Lexicogrammar, and Back Again (Plenary speech 6)

Chair: Edward MCDONALD

ID: 961 6411 4470; Code: 500 302


Parallel 12:

Developments in SFL Theory & Description, Group I



YANG Bingjun


Parallel 13:

Image/Identity Construction





TANG Qingye


Parallel 14:

Praxis of Appraisal, Group I



LI Zhanzi


Parallel 15:

Praxis of Appraisal,

Group II



YU Hui


Parallel 16:

SFL and Pedagogy





ZHAO Qingli


Parallel 17:

Disciplinary English,

Group II




HU Chunyu


Parallel 18:

Multimodality & Paralanguage




XING Junjun


Parallel 19:

Grammatical Metaphor, Group I





GAO Yanmei


Panel 5:

Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar





Panel 6:

Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL

ID: 928 4741 3759; Code: 306 902, for all division sessions


Ergativity in Chinese grammar



Corpus-based approach to diachronic representations of poverty alleviation in People’s Daily (1978-2020)


TANG Qingye, MU Yujia


The renewed application of Appraisal Theory in the context of international communications


LI Zhanzi


Applying the Appraisal framework to understand the pain experience: the case of patients with chronic conditions from Chile





The ecological imbalance in a college English class and its ethical reflections





From theory to practice: how to build ESL students’ disciplinary English literacy


JIN Nana,





Making visible the structuring of meaning in the synchronous convergence of spoken discourse, prosodic phonology and embodied paralanguage


Susan HOOD


Grammatical metaphor, discourse strategy and academic discourse competence


GAO Yanmei, LI Danni




CHEN Xiaoran, DONG Tianshu, LI Xinying, LIU Na, LIU Shuxin, WANG Jiawei, XIA Weifan, ZHAO Xiaoliang






PAN Li, PAN Hanting, HUANG Chuxin, ZENG Weixin, WU Xiaoping, Michelle Sut I LAM, QIAN Hong, FENG Dezheng (William), WU Danping, HAN Lin


The process-relation framework as a solution to the controversy of finiteness and non-finiteness


YANG Bingjun

The cultural influence on petroleum corporations’ CSR reports in China: a corpus-based study


CHEN Tingting


Packing a powerful punch: idioms and evaluative force


CHANG Chenguang


A study on heteroglossia in Chinese academic discourse


YU Hui,

ZHANG Shaojie

Why language teachers should look at pedagogic register






A study of metadiscursive nouns in corporate social responsibility reports


HU Chunyu,

LU Chunmei




Analyzing the gestures in Peking Opera: a systemic functional multimodal discourse perspective


CHANG Shuhan,

Jennifer Yameng LIANG


Grammatical metaphor as a pedagogical strategy for language teaching


LI Jie




Relative importance of consonant obstruents for determining native language background of Chinese, Dutch and American speakers of English


WANG Hongyan


Representations of the Belt and Road Initiative in expert discourse: a diachronic corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis


HU Heng


Dialogism in literary history discourse from the perspective of Engagement Theory


LAI Liangtao,

SU Shumiao


Adjective complementation patterns, local grammars, and Appraisal


SU Hang

From the learning of minutes to the learning of a lifetime: Iconisation in sex education


Georgia CARR


Knowledge building in tertiary medical science: a transdisciplinary study of disciplinary discourse and pedagogic practices focusing on the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) Program in China




Configuring multimodal genre relations in data news: A coupling perspective


XING Junjun


An analysis on modality metaphor in discussion section of linguistics research articles: a case study of Applied Linguistics


BAO Yue,



Four ways to tell a story: multilingual meaning potentials


David ROSE




(HUANG Fangjing)


Study of graduation resources in Civil Code


FU Youyou

Exploring interpersonal meanings of President Xi’s New Year Speech based on Appraisal Theory


LIN Hanzhao


Meaning building of English classroom discourse in primary schools


ZHAO Qingli


The use of modal adverbs of certainty in linguistic academic discourse






A comparative study of representational meaning of images in Chinese and American primary English textbooks: the perspective of multimodality


LI Jingjing


How intonation metaphor evolves: trans-categorization and transference


XU Wei, LIU Chengyu



A systemic functional characterization of evidentials in Korean


LI Meizi


A contrastive study of relational identity construction of American and Chinese hotels from person deixis: a case study of hotels’ responses to negative reviews





A comparative analysis of attitude resources in reports by Chinese and American media on UN Climate Change Conference


GAO Jiawen

N400 and the late frontal positive identify the invoked appraisal meanings in discourse


ZHANG Mingjin


Academic writing materials development and pedagogical application: from the perspective of classroom ecology


HUANG Kaiyu, CHEN Jing


A contrastive study of modality assessment in English and Chinese natural science academic discourses


DONG Juan,




Analysis of the influence factors of remediation and multimodal performance on the image creation of tourist attractions: a case study of Canton Tower


TANG Weize


A corpus-based study of interpersonal metaphors of modulation in English






WANG Pin: Nominal Group Systems and Structures: A Systemic Typological Perspective (Plenary speech 7)

Chair: J.R. MARTIN

ID: 961 6411 4470; Code: 500 302


A functional analysis of the “u+VG” construction in Teochew




Constructing a national identity of China for affiliating with international readers


LIU Feifei,

LUO Meng


Engagement in English research articles by Chinese and English writers from the perspective of Appraisal Theory


GU Xiaole,

BAO Beibei


Pragmatic purposes of evaluative resources in oral peer comments


MU Xuqin

Viewing to Learn: intermodal pedagogy in science


David ROSE


A corpus-based diachronic study of the modality in the abstract of marketing research articles





Multimodal construction of institutionalized anti-corruption: a diachronic study of metaphor in Chinese anti-corruption cartoons


LIU Yujie


Re-instantiating ideational metaphor in Chinese-English legal texts: a case study of bilingual texts of The Basic Law of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region


LI Yixi,

ZHANG Ranran




Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar








CHEN Xiaoran, DONG Tianshu, LI Xinying, LIU Na, LIU Shuxin, WANG Jiawei, XIA Weifan, ZHAO Xiaoliang











Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL




PAN Li, PAN Hanting, HUANG Chuxin, WU Xiaoping, Michelle LAM, QIAN Hong, FENG Dezheng (William), WU Danping, HAN Lin


A systemic functional perspective on language indeterminacy


CHAI Tongwen


Ambient affiliation and cultural identity of Weibo hashtags of festivals in a social semiotic perspective


PANG Yutian


A responsive model of evaluation: the Weibo news-comment relationship


HE Juan


Dynamic construction of affective stances in doctor-patient conflict discourse


SONG Jinge

A probe into continuation writing teaching in New Gaokao in China with genre-based literacy pedagogy of the Sydney School




Empowering media literacy of undergraduates in Business English program: evidence from the textbook corpus


LI Shuquan



Multimodal presentation of semantic waves in legal counseling discourse in community correction: a digital multimodal discourse analysis perspective




A preliminary inquiry into the notion of interpersonal iconicity


MA Haocheng





A study on the discursive construction of multimodal contextual metaphor


YAN Xiaoqing


A corpus-based study on China’s image construction in Covid-19 news reports


SHE Xiumin


Dialogic strategies of British news reports on China’s poverty alleviation: an engagement perspective


HE Ning


基于评价理论与图像语法的新闻语篇人际意义的实现分析——以CNNFox News有关Rittenhouse的系列报道为例



(YAO Haiyan)

Assessing the effects of explicit instructions on writing coherent essays with cohesive chains





A corpus-based study on the variation of causal language between academic spoken and written English from a systemic functional perspective




A multimodal discourse analysis of Covid-19-themed front covers of The Economist: a case study based on the Visual Grammar


YANG Jinhua


The behaviour of words in another language: a trinocular SFL perspective on loanwords


CHEN Wenge


The interpersonal system of PREDICATION in Khorchin Mongolian


ZHANG Dongbing





(YANG Huahua)


A study on the attitudinal meanings in people’s mediation discourse from the perspective of interpersonal harmony: a case study of the mediations of Consumers’ Association in Bishan, Chongqing



FAN Borui


Attitudinal evaluations in Chinese and English research articles: A cross-linguistic exploration of coupling pattern shifts


ZHAO Wenchao

Research on a SPOC-based flipped classroom model of teaching college EFL writing in China


YUAN Weiliang




(MIAO Ning)



Creating picture books on digital platforms: a semiotic technology perspective


ZHANG Kunkun

Interpersonal metaphor in interview discourse of science: a case study of interviews with Nobel laureates in medicine or physiology




The English possessive processes clauses construing meteorological experience: with snow as an instance


CHEN Gangni


Reconstructing history and culture in game discourse: a linguistic analysis of heroic stories in Honour of Kings


YAO Siyu

Disputants’ attitude resources and intentionality in family mediation discourse


LI Meiqi

A corpus-based appraisal analysis of experts’ and public opinions on Chinese Civil Law


ZONG Shan, ZHANG Liping

The pronominal copula in Arabic nominal verbless clauses from a Cardiff Grammar perspective


Hanaa SAMAHA, Yap Teng TENG, Kumaran RAJANDRAN

Construing generic complexity in English research articles



A social semiotic study of authenticity in agricultural products’ E-posters


ZHONG Xiaotang, CHEN Yi

Study of symbolic violence in online game discourse from the perspective of interpersonal grammatical metaphor






John BATEMAN: Challenges in Multimodality Research and the Need to Reconnect Theory, Empiricism and Practice (Plenary speech 8)

Chair: HE Yufei

ID: 961 6411 4470; Code: 500 302




AGM of the International Systemic Functional Linguistics Association (ISFLA)

(welcome anyone who is interested in ISFLA matters)

Chair: Derek IRWIN

ID: 961 6411 4470; Code: 500 302

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

ISFC 47 & CNCDA 18


Lise FONTAINE: Lexis beyond Rank (Plenary speech 9)

Chair: Teresa OTEÍZA

ID: 937 7441 3480; Code: 078 882


Parallel 20:

Second Language Writing



HE Qingshun


Parallel 21:

Translation Studies






Parallel 22:

SFL in Relation to Modern Sciences



LIU Chengyu


Parallel 23:





YANG Caiying


Parallel 24:

Grammatical Metaphor, Group II



HE Zhongqing


Parallel 25:

Developments in SFL Theory & Description, Group II




ID: 960 5209 7461; Code: 480 826, for all division sessions


A corpus-based study of noun modification in the academic writing by Chinese EFL writers


HE Qingshun


Translating rechnical terms as cross-cultural reinstantiation and recontextualization




Meaning-making in systemic functional linguistics


LIU Chengyu


The semantic compatibility of “yo” as a modal particle in Chinese


YANG Caiying


We believe that…”: metaphor of modality in advanced Chinese EFL learners’ research articles


HE Zhongqing

An emerging use of jiu-prefaced assessment in internet posts



GAO Hua, LIU Lianzhi


Promoting L2 writing development via a concept-based approach to teaching genre: a sociocultural intervention study in Chinese EFL writing classrooms


FU Zhuxia

A contrastive study of two translations of The Sight of Father’s Back from the perspective of transitivity system


GUO Lihui


An academic history of transdisciplinary cooperation between Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory



Interstratal realisation among formality (as wording), power (as meaning) and their contextual parameters: An integrative literature review




Ideational metaphor in Mandarin Chinese: from mental experience to material experience


MA Defeng


Transformative and creative agnation from numerical description to inferred comment in data commentaries


LIU Ning, Derek IRWIN


Interactive patterns of shell nouns in English academic writing


YU Haiyang


On the translation styles of the English translations of Pipa Xing: from the perspective of text complexity


YU Yingchen


Semantic Change in grammatical metaphor from the perspective of cognitive sociolinguistics


YU Hongjiang

Translating modal meanings in political discourse from a systemic functional perspective: a case study of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, Volume Ⅱ


HAO Sihan


A contrastive study of grammatical metaphors complexity in English and Chinese academic discourse


CHEN Yujuan

A corpus-driven study of the syntactic combination strength between the primary verbs and the gerund/infinitive: from the perspective of SFL





Shooshi DREYFUS: From the Personal and Private to the Community and Public – Using SFL to Improve the Lives of People with Severe Intellectual Disability (Plenary speech 10)

Chair: Georgia CARR

ID: 937 7441 3480; Code: 078 882




Theo van LEEUWEN: The Human Touch: Power and Solidarity in Online Shopping (Plenary speech 11)

Chair: Yaegan DORAN

ID: 937 7441 3480; Code: 078 882




Geoff WILLIAMS: Symposium for Discussions and Interactions of Congress Theme


Closing Ceremony

PENG Xuanwei








21st China Systemics Week (CSW 21) 1

1. CHENGUANG CHANG (常晨光), Sun Yat-sen University, China 2

2. YAN FANG (方琰), Tsinghua University, China 5

3. CHUNYU HU (胡春雨), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China 7

4. ZHANZI LI (李战子), National University of Defense Technology, China 9

5. CHENGYU LIU (刘承宇), Southwest University, China 11

6. XINGWEI MIAO (苗兴伟), Beijing Normal University, China 13

7. BINGJUN YANG (杨炳钧), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China 15

8. ZHONG YANG (杨忠), Northeast China Normal University, China 18

9. HUI YU (于晖), Beijing Normal University, China 20

10. CHUANYOU YUAN (袁传有), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China 22

11. DELU ZHANG (张德禄), Tongji University, China 24

12. YONGSHENG ZHU (朱永生), Fudan University, China 26


47th International Systemic Functional Pre-Congress Institute (PCI 47) 28

1. MEENA C. DEBASHISH, The English and Foreign Languages University, India 29

2. YAEGAN DORAN, University of Sydney & Australian Catholic University, Australia 33

3. EDWARD MCDONALD, Independent Scholar, Australia 37

4. MICK O’Donnell, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain 41


47th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC 47) 44

18th China National Conference on Discourse Analysis (CNCDA 18) 44

1. JOHN A. BATEMAN, University of Bremen, Germany 45

2. David Butt, Macquarie University, Australia 47

3. SHOOSHI DREYFUS, University of Wollongong, Australia 50

4. LISE FONTAINE, Cardiff University, United Kingdom 53

5. WEI HE, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China 57

6. THEO VAN LEEUWEN, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark & University of New South Wales, Australia 59

7. JAMES R. MARTIN, University of Sydney, Australia 62

8. CHRISTIAN M. I. M. MATTHIESSEN, Hunan University, China 65

9. TERESA OTEÍZA, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile 72

10. PIN WANG, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China 76

11. YANNING YANG, East China Normal University, China 78


Abstracts of Panel Speakers 80

Panel 1: Discourses of Family, Parenting and Motherhood 81

Wendy L. Bowcher, Tana X. Nie 81

Jennifer Yameng Liang 82

Zhao Wenting 83

Zhang Qianqian 84

Tana X. Nie 85

Chang Xinping 87

Panel 2: Applying Appraisal Theory in the Analysis of Stance and Persuasiveness 89

Xu Qingxin 90

Jing Yi 91

Panel 3: A Multimodal Corpus-based Approach to Discourse Analysis 93

John Bateman 95

Kong Youqi, Lin Wei 95

He Yufei, Xu Qingxin, Wu Xiaoqin 96

Panel 4: System Networks as A Resource in Language Education 99

Natalia Ignatieva, Victoria Zamudio-Jasso, Guillermo Jiménez-Sánchez, Daniel Rodríguez-Vergara 100

Sheena Gardner 102

Silvia Pessoa, Thomas D. Mitchell, Maria Pia Gomez-Laich 103

Jorge Arús-Hita 105

Panel 5: The Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar 108

Chen Xiaoran 108

Dong Tianshu 110

Li Xinying 113

Liu Na 115

Liu Shuxin 118

Wang Jiawei 120

Xia Weifan 123

Zhao Xiaoliang 125

Panel 6: Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL 128

Pan Li 128

Pan Hanting 130

Huang Chuxin 132

Zhang Xiaoyu, Zeng Weixin 134

Wu Xiaoping 136

Michelle Sut I Lam 138

Qian Hong, Feng Dezheng (William) 139

Pan Li, Wu Danping 140

Pan Li, Han Lin 143


Abstracts of Parallel Speakers 146

Balsam Alghamdi 147

Atheer M. Alqarni 149

Mário Amado Alves, Ângela Quaresma, Carlos A. M. Gouveia, Fausto Caels, Joana Vieira Santos, Helga Arnauth, Luís Filipe Barbeiro, Marta Filipe Alexandre, Paulo Nunes da Silva 151

Thomas Amundrud 153

Bao Yue, Zhang Yi 154

Bu Zhanting 155

Georgia Carr 157

Chai Tongwen 158

Chang Chenguang 159

Chang Shuhan, Jennifer Yameng Liang 160

Chen Gangni 162

Chen Lin 163

Chen Mo, Li Xi 165

Chen Tingting 167

Chen Wenge 168

Chen Yujuan 168

Dai Yujie 171

Deng Rui, Zhang Yi 172

Di Yanhua 173

Dong Juan, Chen Yang 176

Fu Youyou 178

Fu Zhuxia, Liu Yongcan 179

Gao Hua, Liu Lianzhi 181

Gao Jiawen 183

Gao Nan 184

Gao Yanmei, LI Danni 186

Gu Xiaole, Bao Beibei 189

Guo Lihui 190

Guo Ya 192

Hao Jing 195

Hao Sihan 197

He Juan 198

He Ning 200

He Qingshun 202

He Zhongqing 207

Hong Ling 209

Susan Hood 211

侯建波(Hou Jianbo 212

Hu Chunyu , Lu Chunmei 213

Hu Heng 218

Hu Yuling 220

黄芳静(Huang Fangjing 221

Huang Jinyi 222

Huang Kaiyu, Chen Jing 224

Huang Man 226

Jia Peipei 227

Jiang Ting, Fan Borui 229

Jiang Ting, Jiang Yan 231

Jiang Ting, Jin Shangran 233

Jiang Ting, Tang Ping 236

Jin Nana1, Chen Zili2 237

Lai Liangtao, Su Shumiao 239

Li Bingru 241

Li Jie 243

Li Jingjing 245

Li Meiqi 249

Li Meizi 250

Li Peng 252

Li Shuquan 253

Li Xuejiao 255

Li Yixi, Zhang Ranran 256

Li Zhanzi 258

Liao Qi 259

Lin Hanzhao 260

Lin Xiaoling 263

Liu Chengyu 265

Liu Feifei, Luo Meng 265

Liu Ning, Derek Irwin 266

Liu Yi 269

Liu Yujie 270

Liu Zhiping 271

Lu Jiqiang 274

Lu Nan 275

Ma Defeng, Zhang Xiufeng, Ma Zhenqi 276

Ma Haocheng 277

Arianna Maiorani1, Russell Lock1, Massimiliano Zecca1, Liu Chun1, John Bateman2, Dayana Markhabayeva2 279

苗宁(Miao Ning 280

Miao Xingwei 281

Anannya Mondal 282

Mu Xuqin 284

Esterina Nervino 286

Pang Yutian 288

Mariana Pascual 289

Qiu Min 291

Qu Yingmei, Liu Meishan 293

Beatriz Quiroz 294

David Rose 296

Hanaa Samaha, Yap Teng Teng, Kumaran Rajandran 299

She Xiumin 300

Shi Rui 301

Shi Wenrui 303

Rini Singh 303

Song Jinge 304

Dragana Stosic 306

Su Hang 308

Tang Bin 308

Tang Qingye, Mu Yujia 309

Tang Weize 310

Tian Yuhe 312

Wang Di 313

Wang Hongyan 318

Wang Jin 319

Wang Shanghao 321

Wang Yingyu 322

Wang Yong 324

Wu Geqi 330

Wu Qijing 331

Wu Yayin, Zhang Yi 333

Xing Junjun 334

Xu Hongying 336

Xu Wei, Liu Chengyu 337

Xu Wentao 341

Xuan Lei 344

Yan Xiaoqing 345

Yang Bingjun 347

Yang Caiying 348

杨华华(Yang Huahua 351

Yang Jinhua 351

Yang Linxiu 353

姚海燕(Yao Haiyan 354

Yao Siyu 359

Yu Haiyang 359

于洪江Yu Hongjiang 360

Yu Hui, Zhang Shaojie 361

Yu Yingchen 364

Yu Zhigang, Yaegan Doran 366

Yuan Chuanyou, Cao Huishu 367

Yuan Surong 369

Yuan Weiliang 370

Zhang Dongbing (Mus) 372

Zhang Hui 373

Zhang Kunkun 374

Zhang Lei 376

Zhang Mingjin 378

Zhang Ranran 380

Zhang Yalin 382

Zhang Yan 384

Zhang Yulan 385

Zhao Qingli 387

Zhao Wenchao 389

Zheng Jie 390

Zhong Xiaotang, Chen Yi 395

Zhou Yaru 396

Zong Shan, Zhang Liping 398


Index of Speakers, Affiliations and E-mails 401

Organising Committee 414


















21st China Systemics Week (CSW 21)

Speakers and Speeches

(In Alphabetic Order of Family Names)


1. CHENGUANG CHANG (常晨光), Sun Yat-sen University, China



Applying SFL in Language Teaching


Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), as an appliable linguistics, is designed to help solve language-related problems, including problems in language teaching and learning. Halliday sees all learning as itself linguistic activity. “Whatever you learn, you are engaged in language; learning involves ‘languaging’” (Halliday 2016). In fact, one of the most important areas of application of SFL has been language education. This meaning-based theory of language has provided invaluable insights and inspirations for the communicative approach to language teaching and continued to be explored in actual language teaching practice.  In this workshop, I will try to explore the implications of different aspects of this theory in this area of application, focusing in particular on the following:

     (1) The multifunctional view of language

     Different from other models of language, SFL (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014) emphasises three broad types of meanings that language serves: the experiential, the interpersonal and the textual. This all-round view of the functions of language has important implications in language learning and teaching. Raising learners’ awareness in this regard can help them learn to understand a language more comprehensively and communicate more effectively in that language.

(2) The interdependence between language and context

SFL emphasises the interdependence between language and context. Socio-cultural factors influence and determine the kinds of things we do through language, and these factors are accounted for in SFL by invoking the concepts of register and genre. Register – the particular functional variety of language – reacts with the context of situation. Register analysis enables language learners to understand something of why people say or write what they do. Genre, in Martin’s formulation, involves the general notion of what people are doing through language and how they organize the language event in stages to achieve their purpose (Thompson 2014). The Sydney School genre-based approach to language teaching has proved useful in enabling us to make informed decisions in terms of both the curriculum and the pedagogy.

    (3) The probabilistic nature of language

    Halliday stresses that the quantitative properties of systems are part the grammar of an individual, and when one learns a language, one also learns the probabilistic profile of the language. Our discourse as a whole will pattern quantitatively according to the probabilistic profile of the grammar. To build the overall probabilistic profile of a language and the local variations within different registers, one needs plenty of textual experience, i.e. exposure to a broad range and variety of language input. This important insight has apparent implications for curriculum design and the selection and compilation of teaching materials.  



Halliday, M.A.K and C.M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2014. Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar (4th edition). London & New York: Routledge.

Halliday, M.A.K. 2016. Aspects of Language and Learning. Heidelberg: Springer.

Thompson, G. 2014. Introducing Functional Grammar (3rd edition). London & New York: Routledge.


    Dr. Chang Chenguang is a professor of linguistics at the School of International Studies, Sun Yat-sen Univesity, China. His research interests include systemic functional theory, discourse analysis, translation studies, and language education. His recent publications include Halliday and Sun Yat-sen University (co-edited with Dai Fan, Sun Yat-sen University Press, 2019), Linguistic Sustainability (co-edited with Yu Changsen, Sun Yat-sen University Press, 2020), Working with Discourses: Corpus and Systemic Functional Perpestives (co-edited with Josef Schmied and Matthias Hofmann, Cuvillier Verlag, 2020), and Functional Approaches to Translation Studies (co-edited with Si Xianzhu, Sun Yat-sen University Press, 2021).

2. YAN FANG (方琰), Tsinghua University, China



Introducing Textual Function


    The presenter will explain the definition and concept of Textual Function from the SFL perspective and introduce the systems of Textual Function at the clausal and discourse levels. By citing English and Chinese examples from clauses and discourses, she will elaborate on the concepts of Theme, New, Hyper-Theme, Hyper-New, Macro-Theme, Macro-New, Thematic Progression and on the possibility of revealing the semantic meanings by applying these concepts to discourse analysis. Then she will discuss the definition and concept of the Genre theory in different periods of its development, with focus on the theoretical models proposed respectively by Ruqaiya Hasan and James Martin. Finally, the presenter will illustrate the applicability of their models in teaching English writing by referring to the results of an experiment of an English writing course conducted in an ordinary Chinese university for more than 10 years.

Before dealing with the Textual Function, she will briefly introduce the founder and main representatives of the school of Systemic-Functional Linguistics, its international and internal organizations and the key concepts of this school. The presenter will emphasize that in SFL, “meaning matters” much and that system is prior to structure – language system is regarded as the database for the construction of language structure.

Key words: Systemic-Functional Linguistics; Textual function; Theme; New; Thematic Progression; Genre








    Fang Yan, Professor of English and Linguistics of Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University; (retired since 2004); one of the Vice-Chairpersons of China Functional Linguistics Association (1995 to 2009), Deputy-Chair of Systemic-Functional Linguistics International Executive Committee (2002 to 2008); National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education (2001-2005); Co-organizer of the 1995 Summer Institute of Systemic-Functional Linguistics held in Tsinghua University; Co-convenor of the 1997 Discourse Analysis Conference held in Macao University sponsored by Macao University and Tsinghua University; Convenor of 36 ISFC (International Systemic Functional Congress); Editor or author of five books and more than 40 articles in Chinese or English; Field of Expertise/Specialty in English, Systemic-Functional Linguistics, Discourse Analysis and Applied Linguistics.

3. CHUNYU HU (胡春雨), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China



Introduction to Disciplinary English


With the increasing importance of disciplinary knowledge in the social life and the rapid development of new technology, more and more attention has been paid in recent years to the construction, transmission and understanding of disciplinary knowledge. However, each discipline has its own way of organizing and construing world experience. Disciplinary English, as a functional variety, is characterized by its important role in the academia. Knowledge about the way disciplinary knowledge is constructed lexicogrammatically is crucial for students to understand the linguistic features of their field. In order to illustrate how knowledge is presented linguistically in disciplinary English, three aspects will be covered in this workshop. First, it intends to introduce some of the key concepts involved in the field, such as knowledge, disciplinary epistemology, and examine the relation of studies in disciplinary English to language learning and teaching, particularly ESP, EAP and EMI. Second, it will trace the development of the field and examine the contributions SFL has made to the study of disciplinary English. Third, it will illustrate how corpus linguistics can be applied to the analysis of knowledge building in English disciplinary discourse. For this purpose, several case studies will be presented as examples to show the advantages of SFL and corpus linguistics in the study. In particular, this workshop will focus on the functioning of various lexicogrammatical resources in representing disciplinary knowledge in the disciplines of management and economics.  


    Dr. HU Chunyu is a professor of applied linguistics at the School of English for International Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China. His research interests include corpus linguistics, systemic functional linguistics, and business discourse studies. He has published 2 books and over 30 journal articles. He has been teaching Economics, Business Essentials, and International Business over the past decade, which enables him to have fostered a keen interest in disciplinary discourse studies.

4. ZHANZI LI (李战子), National University of Defense Technology, China



Transitivity and Ideational Meaning


In this age of valuing experience in the sense of just experiencing rather than owning something or acquiring some goods, the systemic functional linguistic theory of ideational meaning takes on a new significance in shedding light on understanding the basics of reflecting on our linguistic construction (at the clause level) of the flow of events or goings on. This talk looks at transitivity system in SFL by reviewing how a manageable set of PROCESS types gives meaning to our experience. Here is a taste of it in the typical Hallidayan discourse: “each quantum of change is modeled as a figure ---- a figure of happening, doing, sensing, saying, being, or having. All figures consist of a process unfolding through time and of participants being directly involved in this process in some way; and in addition, there maybe circumstances of time, space, cause, manner or one of a few other types.”




社会科学家告诉我们,人不可能直接认识世界,人所知的生活是透过活过的经验(lived experience)。那么人们是怎么组织这种活过的经验的?人们以什么样的语法赋予其意义?或者说活过的经验是怎样表达的?为了创造生活的意义,人们必须安排自身事件经验的时间顺序甚至阐释其因果关系,建立自己和周遭世界前后一致的一份记录。系统功能语言学的概念意义分为经验意义和逻辑意义。经验意义主要指对及物性的研究。及物性过程则是对六种过程的描述。本讲座通过回顾和总结及物性系统的特征,概述系统功能语法概念功能中的经验意义,将其扩展到社会符号学的过程中,并考察及物性系统在新媒体语境中的延展,简要概述与经验意义密切相关的名词化和作格等概念,并且有一些针对每一种及物性过程的练习和讨论。


    Li Zhanzi is Professor in the English Department, School of International Studies, National Defense University. She received her PhD in the English language and literature from the English Department of Peking University. She is a member of the English Teaching Supervisory Committee of the Ministry of Education. Her major research interest lies in systemic functional linguistics, discourse analysis and new media literacy.

5. CHENGYU LIU (刘承宇), Southwest University, China


Meaning-Making in Systemic Functional Linguistics


By locating the Hallidayan notion of semogenesis in the context of social semiotics, this paper attempts to make an in-depth analysis of the spatial and temporal aspects of meaning-making. The study shows that Halliday’s theory of semogenesis, in essence, incorporates the dimensions of time and space. Apart from the three time frames of phylogenesis, ontogenesis and logogenesis (Halliday & Matthiessen 1999), the spatial dimension of semogenesis is analyzed on the basis of interactional sociolinguistics into three spatial frames, i.e., semogenesis in communal integration; semogenesis in interpersonal communication; semogenesis in textual interaction. These three spatial frames of semogenesis work closely in the instantiation process of language system to promote the evolution of language in terms of context, semantics and lexicogrammar. By integrating both the spatial and temporal dimensions of semogenesis, a comprehensive analytical framework is finally proposed, with an aim to investigate the complicated process of meaning making in the light of systemic functional linguistics.


Key words: meaning making; semogenesis; time frames; spatial frames; systemic functional linguistics


Liu Chengyu is a professor of linguistics at the College of International Studies, Southwest University. He got his PhD degree in linguistics at Xiamen University, and then worked as a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign between 2003 and 2004, a post-doctoral research fellow at Sun Yat-Sen University between 2008 and 2010, and as a visiting professor at Hong Kong City University in 2012. His major research interests include: systemic functional linguistics, discourse studies, and multilingualism and multilingual education. To date, he has published over 70 papers and 5 books in these fields. His academic affiliations include: Secretary General of the China Association of Functional Linguistics, Executive Director of the China Association of Discourse Analysis, Chairman of the China Association of Multilingualism and Multilingual Education. He also works as a member of the editing committee of the journal Asian-Pacific Journal of Second / Foreign Language Education (Springer) and The Journal of Pakistan Linguistics.

6. XINGWEI MIAO (苗兴伟), Beijing Normal University, China



Analysing Transitivity in Discourse


    The ideational function of language enables us to talk about our experience of the world, that is, to describe various processes and the entities involved in them. The ideational meaning is mainly realized by the transitivity system of language, and transitivity analysis involves determining the process type, participants, and circumstances realized in any clause. By examining the transitivity patterns in discourse, we can explain how experiences are represented and how the field of the situation is being constructed (Eggins 1994/2004: 266). Transitivity analysis plays an important role not only in explaining the ideational meaning of discourse but also in the scrutiny of the ideological implications of discourse. This talk sets out to introduce the main concepts and ideas involved in transitivity analysis and some of the methods and recent trends of transitivity analysis in discourse studies.


    Miao Xingwei, professor of School of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Beijing Normal University. He holds an M.A. degree in TEFL (Beijing Foreign Studies University, 1994) and a Ph.D. degree in linguistics (Fudan University, 1999). His research interests include functional linguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics, stylistics and applied linguistics. He is particularly interested in the application of systemic functional theories to discourse analysis. He is currently Director of China Stylistics Association, Deputy Director of Association of English and Chinese Discourse Analysis, Deputy Director of China Discourse Studies Association, Deputy Director of China Ecolinguistics Association and Managing Director of China Pragmatics Association. He has published 5 books and more than 90 academic articles. His major publications include “The relationship between cohesion and coherence”, “The explanatory power of Relevance Theory to discourse coherence”, “Discourse functions of negative structure”, “Discourse pragmatics: a discourse perspective on sentence structure”, “Working mechanisms and discourse functions of ergativity”. He is currently working on the state-funded research project “Syntactic Processes of Information Management in Chinese and English Discourse”.

7. BINGJUN YANG (杨炳钧), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China



Functional-Semantic Relations in Clause Complex


The terms ‘coordination, subordination and embedding’ are traditional types of clause combining (Haiman & Thompson, 1988) or clause linkage (Lehmann, 1988), and these relations are now widely understood as connecting clauses rather than sentences. As well-established grammatical terms, they are used in a variety of senses depending on distinctive theoretical contexts (Fabricius-Hansen & Ramm, 2008). However, disputes arise if to consider the function or meaning between clauses.

    There is no advantage to postulating a grammatical category of ‘subordinate’ clause; rather the grammar of English at least, and perhaps of other languages as well, suggests that a distinction between what we have been calling ‘hypotaxis’ and ‘embedding’ is crucial. (Matthiessen & Thompson, 1988: 317)

Thus, clause relations include hypotaxis and parataxis in terms of taxis (Halliday, 1985; 1994; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014). The logico-semantic of clause combining is put under two categories: expansion and projection. The expansion type includes elaborating by which one clause expands another by elaborating on it or some portion of it; extending by which one clause expands another by extending beyond it; and enhancing by which one clause expands another by embellishing around it. The projection type includes two categories: locution by which one clause is projected through another as a construction of wording, and idea by which one clause is projected through another as a construction of meaning.

The SFL approach to clause complex is illuminating in many ways, but problems arise when embedding is considered. How to improve the SFL approach to logico-semantic relations in clause complex remains to be a significant question, particularly when Chinese is taken into consideration.



Fabricius-Hansen, C., & Ramm, W. (2008). Editors’ introduction: subordination and coordination from different perspectives. In C. Fabricius-Hansen & W. Ramm (Eds.), Subordination versus coordination in sentence and text: A cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 1–30). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Haiman, J., & Thompson, S. A. (Eds.). (1988). Clause combining in grammar and discourse. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1985). An introduction to functional grammar (1st edn.). London & New York: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar (2nd edn). London & New York: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd edn). London: Hodder Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2014). Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar (4th edn.). London & New York: Routledge.

Lehmann, C. (1988). Towards a typology of clause linkage. In J. Haiman & S. A. Thompson (Eds.), Clause combining in grammar and discourse (pp. 181–225). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Matthiessen, C., & Thompson, S. A. (1988). The structure of discourse and “subordination.” In J. Haiman & S. A. Thompson (Eds.), Clause combining in grammar and discourse (pp. 275–329). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

    Dr. Bingjun Yang was once a visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Basel University. He is now tenured full professor of systemic functional linguistics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His research articles appeared in journals like Language Sciences (2004), Australian Journal of Linguistics (2014, 2015, 2018), Journal of Quantitative Linguistics (2015), Lingua (2018), Social Semiotics (2019), and Journal of World Languages (2017, 2020). His academic books include Non-finiteness: A Process-relation Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2022); Language Policy: A Systemic Functional Linguistic Approach (Routledge, 2017; with Rui Wang) and Absolute Clauses in English from the Systemic Functional Perspective: A Corpus-based Study (Springer, 2015; with Qingshun He).

8. ZHONG YANG (杨忠), Northeast China Normal University, China



Grammatical Metaphor: Consensus and Controversy


The theory of grammatical metaphor is invaluable contribution to the study of language in use. Systemic functional linguists have gained many insights into the trans-categorization in words, modality, and transitivity as well as the motivation of this kind of metaphor. Nevertheless, there are still some issues that await clarification. The problem of definition, the disagreement in classification of grammatical metaphor, and the relation between grammatical metaphor and lexical metaphor are reviewed and the solutions are proposed.




9. HUI YU (于晖), Beijing Normal University, China



Below the Clause: Groups and Phrases


In this talk, we shall look at the groups and phrases that make up the structural elements of the clause. Whereas a group is an expansion of a word, a phrase is a contraction of a clause. We shall examine the experiential structure of two main classes of group: nominal group and verbal group. The natural ordering of elements in the group will be accounted for. We shall also interpret the similarity of experiential structure between nominal groups and verbal groups, demonstrating how the structure of groups recapitulates the meaning that is incorporated as choice in the thematic structure of the clause. Finally we shall look at phrasal verbs and prepositional phrases. Our analysis will show why a phrasal verb is a single process rather than Process plus circumstantial elements whereas prepositional phrases are clause-like rather than group-like. Hence prepositional phrases should be regarded as a minor process and cannot be reduced to a single element.


    Dr. Yu Hui, Professor of School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Beijing Normal University. She got her Ph.D. in linguistics from Sun Yat-sen University in 2001. She completed her postdoctoral research in Beijing Normal University and has since been teaching in the English Department. She has been teaching Functional Linguistics for years both at the undergraduate and the graduate level. She is currently Vice Dean of School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Beijing Normal University. She serves as Vice Chair of China Association of Functional Linguistics and Standing member of Council of China Association of English-Chinese Discourse Analysis and China Association of Ecolinguitics. Her research interests include genre analysis (Discourse as Genre: Arresting Semiotics in Research Paper Abstracts, Henan University Press 2003; Essentials to Genre Analysis, Beijing Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 2018), systemic functional grammar, genre typology (research grant by Ministry of Education: A corpus-based study of genre typology), academic and scientific writing and knowledge structure (research grant by Ministry of Education: A comparative study of knowledge structure across different educational discourses).

10. CHUANYOU YUAN (袁传有), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China



Forensic & Legal Linguistics and Forensic Discourse Study from SFL Perspective


    This workshop will start with the recent name change (nomenclature) of this newly-emerging discipline from Forensic Linguistics (IAFL) to Forensic & Legal Linguistics (IAFLL): its Origin, Development, and Latest Status-quo both in Common-law countries and in China.

    Then, we will focus on our own Forensic and Legal Discourse Studies from the SFL and LCT perspectives in China, which include, but not confined to:

1. Legislative discourse, with a focal point on its Fuzziness from the perspective of Graduation

2. Judicial opinions from the perspective of Genre and Discourse semantics

3. Construction of Rule of Law from the perspective of Multimodality

4. Judicial Social Worker’s identity in Community correction discourse from Appraisal system

5. Stancetaking and Value Positioning in Judicial Documents with Constellation Analysis

    Finally, some future trends of development and topics of research will be discussed.

Key words: Forensic Linguistics; Legislative discourse; Judicial opinions; Community correction discourse; Rule of law; Multimodality; Genre

Dr. Yuan Chuanyou is a professor and full-time researcher at the Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. He is currently the director of the Forensic Linguistics Committee of the China Association for Comparative Studies of English and Chinese, the director of the Forensic Linguistics Institute and the deputy director of the Functional Linguistics Research Center of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. He has served as an Ordinary Member on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL) from 2013-2017. He has been engaged in teaching and research work in the fields of legal English, forensic linguistics, systemic-functional linguistics, legal discourse studies, etc. He has published some 20 academic papers in SSCI and CSSCI journals and an academic monograph. He has been funded and appointed by the China Scholarship Council and has been a visiting research scholar at Cardiff University and the University of Sydney, conducting collaborative research with Prof. Jim Martin and Prof. Karl Maton.

11. DELU ZHANG (张德禄), Tongji University, China



Introduction to Multimodal Discourse Analysis


The present study is intended to give a short introduction to the basic theoretical framework of multimodal discourse analysis. Firstly, it introduces the reasons for the emergence of multimodal discourse analysis theory and the previous research results. Then it discusses the semiotic resources for the theory of multimodal discourse analysis, the basic models of multimodal grammar, the concept of design in multimodal discourse analysis, the relationship between modes, and the re-semiotization of modes in multimodal discourse. And finally, it briefly introduces the perspectives and the models of analysis for multimodal discourse analysis.

Key words: multimodal discourse analysis; systemic functional linguistics; design; semiotic resources; multimodal grammar; synergy of modes; resemiotization


    Zhang Delu, male, distinguished professor and Ph.D supervisor of Tongji University, vice chairman of Functional Linguistics Association; vice chairman of China Linguistics and Semiotics Society, and vice chairman of Stylistics Society. His main research fields include systemic functional linguistics, English stylistics, semiotics, foreign language teaching, discourse analysis, pragmatics and so on. He has published more than 200 papers in important journals at home and abroad; 28 monographs, translations, textbooks and dictionaries in important and authoritative publishing houses at home and abroad. He has presided over 11 scientific research projects, including 2 national humanities and social science projects. He has won more than 20 awards for teaching and scientific research, including one first prize for outstanding achievements in scientific research in colleges and universities (humanities and social sciences) of the Ministry of education, four second prizes and two third prizes for outstanding achievements in Social Sciences Research in Shandong Province; Three first prizes for outstanding scientific research achievements in colleges and universities in Shandong Province. He is now member of the Editorial Board of the international journal: Language, Context and Text; member of the Editorial advisory Board of the international journal: Multimodality and Society; member of the Academic Board of the CSSCI journal: Foreign Languages in China, member of the Invited Editorial Board of the journal: Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages, and member of the Editorial Board of the journal: Shandong Foreign Languages.

12. YONGSHENG ZHU (朱永生), Fudan University, China



Interpersonal Function and Its Realization


This talk will introduce Halliday's three-metafunction hypothesis first and then focus on the interpersonal function and its realization in mood, modality, forms of address, personal pronouns and evaluative words. 






朱永生,复旦大学教授、博士生导师,国际学术刊物Linguistics and Human Sciences及《中国外语》等学术刊物编委、全国高校功能语言学研究会名誉副会长,曾任苏州大学外语系主任、复旦大学外文系主任、复旦大学国际文化交流学院院长、国际系统功能语言学研究会执委会委员、国务院学科评议组成员、全国高校外语教学指导委员会委员、斯德哥尔摩大学孔子学院理事长、教育部汉语国际教育硕士教学指导委员会委员等。研究方向:功能语言学和话语分析。专著有《系统功能语言学多维思考》、《系统功能语言学再思考》、《语境动态研究》、《系统功能语法概论》、《系统功能语言学概论》、《功能语言学导论》、《英汉语篇衔接手段对比研究》等,发表论文90多篇,参加过《英语搭配大词典》等大型工具书的编写和《英语语法大全》的翻译工作。获得省部级以上科研奖多项。












47th International Systemic Functional Pre-Congress Institute (PCI 47)

Speakers and Speeches

(In Alphabetic Order of Family Names)

1. MEENA C. DEBASHISH, The English and Foreign Languages University, India



Intonation in the Grammar of English


The main aim of this course is to help participants appreciate the various contrasts in English intonation that are exploited in the grammar of the language in order to make distinctions in meaning. In order to achieve this, we will be working with a trinocular perspective of language, to see how the choices in intonation construe choices in lexicogrammar and semantics.  

The goal is to introduce all strata of systemic functional analysis (context, semantics, lexicogrammar, phonology and phonetics) with particular emphasis on the lower end of the realization chain: choices in the English TONE system (phonological stratum) realizing choices in the system of MOOD (lexicogrammatical stratum), and the choices in the systems of SPEECH FUNCTION and KEY (semantic stratum). For instance, when a speaker realizes the declarative ‘I am a teacher’ with a falling tone (tone 1) // I am a /TEAcher //, then he is construing the neutral meaning of a statement. On the other hand, if he uses a rising tone (tone 2), then he is still making a choice of a declarative mood, but construing a marked meaning of a question. Further, one can also study the attitudinal meanings indicated by the speaker by examining the secondary tones used, for instance, whether tone 1 (for the same example) is realized with a wide (tone 1+), or a neutral (tone 1.), or a low (tone 1-) fall. Here, the speaker is making a choice from a delicate system of tone 1, to construe either a neutral meaning of ‘certainty’ (tone 1.), or a stronger ‘emphatic’ meaning (tone 1+), or a mild ‘disinterested/uninvolved’ meaning (tone 1-).  

The format of the course would be lectures plus practice by examining spoken texts using PRAAT, followed by application to research.

Session 1: “Interpretation of sound” and “The linguistic environment of intonation”.

Session 2: “Intonation and meaning”: a demonstration of how sound makes meaning in different spoken texts.

Session 3: “The secondary tones and their meanings”, followed by a discussion on “How to bring intonation into your own work”.


Please get your laptops and headphones. Also, remember to download the PRAAT software (www.praat.org) onto your laptops before the course begins.



Halliday, M. A. K. (1967). Intonation and Grammar in British English. The Hague: Mouton.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1970). A Course in Spoken English: Intonation. London: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Greaves, W. S. (2008). Intonation in the Grammar of English, London: Equinox.


DAY 1: (14:30 – 17:00 hrs)

“The interpretation of sound” and “The linguistic environment of intonation”

You will be first introduced to the system network of English intonation: the TONALITY system – the chunking of information, the TONICITY system – the focus of information, and the TONE system – the primary tones. In this session, you will also be introduced to PRAAT and learn to identify tone groups, tonic syllables and tones in some spoken dialogues. Later, we will discuss the choices in the systems of TONALITY and TONICITY, and the textual function of these choices.    


DAY 2: (14:30 – 17:00 hrs)

“Intonation and meaning”: a detailed demonstration of how sound makes meaning in different spoken texts

In this session, we will study spoken dialogues with reference to the interpersonal function of the Primary tones: how the choices in the Primary TONE system construe the choices in the system of MOOD in the lexicogrammatical stratum, and the choices in the system of SPEECH FUNCTION in the semantic stratum. We will discuss both the neutral and marked meanings realized by the Primary tones within the context of some selected spoken texts.


DAY 3: (14:30 – 17:00 hrs)

“The secondary tones and their meanings” and “How to bring intonation into your research”

This session will be devoted to studying the choices in the tonic secondary tones and the pretonic secondary tones. Later, we will examine the interpersonal function of these secondary tones with reference to the system of KEY for expressing attitudes/emotions. We will also address the question of bringing intonation into your respective research work.

Key words: Intonation; Trinocular perspective; Textual function; Interpersonal function; System; Primary tones; Secondary tones; KEY; neutral; marked


Meena Debashish is an Associate Professor in the Department of Phonetics & Spoken English at The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. The broad field of her research interest includes the interrelations of phonetics, intonation, grammar, and discourse. She has specialized in the study of speech sound, including the Indian varieties of English, and has researched and taught over many years on the intonation of English. She has worked as a research assistant (2002 – 2005, based in India) to Prof. William Greaves and Prof. Jim Benson (Glendon University, Canada) on the Bonobo-Human Research Project and the Forgiveness Project.


2. YAEGAN DORAN, University of Sydney & Australian Catholic University, Australia



The Language of Science


In this course, we will explore the language of science and how it organises its highly uncommon sense knowledge. Scientific language has been explored since the earliest days of Systemic Functional Linguistics with research continuing to expand to this day. A key feature of this research is its wide-ranging view, encompassing multiple perspectives on scientific meaning-making. This course will focus on scientific discourse from three key perspectives in SFL. First, we will explore the key linguistic features of scientific language in terms of ideational grammatical metaphor and technicality. This will enable a window into seeing how scientific language works in terms of both lexicogrammar and (discourse) semantics. Second, we will explore scientific language in terms of the particular register patterns that occur – focusing in particular on its organisation through field – as well as the typical genres that are found in science. Finally, we will look at scientific discourse multimodality, considering the way science uses its range of images, diagrams, symbols and formalisms to construe its knowledge. For each of these perspectives, we will be concerned with how science manages to construe uncommon sense knowledge that allows it to explain, describe and predict the outside world. At the end of the course, you will have a cutting-edge knowledge of scientific language and discourse, and a range of analytical tools for tackling complex scientific texts.

Day 1 Abstract

On this first day, we will focus on certain key lexicogrammatical and (discourse) semantic features of scientific discourse. In particular we will explore the role of ideational grammatical metaphor in packaging meaning in texts. This will involve stepping through both how experiential metaphors are built in the text (such as through nominalisation), and how they can be connected through logical metaphors. We will compare this to another key feature of scientific language, technicality, and the different ways that these linguistic resources are built. Throughout this session, we will explore these features from the perspective of both lexicogrammar (Halliday and Matthiessen 2014) and (discourse) semantics (using Hao’s 2020 model, which builds upon Halliday and Matthiessen 1999), as well as how they work to build text (drawing on Halliday 2004, Halliday and Martin 1993, Martin and Veel 1998; Maton, Martin and Doran 2021).


Day 2 Abstract

On the second day, we will re-examine scientific language from the perspective of context. In particular, we will look at the registers and genres of science and the role they play in building knowledge (we will explore this using the stratified model of context given in Martin and Rose 2008). As far as genre is concerned, we will focus on how different families of genres – explanations, reports and procedures – perform different functions, drawing on the key accounts given in Martin and Rose 2008 and Rose et al. 1992. As far as register is concerned, we will explore how these different genres organise different parameters of field – activities that organise the dynamic unfolding of events, taxonomies that present relations between items, properties that can be graded and arrayed, and interdependency relations between them all (drawing on the model of field in Doran and Martin 2021). Throughout, we will link each of these register and genre patterns with the (discourse) semantic and lexicogrammatical perspectives introduced on Day 1.



Day 3 Abstract

On the final day, we will complement our linguistic perspective by looking at the multimodal discourse of science. We will focus in particular on the role of images and symbolic formalisms such as mathematics and various chemical formulas and equations. We will see that these are crucial components of scientific discourse, and ones that students must master in order to be successful in science. We will consider why these images and symbolisms are used in science, how they organise their meanings and how this complements scientific language (drawing on O’Halloran 2005, Doran 2018, Kress and van Leeuwen 2021, Yu 2021, and ongoing work by J. R. Martin and Len Unsworth on images).



Doran, Y. J. (2018) The Discourse of Physics: Building Knowledge through Language, Mathematics and Images. London: Routledge.

Doran, Y. J. and Martin, J. R. (2021) Field relations: Understanding scientific explanations. In K. Maton, J. R. Martin and Y. J. Doran (eds) Studying Science: Language, Knowledge, Pedagogy. London: Routledge.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2004) The Language of Science. Volume 5 in the Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday. Edited by Jonathan J. Webster. London: Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Martin, J. R. (1993) Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power. London: Farmer.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (1999) Construing Experience through Meaning: A Language-Based Approach to Cognition. London: Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2014) Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Routledge.

Hao, J. (2020) Analysing Scientific Discourse from a Systemic Functional Linguistic Perspective: A Framework for Exploring Knowledge-Building in Biology. London: Routledge.

Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2021) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. 3rd Ed. London: Routledge.

Martin, J. R. and Rose, D. (2008) Genre Relations: Mapping Culture. London: Continuum.

Martin, J. R. and Veel, R. (1998) Reading Science: Critical and Functional Perspectives on Discourse of Science. London: Routledge.

Maton, K., Martin, J. R. and Doran, Y. J. (2021) Teaching Science: Knowledge, Language, Pedagogy. London: Routledge.

O’Halloran, K. L. (2005) Mathematical Discourse: Language, symbolism and visual images. London: Continuum.

Rose, D., McInnes, D. and Korner, H. (1992) Scientific Literacy (Literacy in Industry Research Report: Stage 1). Sydney: Metropolitan East Disadvantaged Schools Program.

Yu, Z. (2021) Knowledge-Building of Chemistry in Secondary School Chemistry Textbooks: A Multisemiotic Perspective. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Tongji University, China.


    Y. J. Doran is a Research Fellow at The University of Sydney and from 2022 will be Senior Lecturer in Education at the Australian Catholic University. His research focuses on language, semiosis and education from the perspectives of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory. His research has developed grammatical, discourse semantic, register and genre-based descriptions of mathematics, language (focusing on English and Sundanese), images and academic formalisms, as well as fine-grained analytical tools for understanding variations in knowledge practices. His most recent books include The Discourse of Physics (2018, Routledge) and the edited collections Teaching Science (2021, with Karl Maton and J. R. Martin, Routledge), Systemic Functional Language Description (2020, with J. R. Martin and Giacomo Figueredo) and Accessing Academic Discourse (2020, with J. R. Martin and Karl Maton).

3. EDWARD MCDONALD, Independent Scholar, Australia



Language as Sign System: The Materiality and Sociality of Human Language


    Halliday's seminal 1978 publication Language as Social Semiotic follows Saussure and Hjelmslev in regarding the semiotic nature of language as one of its key defining characteristics, and this viewpoint has provided one of the jumping-off points for the explosion of interest in multimodality in subsequent decades. However it could be argued that in this shift of focus to other semiotic systems around language, it is visual systems that have received the most attention, and for the most part in the context of their co-presence with language. In the process not only have other semiotic systems failed to be theorised in terms of their own affordances and meanings, being seen more as auxiliary to language, language has been unproblematically regarded as the interpretative grounding to these other systems, and the specific semiotic character of language itself has been rather neglected. In this workshop we will explore language as a semiotic system from the dual perspective of its material affordances, in its primary form of the human voice, and its social embeddedness, as a system that both reflects and construes the material and social worlds of its speakers. As a way of contextualising both the materiality and sociality of language, we will make a systematic comparison of language with music, as a system which semioticises the fundamental features of human embodiment in interestingly different ways, and whose meanings, while highly compatible with those of language, approach their common material and social worlds from quite distinct perspectives.


Day 1, 21 July

The singer’s text: accounting for an embodied, multimodal, performative semiotic system

The humble song, a feature of human cultures worldwide, is in fact a highly complex semiotic object, drawing on the two key semiotic systems that exploit the affordances of the human voice – language and music – as well as other embodied systems that operate alongside them, such as gesture, gaze, and dance. How might we as analysts account for this multimodal text in ways that give full theoretical due to the separate semiotic systems involved, as well as to their combination in performance? In this first session of the workshop we will address the affordances of the human voice as a semiotic medium, and explore its materiality on the expression plane, as well as its sociality on the interpretation plane. Drawing on the semiotic model of the human voice put forward by David Burrows (1990), which stresses “the unique capacity of vocal sound for rapidity of articulation in detachment from the world of enduring spatial objects”, we will attempt to account for the range of meanings expressed in a single song: the Irish folk song She moved through the fair. From the ballad genre of the verbal text, one whose plot incorporates significant “absences” and hence challenges for interpretation, to the simple ternary form of the musical text, balanced between the two tonal poles of “tonic” and “dominant”, we will see how the resources of the two semiotic systems are drawn upon, and how their meanings both reinforce and undercut each other.

Key words: interpretation; expression; voice; materiality; sociality


Day 2, 22 July

The analyst’s framework: the nature of embodiment and meaning in language and music

Drawing on our preliminary understanding of the semiotic affordances of the human voice gained in the first day’s session, we will move on to theorise more explicitly and systematically the organisation of the semiotic system of language in contrast with that of music. We will see how, although both systems semioticise the fundamental embodied affordances of breath, pulse and pitch, they do so in interestingly different ways. Stratificationally, music, similar to human protolanguage, is a classic example of a bistratal system of interpretation and expression – here tentatively labelled “e/motion” and “phonotactics” – while language features a third stratum, whereby the interpretation plane is split into meaning or “semantics” and wording or “lexicogrammar”. This goes together with the presence in language of a “line of arbitariness” between this double interpretation plane and the expression plane of sound or “phonology”, while music features no such “arbitrary” relation between meaning and sound. This suggests that while language, in order to function as a model of the human world, must be “set apart” from that world, music, by contrast “recreates” the processual nature of our experience as embodied beings, and this is one of the key differences in the kinds of meanings each system most naturally expresses. Since for the analyst, the first step is normally to “reduce” the multimodal text of speech or music to a monomodal written version, we will also consider the nature of “notation” in the broad sense, with the key insight here from musicology being that all such notation is only ever partial, with just enough information provided for a fluent user to recreate a “text” in “performance”, something which needs to be informed by familiarity with a particular performative tradition. Hence, far from the written form being an autonomous realisation of linguistic meanings, although as a visual text it does of course have distinct affordances not open to spoken texts, it depends on the prior existence of spoken performances which have become embedded in memory. We will examine some simple examples of musical notation and written text, and see what kinds of musical or linguistic features tend to be “notated” in each case and which are left to be supplied by the “performer”.

Key words: stratification; line of arbitariness; embodiment; performance; notation


Day 3, 23 July

Language and music as performative semiotics: system(s) and text

Comparing language and music as instances of systems which semioticise the human voice has a number of theoretical and practical benefits. On the one hand, it enables us to focus more specifically on the key features of human language from the viewpoint of both interpretation and expression, this being particularly significant because of the presence in many cultures of a whole other set of natural languages which exploit a quite different medium, the visual-gestural one, i.e., sign languages. On the other hand, it also “dethrones” language from what tends to be its unquestioned position as the “pattern” for all semiotic systems, a status which Saussure for one was wary of awarding it. But it also allows us to concentrate on a feature which often gets lost in linguistic analyses, depending so much as they do on “reducing” the multimodal linguistic text to a largely monomodal written form: that is, the performativity of both language and music. Although the history of musicology also shows tendencies to reduce the musical text to its notated version, it is much harder to argue away the fact of music’s performance in accounting for its semiotic power. In this final session we will examine a simplified version of what might be regarded as the multimodal text par excellence in the Western tradition: opera. Through a pared-down performance of part of the penultimate scene of Mozart & da Ponte’s opera Don Giovanni, the presenter will dramatise the “singer’s text” as a multimodal, multisemiotic, embodied performative text, and invite participants to reflect on not only the separate and joint contribution of the systems of language and music to that text, but on the simultaneous presence of many other semiotic modes which are crucial to the overall coherence of the performance.

Key words: performativity; multimodality; notation; system; text



4. MICK O’Donnell, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain



Introduction to Corpus-based Discourse Analysis for SFL


Our discourses are not randomly produced. Every utterance we make, every sentence we write, represents a set of linguistic choices as to what we are expressing and how we express it. These choices are not made only in relation to the experience we are at the moment expressing, but also reflect who we are, the immediate situation we are in, and the cultural background we are from.

Discourse Analysis often focuses on the single text, exploring how the text relates to its context of situation and context of culture. Critical Discourse analysis might explore how the text maintains or challenges the current power relations of its society. Corpus-based Discourse analysis (CBDA) moves beyond the single text. It stems from a dissatisfaction in the reaching of ad-hoc conclusions from single examples. CBDA prefers to reach conclusions based on patterns over large numbers of texts. It focuses on systematic correlations between linguistic choices and the individual, situational, or cultural context in which the texts are produced.

These three workshops will introduce the participants to the practice of using a corpus of texts to reveal deeper patterns in text. It will move from the exploration of more surface items over very large corpora (online concordancing), and move to the exploration of automatically produced functional analyses in smaller corpora (Transitivity, Mood and Theme). As even deeper aspects of language cannot be automated as yet, it will also explore the use of manual annotation of more semantic aspects to reveal patterns in smaller corpora.

Key words: Corpus Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Systemic Functional Grammar; Contrastive Linguistics


Session 1: Introduction to Corpus-based Discourse Analysis

This workshop will introduce the practice of using a corpus of texts as the basis of discourse analysis, basing findings on patterns over large amounts of text, rather than on patterns found in a single text.

I will start by demonstrating how large online corpora (over 100 million words) can be used to establish patterns of lexical usage, or in some cases, grammatical usage. I will focus here firstly on changing lexical usage over time, and secondly, with grammatical differences over register/genre.

I will then introduce UAM Corpustool, software which allows you to build your own (smaller) corpora, for studies of particular registers/genres, at more functional levels of analysis. I will briefly show how to set up a project, how to assign register/genre features to each text, and then how to contrast them for various features of the text.

I will then demonstrate how the texts can be automatically annotated for Mood, Transitivity Theme, and Modality, and then how one can contrastively show registerial differences in these analyses.


Session 2: Automatic Analysis in UAM Corpustool

This session will be a workshop. Attendees need to bring a laptop. Participants will be provided with a small corpus of texts, and led through the process of introducing these to the corpus software, annotating the register and genre of the texts, and automatically annotating the texts for Transitivity, Mood and Theme. Participants will then be shown how to contrastively reveal the lexico-grammatical differences between registers/genres.


Session 3: Manual Analysis in UAM Corpustool

This session will also be a workshop. The more interesting aspects of language cannot be annotated by computers (yet!). This workshop will lead participants through the process of manually annotating a corpus of texts, so that patterns in deeper meanings can be revealed. For the workshop, we will explore patterns of evaluation (e.g., Appraisal Analysis) used by politicians, hopefully to reveal their underlying system of values.


Requirements: Students should bring their own laptop to the sessions. Chrome should be installed, and used in the sessions.


Mick O’Donnell is a Lecturer at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is best known for his application of SFL in the areas of computational linguistics and corpus linguistics. He has been developing corpus annotation software for the last twenty-five years, including Systemic Coder, RSTTool and UAM Corpustool, all of which have been widely used. He initially worked in areas related to automatic text generation, syntactic parsing and dialogue systems, however since 2009, he has been focused more on exploring the EFL learning process via corpus analysis of learner writing. This includes both discovering critical learner gaps via error analysis, and also exploring what learners can do via automatic lexico-grammatical analysis. His research group are currently developing an online system for targeted individualized grammar learning.












47th International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC 47)

18th China National Conference on Discourse Analysis (CNCDA 18)

Speakers and Speeches

(In Alphabetic Order of Family Names)

1. JOHN A. BATEMAN, University of Bremen, Germany



Challenges in Multimodality Research and the Need to Reconnect Theory, Empiricism and Practice


Research into multimodal artefacts and performances has long drawn on input from systemic-functional linguistics and several of the currently most established areas of multimodality studies exhibit a strong systemic-functional and social semiotic orientation. Expanding the targets of investigation to include objects as varied as face-to-face interaction, office buildings, films or websites is not, however, without difficulty. Whereas well developed methodologies are pursued within systemic-functional approaches to language in order to ensure close interactions between the development of linguistic theory, linguistic description, and the demands of appliability, such methodologies continue to have only a restricted influence on systemic-functional and social semiotic multimodality research. In this talk, I characterise some of the challenges raised in our ongoing work on multimodality and show how a far more explicit orientation to usable methodologies is essential for bringing the complexity encountered under control. In an important sense, this requires going `back to basics' concerning how any objects of analysis are to be made accessible to analysis in the first place. To help in this discussion, the talk will explore how notions from Legitimation Code Theory on the relation between ‘internal languages’ of theory and external ‘languages of description’ can help illuminate problems in conducting practical multimodality research as well. This analysis will be used to design a robust methodology for multimodality research that insists on a far closer orientation to empirical data, while also not compromising multimodality’s aims of engaging with ever broader cases of meaning-making practices. The discussion will then be used to reflect more generally on the relations between theory, practice and empirical investigations necessary for effective theory development.

Key words: empirical cycle; complex data; multimodality; corpus methods; theoretical methods; Legitimation Code Theory


John Bateman received his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh in 1986 and has worked since then in Japan, California, Germany and the UK specializing in functional, computational and multimodal linguistics. Since 1999, he has been a full Professor of Applied Linguistics in the English and Linguistics Departments of the University of Bremen, researching and teaching in the areas of functional linguistic approaches to multilingual and multimodal document design, multimodal semiotics, situated human-machine dialogue systems, natural language generation and analysis, and formal ontology. He has published widely in all these areas, including several introductory and survey articles on natural language generation, systemic-functional linguistics and, most recently, the theory and practice of multimodality research. In 2017, together with co-authors Janina Wildfeuer and Tuomo Hiippala, he produced a foundational introduction to the theory and practice of multimodality research.

2. David Butt, Macquarie University, Australia



Semantic Cycles: From Context to Lexicogrammar, and Back Again


Systemic Functional Linguistics and a number of congruent theories suggest that the meanings of a cultural group can be best described by the co-interpretation of 4 kinds of statement: statements of context; of semantics; of lexicogrammar; and, ultimately, of realization in phonological, graphological or other expressive substance. An account of meaning depends, in particular, on the realization statements between context, semantics, and lexicogrammar. While each of these levels can be economically described by Halliday’s system networks, nevertheless special conditions pertain to the development of the network ‘picture’ at each stratum.

There exists a wide variety of approaches as to what semantics needs to encompass – from rhetoric to folklore to formal logic and speech acts. Existing proposals are also notable for their diversity of ‘scale’ – from genre/language‘game’ to text to trope to act to semantic feature or even semantic prime (viz. in a semantic atomism). Accordingly, many linguistic theorists have sought to justify their categories with assumptions concerning evidence from theories concerning: human cognition (hence binomials like cognitive grammar and cognitive stylistics); natural categories (eg. of space, time, and causation); intention and affect (eg. speech acts, according to Searle); and ‘natural’ kinds (+/- animate; +/- male (!)).    

In Systemic Functional Theory, there are a number of proposals for linguistic semantics, each of which resonates with J.R. Firth’s notion that linguistics was just natural language “turned back on itself” (1962 [1957]). He combined this view with the dictum that one should look back at one’s language from the perspective of a typologically distant language, and that one should adopt a positively ‘ad hoc’ method. The emphasis in SFL has been on: 1) making explicit the differences of meaning within a specific language; 2) ordering the differences in degrees of delicacy, and with the possibility of defending a rank scale; and 3) relating the differences to generic or other social parameters (ie. respectively, to register: the variation in semantic resources in the activity; or to code: semantic variation in the users).

I set out from a brief survey of 6 distinctive (but complementary) perspectives on semantics from leading functional linguists. My emphasis is on what practical opportunities the proposals provide in the task of text descriptions, that is in moving between context and lexicogrammar and back again. Then, with a description of semantic cycles, I illustrate a pragmatic approach to semantics that combines networks with the emergence of a rank scale. The latter is based on the often utilised terminologies of European ways of “turning language back” to describe itself (for instance, from the long histories of rhetoric, narratology, philosophy, and linguistics, and translation studies).

In this way, I wish to suggest a useful tool, alongside those previously cited, and to illustrate the reasoning behind Firth’s often misunderstood utterances on linguistic “meaning.” As urged by Hasan (p.c.), explanations of meaning always end in a “pattern of life” – and so they are technically “ineffable” (Firth 1962[1957]; Halliday 2002 [1988]). This is not because the explanations refer to mysterious categories outside the actual manifestations of living, but quite simply because they cannot be assumed to apply beyond the conditions of the living that created them. No language has ‘the last word’ on the terms of metalinguistic description, whether they be terms like tense, aspect, mood, accusative, etc. or greeting, excursus, parable, analogy, syllogism… and so on. The crucial issue is to bring a useful order to the plethora of potential discriminations that the linguist needs in analysing discourse.


Firth, J.R. (1962 [1957]). A synopsis of linguistic theory 1930-1955. In Studies in Linguistic Analysis, pp. 1-32. Oxford: Philological Society.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2002 [1988]). On the Ineffability of Grammatical Categories. In J. Webster (Ed.), Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday Vol.1 On Grammar. pp. 291-322. London and New York: Continuum.


    Dr. David Butt, Associate Professor (Hon.) of linguistics at the Faculty of Medicine, Health, and Human Sciences, Macquarie University. Early in his training, Dr David Butt won a scholarship to study with Professor Ruqaiya Hasan at Macquarie University, who, along with Professor Michael Halliday of Sydney University, mentored him in Systemic Functional Linguistics and in various related sub disciplines of linguistics over decades (even as collaborators, friends, and neighbours, until the death of Professor Hasan in 2015 and of Professor Halliday in 2018). The research of Dr. Butt has encompassed analyses of educational, surgical, oncological, psychiatric, scientific, military, and literary text. He has been involved in many funded projects and has been the chief researcher on Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council funded investigations. His teaching and doctoral supervision has been with the large Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, although he also taught for 3 years at the National University of Singapore (1985-88), and has given invited short courses and plenary talks at major universities, for instance in Canada, the UK, India, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and universities across Australia. He has supervised c.50 candidates to completion of doctoral degrees, many of whom have gone on to be Chair Professors in Australia and overseas. For more than 10 years he was Director of Macquarie’s Centre for Language in Social life; and this role involved collaboration with over 150 researchers from different professional fields.

3. SHOOSHI DREYFUS, University of Wollongong, Australia



From the Personal and Private to the Community and Public – Using SFL to Improve the Lives of People with Severe Intellectual Disability


This paper takes seriously Halliday’s idea of linguistic theory as “something to be applied, to real problems either in research or in some domain of practice”, by reporting on my use of SFL to attempt to improve the lives of people with severe intellectual disability. It focuses on three different aspects of my work in this area, beginning with the personal and private, then moving on to the communal and public.

While it is largely difficult to generalise the numbers and status of people with an intellectual disability across the world, in Australia there are around 668,100 Australians (2.9% of the national population) living with some kind of intellectual disability (ABS 2012), and approximately 61% of these are in the severe range (AIHW 2008), with almost 60% having severe communication impairments. People with severe intellectual disability (SID) are defined here as sometimes or always requiring personal assistance or supervision with self-care, mobility or communication (AIHW 2008).

As a mother of a young man (now 25) with SID, who is also functionally nonverbal, I have used SFL to describe his nonverbal communication system and develop a unique model of communication in order to improve his life (see Dreyfus 2013a & b, 2011 & 2008). This work has then been turned into a training package that is used to educate the people who work with him, so they are better able to understand his nonverbal communication, thereby preventing him from the need to resort to challenging behaviour to communicate. The second aspect concerns the way I have used SFL to understand and produce the written discourse required to successfully lobby governments for change within the disability sector, for example, regarding staffing levels in institutional care, and regarding attaining housing for my son and others like him (Dreyfus in prep). The third aspect concerns building on my work on the nonverbal communication of people with SID to develop a suite of nonverbal communication methodologies which have been used to try to ascertain the opinions of a group of young adults with intellectual disability who are functionally nonverbal about a playground that is being built specifically with their needs in mind.

The significance of this work lies in the application of SFL to the nonverbal multimodal communication of people with SID, a unique site of both research and practice. It uses SFL to try to improve the lives of this most disadvantaged group and give them a voice where their voices are often missing.

Key words: SFL; intellectual disability; nonverbal communication; social activism; discourse analysis; Communication disorder; challenging behavior; affiliation; bonding; persuasion



AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2008) Disability in Australia: Intellectual Disability. Bulletin no. 67. Cat. no. AUS 110. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/5a1b2a34-78bb-4696-a975-3121658a9505/bulletin67.pdf.aspx?inline=true

Dreyfus, S. (2013a) ‘Life’s a bond: a framework for the communication of a non-verbal intellectually disabled teenager’. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders. London: Equinox. (4)2, p249-271.

Dreyfus, S. (2013b) ‘Locating and Affiliating:  A framework for understanding the non-verbal multimodal communication of a young man with complex communication needs’. AGOSCI in Focus, June, Issue 35 v1, p13-17.

Dreyfus, S. (2011) ‘Grappling with a non-speech language: describing and theorising the nonverbal multimodal communication of a child with an intellectual disability’, in S. Dreyfus, S. Hood & M. Stenglin (eds) Semiotic Margins: meaning in multimodalities. London: Continuum.

Dreyfus, S. (2008) A systemic functional approach to misunderstandings. Bridging Discourses: Online Proceedings of the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association conference, July 2007, University of Wollongong.

Dreyfus, S. (in prep) On what basis was the decision made? A discourse analysis of successful letters to government for enacting change in the disability sector.

Roulstone, A. & Barnes., C. eds. (2005) Working futures? Disabled people, policy and social inclusion. Bristol: Policy Press.

World Health Organisation (2011) World Report on Disability. WHO: Geneva. https://www.unicef.org/protection/World_report_on_disability_eng.pdf

Peckham NG. The vulnerability and sexual abuse of people with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 2007,35:131-137. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3156.2006.00428.x


    Shoshana Dreyfus is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She specialises in systemic functional linguistics, discourse analysis and academic literacy, and has over 20 years research and teaching experience in functional and applied linguistics. She has an additional background in education, in particular literacy education. Her research focuses on non-verbal communication and language disorder in intellectual disability; families who have a family member with disability; discipline-specific academic literacy; as well as developments in systemic functional linguistic theory and discourse semantics. She also regularly speaks on ABC radio about language and linguistics and advocates for the rights of people living with severe intellectual disabilities.

4. LISE FONTAINE, Cardiff University, United Kingdom



Lexis beyond Rank


Meaning-driven theories of language, such as systemic functional linguistics (SFL), but also Meaning-Text Theory (Mel'čuk, 1997), naturally prioritise meaning, which necessarily leads to a speaker orientation where meaning is primary. When we are confronted with language in use, we first meet structure or form.  As argued elsewhere (Fontaine 2017a, b), the place of lexis within the framework remains somewhat abstract. Halliday & Matthiessen (2014, p. 23) explain that “structure is an essential part of the description; but it is interpreted as the outward form taken by systemic choices, not as the defining characteristic of language. A language is a resource for making meaning, and meaning resides in systemic patterns of choice.” At the lexical level, the nature of meaning is less clear.

Lexis and word are distinct within the SFL framework, where ‘word’ is a unit of rank in the rank scale and ‘lexis’ is formal, viewed on a continuum in the delicacy dimension at one end in contrast to grammar at the other (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014). When we think of word meaning, we are referring to lexis and not the word unit rank (see Fontaine & Schönthal 2019). We may wish to ask whether SFL should be concerned with lexical meaning. According to Mel’čuk & Polguère (2018, p. 417), we should: “linguistic theory should provide a rigorous methodology for defining word meanings if it aims at extensiveness (coverage of both lexical and grammatical knowledge), applicability and usefulness”. As we might expect, these meanings are not static, ontological objects, and should be “construed as abstractions over clusters of word usages” (Kilgarriff, 1997, p.108).

A focus on lexical form will provide us with empirical evidence from which we can form abstractions, but we need a way of integrating this kind of meaning into the framework. Speakers “necessarily associate each word with a network of paradigmatic and syntagmatic connections that conditions a specific sense” (Polguère 2015). This perspective seems compatible with Halliday’s early views on lexis (e.g. 1961, 1966). The SFL concept of ‘meaning potential’ can be developed, as proposed by Allwood (2003) and Fontaine (2017b), to develop a meaning-driven account of lexical semantics. Given that ‘system’, as meaning potential, is an abstraction from instances, lexical meaning can also be seen as an abstraction from instances. To achieve this abstraction, I will draw on the analysis of a dataset of corpus instances of a small selection of verbs. By combining transitivity analysis with a corpus-based formal pattern analysis (Hanks 2004) and situation type analysis ( e.g. drawing on Vendler’s (1997) classes), we can evaluate the usefulness of this evidence for developing an account of lexical meaning potential.



Allwood, J. 2003. Meaning potentials and context: Some consequences for the analysis of variation in meaning. In H. Cuyckens, R. Dirven and J. Taylor (eds.) Cognitive approaches to lexical semantics, Mouton De Gruyter, 29-66. 

Fontaine, L. 2017a. On Prepositions and Particles: A Case for Lexical Representation in Systemic Functional Linguistics. Word 63(2): 115–35. 

Fontaine, L. 2017b. Lexis as most local context: towards an SFL approach to lexicology. Functional Linguistics. 4: 17. 

Fontaine, L. & Schönthal, D. 2019. The rooms of the house: grammar at group rank. In G. Thompson, W. Bowcher, L. Fontaine & D. Schönthal (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 

Halliday, M.A.K. 1961. Categories of the theory of grammar. WORD 17(2). 241–92. 

Halliday, M.A.K. 1966. Lexis as a linguistic level. In Bazell, C.E. et al. (eds), In memory of J.R. Firth. London: Longman. 

Halliday, M.A.K. and Matthiessen, C.M.I.M. (2014) Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold. 

Hanks, P. 2004. Corpus Pattern Analysis. In G. Williams and S. Vessier (eds.) Proceedings of the 11th Euralex International Congress. Lorient, France: UBS, pp. 87–98. 

Kilgarriff, A. 1997. I don’t believe in word senses. Computers and the Humanities 31 (2), 91-113. 

McDonald, E. 2017. Form and Function in Groups. In T. Bartlett and G. O’Grady (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge. 251–66. 

Mel’čuk, I. 1997. Vers une linguistique Sens-Texte. Leçon inaugurale. Collège de France, Chaire internationale. 

Mel’čuk, I. & Polguère, A. 2018. Theory and Practice of Lexicographic Definition. Journal of Cognitive Science, 19(4),417-470 

Polguère A. 2015 Lexical Contextualism: The Abélard Syndrome. In N. Gala, R. Rapp & G. Bel-Enguix (eds.) Language Production, Cognition, and the Lexicon, Text, Speech and Language Technology 48, Springer, Cham Hei-delberg New York Dordrecht London, 53–73. 

Vendler, Z. 1967. Linguistics in philosophy. Ithaca N.Y.: Cornell University Press. 


    Lise Fontaine is a Reader at Cardiff University. She lectures mainly on functional grammar, word meaning, corpus linguistics, and psycholinguistics. Her research interests include functional grammar theory and, more specifically, the study of referring expressions. She is the author of Analysing English Grammar: A systemic-functional introduction (CUP, 2012). She has also co-edited the following volumes: Systemic Functional Linguistics: Exploring Choice (CUP, 2013); Choice in Language: Applications in Text Analysis (Equinox, 2013); Perspectives from Systemic Functional Linguistics: An Appliable Theory of Language (Routledge, 2018); The Oxford Companion to the English Language, 2nd ed. (OUP, 2018); The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics (CUP, 2019) and Approaches to Systemic Functional Grammar: Convergence and Divergence (Equinox, 2020). Currently she is leading the NaMeD research project (Nominality and Meaning Directness), which includes contrastive work on the semantic representations in the noun-verb continuum.  In particular, she is interested in developing the concept of meaning potential in relation to lexis.  

5. WEI HE, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China



Extension of Systemic Functional Linguistics: Eco-grammar for Ecological Discourse Analysis


As one main traditional paradigm of ecolinguistics, the “Halliday Model” originates from Halliday’s paper entitled “New ways of meaning: The challenge to applied linguistics” (1990). It studies how language and its use impact on environment. So far, there have been many ecolinguistic studies based on this model. Most of them are about ecological discourse analysis, aiming to reveal ecological orientations of various discourse, to arouse people’ awareness of what are beneficial, destructive and ambivalent discourse, and finally to improve their use of language for a better environment. Meanwhile, almost all of the studies are applications of different theories within the frameworks of systemic functional linguistics, cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics, etc. to analysis of discourse concerning natural as well as social environment. As to the application of systemic functional linguistics to ecological discourse analysis, no systematic theoretical framework has been worked out yet. This study, therefore, is designed to present a more or less systematic framework of eco-grammar for ecological discourse analysis, which is developed out of systemic functional linguistics. It first of all introduces a general and feasible ecosophy — “diversity and harmony, interaction and co-existence”, and secondly extends the TRANSITIVITY system, the MOOD system, the MODALITY system, the APPRAISAL system, the THEME system and the LOGICAL system in different dimensions – all the extended systems shape the overall framework of eco-grammar. It is concluded that the development of this eco-grammar is a reflection of Halliday’s thought about language, i.e. “language is at the same time a part of reality, a shaper of reality, and a metaphor for reality.” (Halliday 1990/2007: 146)


    Dr. He Wei is Professor and Deputy Director of the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education (MOE Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities), Beijing Foreign Studies University. She is author of nearly 200 publications (including articles, articles in collections, book chapters, monographs and textbooks) and 80 presentations. She has served as co-editor, column editor, associate editor, editorial advisory board member, or guest reviewer for over ten national and international journals, including Journal of World Languages, Journal of University of Science and Technology Beijing, Functional Linguistics, Language Sciences, Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Foreign Language Teaching and Research, Foreign Languages etc. Her areas of expertise include Systemic Functional Linguistics, Contrastive Linguistics, Ecolinguistics, Discourse Analysis and Translation Studies. She is particularly interested in exploring the interface between semantics and syntax from a functional point of view, and is especially keen on Ecological Discourse Analysis.


6. THEO VAN LEEUWEN, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark & University of New South Wales, Australia



The Human Touch: Power and Solidarity in Online Shopping


Markets, high streets and shopping centres have traditionally been hubs of human sociability, and in his classic paper on the language of buying and selling in North African markets, Mitchell (1957) still recognized the importance of diversity and ‘personality’ in understanding the interaction between buyers and sellers. Later systemic-functional accounts of service encounters (Hasan, 1987; Ventola, 1987) eliminated this element and fully focused on functionality and genericity, even though they analysed face to face interactions in corner shops, post offices and travel agencies, rather than, for instance, self-service situations.

Perhaps this echoes what happened, and is still happening, in actual buying and selling practices. In online shopping the seller is no longer physically present. Yet online shops make abundant use of interpersonal language in addressing their customers, mixing signifiers of power and solidarity, just as also happens in other forms of public communication, in which, as first identified by Brown and Gilman (1960), the rise of egalitarian and democratic ideologies has led to using the language of solidarity in contexts where in fact power differences remain.

Based on a research project titled The Digital Resemiotization of Buying and Selling Interaction (RESEMINA), conducted at the University of Southern Denmark, and funded by the Velux Foundation, this paper analyses the linguistic and multimodal interpersonal resources used by an online grocery shop and an online fashion shop in addressing their customers, looking at forms of address and conversational style as well as asking who can initiate conversational dyads, and who can utter which kinds of speech acts and multimodal acts.

It will end by discussing the question of ‘the human touch’ in contemporary social interaction, and proposing ways of re-integrating it in genre analysis.



Brown, R. and Gilman, A. (1960) The Pronouns of Power and Solidarity, in T. Sebeok, ed. Style in Language, pp. 253-276. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Firth, R. (1964) On sociological linguistics. in D. Hymes, ed. Language in Culture and Society New York: Harper and Row, pp. 66-72.

Hasan, R. (1978) ‘Text in the systemic functional model’ in W. Dressler, ed. Current Trends in Text Linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter.   

Mitchell, T.F. (1975 [1957]) The language of buying and selling in Cyrenaica: A situational statement,. In T.F. Mitchell, ed. Principles of Firthian Linguistics. London: Longman, pp. 167-200.  

Ventola, E. (1987) The Structure of Social Interaction – A Systemic Approach to the Semiotics of Service Encounters. London: Frances Pinter.


Key words: Genre; Interpersonal metafunction; Online shopping; Power; Service Encounters; Solidarity


    Dr. Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark and Honorary Professor at Lancaster University, the University of New South Wales and the Catholic University of Australia. He has published widely in the areas of visual communication, multimodality, and critical discourse analysis and was a founding editor of the journals Social Semiotics and Visual Communication. Recent books include Visual and Multimodal Research in Organization and Management Studies (with Markus Höllerer and others), The Materiality of Writing (with Christian Johannessen), the 3rd revised edition of Reading Images – The Grammar of Visual Design (with Gunther Kress) and Multimodality and Identity.

7. JAMES R. MARTIN, University of Sydney, Australia



Construing Entities: Types of Structure


Over the past couple of years, Yaegan Doran, Zhang Dongbing and I have had the pleasure of editing three special issues of Word devoted to the analysis of nominal groups across a range of languages (including Dagarre, Lhasa Tibetan, Khorchin Mongolian, Korean, Serbian, Brazilian Portuguese, Old English, Ancient Greek, Pitjantjatjara, Tagalog, Mandarin Chinese, and Sundanese. In this talk I address some issues arising from this work, focusing on types of structure. In particular I will look at SFG’s traditional distinction between multivariate and univariate structures and their association with non-recursive and recursive systems respectively (Halliday 1981, 1979). With respect to nominal group structure I’ll suggest that the association of multivariate structure with non-recursive systems and univariate structure with recursive systems needs to be relaxed. Doing so makes room for recognition of non-iterative dependency structures, which I’ll refer to as subjacency duplexes (first foregrounded as duplexes in Rose’s work on Pitjantjatjara; 2001) – a structure which can be usefully applied to the analysis of what are often fudged as ‘structure markers’ in SFG descriptions of nominal groups – and elsewhere (i.e. adpositions and linkers).



Halliday, M A K 1981 (1965) Types of Structure. M A K Halliday & J R Martin [Eds.] Readings in Systemic Linguistics. London:Batsford. 29-41.

Halliday, M A K 1979 Modes of meaning and modes of expression: types of grammatical structure, and their determination by different semantic functions. D J Allerton, E Carney, D Holcroft [Eds] Function and Context in Linguistics Analysis: essays offers to William Haas.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 57-79

Rose, D 2001 The Western Desert code: an Australian cryptogrammar. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.


    J R Martin is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney, where he is also Deputy Director of the LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building. His research interests include systemic theory, functional grammar, discourse semantics, register, genre, multimodality and critical discourse analysis, focusing on English, Tagálog, Korean and Spanish  with special reference to the transdisciplinary fields of clinical linguistics, educational linguistics, forensic linguistics and social semiotics. Recent publications include a book on teaching academic discourse on-line (Genre Pedagogy in Higher Education, Palgrave Macmillan 2016), with Shoshana Dreyfus, Sally Humphrey and Ahmar Mahboob; a book on Youth Justice Conferencing (Discourse and Diversionary Justice, Palgrave Macmillan 2018), with Michele Zappavigna; an edited special issue of Functions of Language 2018 focusing on interpersonal grammar; an collection of papers on interpersonal grammar (Interpersonal Grammar: Systemic Functional Theory and Description, Cambridge University Press 2021) edited with Beatriz Quiroz and Giacomo Figueredo. A book on paralanguage (with Thu Ngo, Brad Smith, Clare Painter, Michele Zappavigna and Susan Hood) is in press with Bloomsbury; three special issues of Word focusing on nominal groups will appear over 2021 and 2022 (edited with Yaegan Doran and Dongbing Zhang); a book on language description, focusing on English, Spanish and Chinese (with Beatriz Quiroz and Pin Wang) is in preparation.

    Eight volumes of his collected papers (edited by Wang Zhenhua for the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press) have been published in China (2010, 2012).

Professor Martin was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1998, and was Head of its Linguistics Section from 2010-2012; he was awarded a Centenary Medal for his services to Linguistics and Philology in 2003. In April 2014 Shanghai Jiao Tong University opened its Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics, appointing Professor Martin as Director.

A book reviewing Martin’s contributions to Systemic Functional Linguistics has been published by Peking University Press:

Zhu, Y S & Z H Wang [Eds.] 2013 On J R Martin’s Contribution to Systemic Functional Linguistics. Beijing: Peking University Press. 209pp.

A play imagining a debate between Martin and Quintilian, holder of the first Roman Chair of Rhetoric, about the analysis of the summary recount at the end of Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom has also appeared (cf. Martin’s 1999 paper ‘Grace: the logogenesis of freedom’):

McCormack, R 2014 Reading Mandela: genre pedagogy vs Ancient Rhetoric. Linguistics and the Human Sciences 9.2. 177-200.

A festschrift honouring Martin's contributions to Systemic Functional Linguistics has been published by Bloomsbury (Doran's paper in this volume reviews his work):

Zappavigna, M & S Dreyfus (Eds.) 2020 Discourses of Hope and Reconciliation: on J R Martin's contributions to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Bloomsbury. 227pp.

8. CHRISTIAN M. I. M. MATTHIESSEN, Hunan University, China



The Language (Registers, Discourses) of Healthcare: Theory and Practice


The theme of ISFC 47 is “SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL LINGUISTICS AND PRAXIS: Sustaining dialogue between theory and practice” — one that is a crucial aspect of Michael Halliday’s notion of appliable linguistics. When we consider examples of such dialogues since the early formative years of SFL in the 1960s, educational linguistics stands out very clearly both as a sustained success story (although involving many struggles along the way, as is bound to happen when people speak “truth” to vested interest and current fashions) and a valuable model for other comparable dialogues.

We can learn a great deal from the dialogue in educational linguistics as model. (1) It has depended crucially on a rich holistic theory of language in context, in this case one that included centrally a conception of language as a resource for learning and not only as an object of learning (cf. Halliday’s formulation: learning language, learning through language, learning about language). (2) It has also depended on trans-disciplinary dialogues between linguistics and education and between researchers and practitioners (in particular, classroom teachers). (3) And, directly related to this point, it has involved professionals — from the start, in this case from institutions of education. (4) At the same time, the dialogue has produced a new kind of expert — educational linguists, typically professional teachers with a rich expert background in education who have gone on to do a PhD in SFL.

I have experienced these different aspects of the success of educational linguistics myself as what I would describe as a resource person — in my case, a linguist producing accounts that may turn out to be of some value to educational linguists and educators. But I have also been involved in comparable dialogues as a linguist involving other fields of activity and expertise and other disciplinary and professional roles, in particular computational linguistics, translation studies, and healthcare communication studies. Working as a linguist in computational linguistics, starting in 1980, I gradually realized the fundamental importance of developing a meta-linguistic account enabling us to understand the complementary contributions made by the diverse contributors. It turns out that such an account can also be crucial in building teams involving different areas of expertise or professional domain. The account we developed over the years in computational SFL is still the most explicit guide as far as I can tell; we need comparable guides in other areas.

Here I would like to focus on an emergent dialogue between theory and practice — the engagement in SFL with healthcare communication. I use “emergent” to recognize and reflect the fact that such developments occur over a long period of time. In terms of the team that I have been fortunate enough to be included in, the period is on the order of a decade and a half (but research I have taken part in goes back to the mid 1990s). It is important to note that the field of healthcare communication studies is distinct from what has been called “clinical linguistics”. In the latter, language is part of the clinical picture, as in aphasic studies and the profession of speech therapy. In contrast, in what is typically called “healthcare communication”, language is a resource for the people involved — patients (quite possibly with family members or friends) and healthcare practitioners — for performing healthcare, including diagnosis, examination and treatment. Naturally, the two may overlap, as when we focus on healthcare communication in speech therapy sessions.


    Dr. Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, Hunan University. He has degrees in linguistics from Lund University (BA), where he also studied Arabic and philosophy, and from UCLA (MA, PhD), and has previously held positions at USC/ Information Sciences Institute, Sydney University, and Macquarie University. He has held visiting appointments at e.g. the University of Hamburg and the Brain Science Division of the RIKEN Institute in Tokyo. He is Honorary Professor, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, the Australian National University, Canberra, and Guest Professor, University of Science and Technology, Beijing. Since the late 1970s, Matthiessen has worked on many areas of SFL — including medical discourse/ health communication, language across the curriculum and other aspects of educational linguistics, multilingual studies (language comparison and typology, translation studies and second/foreign language education), language arts, and the language of space.

    Matthiessen has lectured and given courses around the world, including in China, Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Greece, Germany, Denmark and the UK, Lebanon, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Tunisia and Ghana; and he is involved in a number of international research networks. His most recent book is the first volume out of eight of his collected works; and three more are about to be published: a guide to SFL (with Kazuhiro Teruya, Routledge), “system” as a key concept in SFL (with Equinox), and Systemic Functional Linguistics (Volume 1, based on interviews with co-authors: Wang Bo, Isaac Mwinlaaru & Helen Ma).

Recent Publications:


Halliday, M.A.K. & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2014. Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. 4th, revised edition. London: Routledge. Manuscript submitted in June 2012. Publication date: July 2013.


Slade, Diana, Marie Manidis, Jeannette McGregor, Hermine Scheeres, Eloise Chandler, Jane Stein-Parbury, Roger Dunstan, Maria Herke & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2015. Communication in Hospital Emergency Departments. Berlin: Springer. 


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2021, forthc. The Collected Works of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen [working title], in 8 volumes, edited by Kazuhiro Teruya, Wu Canzhong & Diana Slade. Volume 1: 2021. Equinox. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/collected-works-christian-m-m-matthiessen/ 

Volume 1: Systemic Functional Linguistics


Matthiessen. Christian M.I.M.  & Kazuhiro Teruya. in press. Guide to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge. Under contract, MS submitted to Routledge.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M., Bo Wang, Yuanyi Ma & Isaac N. Mwinlaaru. forthcoming. Systemic functional insights on language and linguistics. Volume 1. Under contract. To be submitted to Springer in September 2021.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. forthcoming. System in Systemic Functional Linguistics: a system-based theory of language. Sheffield: Equinox. Under revision. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/system-sfl/ 

Book chapters and journal articles (selection from 2015 onwards)

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen.” [An interview of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen by Eva Maagerø and Thomas Hestbaek Andersen.] In Eva Maagerø & Thomas Hestbaek Andersen (eds.), Social semiotics: key figures, new directions. London: Routledge. Chapter 2.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Halliday on language.” In Jonathan J. Webster (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to M.A.K. Halliday. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 137-202. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34627

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Register in the round: registerial cartography.” Journal of Functional Linguistics 2(9): 1-48.  


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Systemic Functional Morphology: the Lexicogrammar of the Word.” In Edson Rosa de Souza (ed.), Estudos de descrição funcionalista: objetos e abordagens. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 55. München: LINCOM. 150-199.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & Kazuhiro Teruya. 2015. “Grammatical realization of rhetorical relations in different registers.” Word 61(3): 232-281.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2017. “Language use in a social semiotic perspective.” In Anne Barron, Gu Yueguo & Gerard Steen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. London: Routledge. Chapter 34.  


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2018. “The notion of a multilingual meaning potential: a systemic exploration.” In Akila Baklouti & Lise Fontaine (eds.), Perspectives from Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge. Chapter 6. Version with additional figures to be available at: http://www.syflat.tn

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2018. “Transitivity in Systemic Functional Linguistics: achievements and challenges.”  In Sara Regina Scotta Cabral & Leila Barbara (eds.), Estudos de transitividade em linguística sistêmico-funcional. [Transitivity studies in systemic functional linguistics.] Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil: PROGRAMA DE PÓS-GRADUAÇÃO EM LETRAS - PPGL UFSM. Chapter 1: 14-108.

Mwinlaaru, Isaac, Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen & Ernest Akerejola. 2018. “A system-based typology of MOOD in African languages.” In Augustine Agwuele & Adam Bodomo (eds.), Handbook of African Languages. London: Routledge. 93-117.


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2019. “Register in Systemic Functional Linguistics.” In Register Studies 1(1): 10-41. Published by Benjamins: https://benjamins.com/catalog/rs 

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2020. “Translation, multilingual text production and cognition: a systemic functional approach.” In Arnt Jakobsen & Fabio Alves (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Cognition. London: Routledge. 517-544.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & Guo Enhua. 2020. “Matthiessen’s Thoughts on Some Key Issues in SFL.” Word 66(2):  130-145.


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. in press. “Theory: a resource for engaging with language.” [Translated into Japanese.] In Kazuhiro Teruya (ed.), Taikei Kinoo Gengogaku heno shootai: Sekai kara no kooken (An introduction to systemic functional linguistics: contributions from the world). Kuroshio Shuppan (Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishers).

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2020. “Approaching register trinocularly.” Language, Context and Text: The Social Semiotics Forum 2(1). 3-21. https://benjamins.com/catalog/langct.00019.mat

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M., Jorge Hita Arús & Kazuhiro Teruya. 2021. “Translations of representations of moving and saying from English into Spanish.” Word. Published online 22 July 2021.


Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. in press. “The Moomin Family: an elastic permeable multi-dimensional construct in semiotic and social space.” To appear in Eija Ventola & A. Jesús Moya Guijarro (eds.), Challenging gender stereotypes and the traditional family unit in children’s picture books. A multimodal analysis. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/A-Multimodal-Approach-to-Challenging-Gender-Stereotypes-in-Childrens/Moya-Guijarro-Ventola/p/book/9780367703592#

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M., Moslem Yousefi & Fatemeh Mardian. in press. “Systemic functional linguistics as a resource in appliable linguistics: new applications.” To appear in Language, Text, Context 4(1), January 2022.

Xuan Wenhui, Winfred & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. forthcoming. “System networks as a resource in L2 writing education.” Submitted to Journal of Second Language Writing.


Email: cmatthie@mac.com 

Websites: Wikipedia entry:


ResearchGate profile (under construction):


Academia (under construction):


Kudos (under construction):


9. TERESA OTEÍZA, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile



The appraisal System in Spanish: Resources for Building Graduation


This presentation focuses on some language resources for building graduation of attitudes in written Spanish language in the field of History. The analysis is framed in the SFL multifunctional theory of language (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014) and particularly, in the appraisal system, which organizes interpersonal meanings at the more abstract stratum of discourse semantics (Martin & White 2005; Martin 2019). The language potential for building graduation has been proven to be a highly sophisticated phenomenon in languages (Halliday & Matthiessen 2014; Martin & White 2005; Hood 2010, 2019; Vian 2008). Indeed graduation can be realized in an ample range of lexicogrammatical resources if we consider that both, attitudes as regions of evaluative meanings, and the construction of writers’ intersubjective stances can be manifested with different degrees in discourse creating flows of evaluative patterns (Martin & White 2005; Hood 2019). Following SFL typological principles (Caffarel et al. 2004; Martin et al. 2010), this presentation seeks to demonstrate how meanings of graduation of attitudes in Spanish written language can be realized not only at the rank of the clause, phrase or word, but also at the rank of the morpheme as suffixation (Oteíza et al. in preparation), taking into account the role of graduation in the construction of evaluative rhetorical effects in the text rather than in its grammatical forms. In addition, this study focuses on the patterns for building graduation as force or focus in Spanish language that also require an analysis of the inter-stratal tension between discourse semantics and lexicogrammar, due to their functioning at different rank levels in experiential grammatical metaphors and lexical metaphors (Martin 1991, 2017; Halliday 1992; Oteíza & Pinuer 2013; Oteíza 2019; Oteíza et al., in preparation; Taverniers 2017, 2019).


Key words: appraisal system; graduation; engagement; Spanish language; SFL typology; interpersonal meanings; grammatical metaphor



Caffarel, A., J.R. Martin & C.M.I.M. Matthiessen (2004). Language Typology. A Functional Perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Halliday, M.A.K. (1992/2003). Systemic Grammar and the Concept of a “Science of Language”. In On Language and Linguistics. Vol. 3. Jonathan Webster (Ed.). (pp. 199-212). London: Equinox.

Halliday, M.A.K. y C.M.I.M. Matthiessen. (2014). Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. (Fourth Edition). London/New York: Routledge.

Hood, S. (2010). Appraising Research: Evaluation in Academic Writing. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hood, S. (2019). Appraisal. In G. Thompson, W. Bowcher, L. Fontaine & D. Schönthal (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics (pp.382-409). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Martin, J. R. (2019). Discourse Semantics. In G. Thompson, W. Bowcher, L. Fontaine & D. Schönthal (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics (pp.358-381). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Martin, J. R. (2017). The Discourse Semantics of Attitudinal Relations: Continuing the Study of Lexis. Russian Journal of Linguistics 21(1): 22–47.

Martin J.R. (1991) Nominalization in science and humanities: Distilling knowledge and scaffolding text. In Ventola E (Ed.) Functional and Systemic Linguistics. (pp.307–337). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Martin, J.R., C. Matthiessen & C. Painter (2010). Deploying Functional Grammar. Beijing: The Commercial Press.

Martin, J.R. & P. White. (2005). The Language of Evaluation. Appraisal in English. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Oteíza, T. (2019). Events and processes in the discourse of history: Disciplinary History and classroom interaction. In J.R. Martin, K. Maton & J. Doran (Eds.), Understanding Academic Discourse: Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory. (pp.177-207). London/New York: Routledge.

Oteíza, T. (2017). The Appraisal Framework and discourse analysis. In T. Bartlett & G. O’Grady (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. (pp. 457-472). London/New York: Routledge.

Oteíza, T., C. Castro & C. Pinuer (in preparation) Appraisal in Spanish: Resources for building graduation through suffixes.

Oteíza, T. & C. Pinuer. (2013) Valorative Prosody and the symbolic construction of time in historical recent national discourses, Discourse Studies 15(1): 43-64.

Taverniers, M. (2017). Grammatical metaphor. In Bartlett, T. & G. O’Grady (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics (pp. 354-371). London: Routledge.

Taverniers, M. (2019). Semantics. In G. Thompson, W. Bowcher, L. Fontaine & D. Schönthal (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. (pp.55-91). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vian, O. (2008). Appraisal system in Brazilian Portuguese: Resources for graduation. Odense Working Papers in Language and Communication 29: 825–9.


    Teresa Oteíza is an Associate Professor and Director of the Doctorate Program in Linguistics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Her interests include the areas of social and ideological discourse analysis, educational linguistics, discourse of history and systemic functional linguistics. Teresa Oteíza is Editor of two journals dedicated to the area of discourse studies: Discurso & Sociedad with Viviane Resende from University of Brasília and Antonio Bañón from University of Almería, and of Revista de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios del Discurso (RALED) with Viviane Resende. She is currently working with Claudio Pinuer from University of Concepción, Chile on the project “The language of appraisal in Spanish: description and systematization of linguistic resources to build intersubjectivity”. She published the book El discurso pedagógico de la historia: Un análisis lingüístico sobre la construcción ideológica de la historia de Chile (1970-2001) in 2006, and En (re)construcción: Discurso, identidad y nación en los manuales escolares de historia y de ciencias sociales, (ed. with Derrin Pinto) in 2011. Her forthcoming book What to Remember, What to Teach: Human Rights Violations in Chile’s Recent Past and the Pedagogical Discourse of History, will be published by Equinox. E-mail: moteizas@uc.cl.  

10. PIN WANG, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China



Nominal Group Systems and Structures: A Systemic Typological Perspective


This paper presents a text-based study of the construal of entities through nominal groups, with examples drawn from two Sino-Tibetan languages, i.e. Chinese and Tibetan. It approaches the grammatical description of nominal groups from the ideational and textual perspectives, and gives priority to the perspective ‘from above’, taking as point of departure the discourse semantic systems of ideation and identification (Martin, 1992; Martin & Rose, 2007). From the perspective of ideation, nominal groups construe entities that realise items in field, which are classified or composed with or without associated properties (Doran & Martin, 2021). From the perspective of identification, nominal groups either present or presume the identity of entities in discourse. In terms of grammatical realisations, in both languages the nucleus function of a nominal group, Thing, enters into multivariate structures with a range of pre- and post-Thing functions. However, configuration of the functions is language-specific. This study makes explicit structural consequences of systemic choices in nominal group grammar, and attends to the problem of structural markers, drawing on the notion of ‘subjacency’ structure proposed in Martin et al. (2021). This study demonstrates the value of important hierarchies in SFL, e.g. axis, rank, metafunction and stratification in grammar description and is expected to provide an enriched perspective both complementary and supplementary to existing grammars of nominal groups.



Doran, Y. J., & Martin, J. R. (2021). Field relations: understanding scientific explanations. In Maton, K., Martin, J.R., & Doran, J. (eds.) Studying Science: language, knowledge and pedagogy. London: Routledge.

Martin, J. R. (1992). English Text: System and Structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Martin, J. R., & Rose, D. (2007). Working with discourse: meaning beyond the clause (2nd ed.). London: Continuum.

Martin, J. R., Doran, Y. J & D. Zhang. (2021). Nominal Group Grammar: System and Structure. WORD, 67(3).


    Dr. Wang Pin is an Associate Professor and researcher at the Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics of the School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. His chief research interests are: Systemic Theory, Functional Grammar, and Functional Language Typology, with particular focus on Mandarin and minority languages of China. His recent publications in English include: Complementarity Between Lexis and Grammar in the System of Person: A Systemic Typological Approach (2017 Routledge); ‘Verbal group in Manchu’ (2018 WORD); ‘Axial argumentation and cryptogrammar in interpersonal grammar: a case study of Classical Tibetan mood’ (J.R. Martin, Y.J. Doran & G. Figueredo eds. 2020 Systemic Functional Language Description: Making Meaning Matter, Routledge); ‘Construing entities through nominal groups in Chinese’ (M. Zappavigna & S. Dreyfus eds. 2020 Discourses of Hope and Reconciliation: On J. R. Martin’s Contribution to Systemic Functional Linguistics, Bloomsbury); ‘Interpersonal grammar in Chinese’ (J.R. Martin, B. Quiroz & G. Figueredo eds. 2021 Interpersonal Grammar: Systemic Functional Linguistic Theory and Description, CUP); ‘Instantiation and individuation in Buddhist scripture translation’ (2021 Language, Context and Text); ‘Nominal group systems and structures in Lhasa Tibetan’ (Y.J. Doran, J.R. Martin & D. Zhang eds. 2021 WORD special issue).

11. YANNING YANG, East China Normal University, China



The Diachronic Typology of Constructions: A Systemic Functional Framework


Saussure’s segregation of diachrony from synchrony ignores the role diachrony plays in engendering synchrony, giving rise to some fundamental problems in contemporary linguistic research. This study aims to illustrate the role of diachrony in mediating the balance between typological universals and cross-language diversities with a framework developed on the basis of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). As such, the study first discusses the value of SFL to solving the perceived problems arising from the theoretical modal of grammaticalization. The dominance of grammaticalization theory in historical linguistics has led some to equate grammaticalization with language change. However, the importance of the semantic change and discourse context is frequently lost in the literature on grammaticalization. The major problem of grammaticalization enterprise is thus the narrowness of focus which has the effect of leaving much of language change out of the picture. SFL, since its beginning in the early 1980s, has become a leading framework in dealing with semantic and lexico-grammatical changes and the mapping between meaning and form. This study proposes a framework in which SFL theories allow us to address the critical issues in language change, hence providing mechanisms for the diachronic analysis of both semantic and lexico-grammatical changes. On the basis of the framework, this study focuses its analysis on the change of three essential constructions in Old Chinese and Old English with a Chinese corpus of approximately 600,000 characters and an English corpus of about 500,000 words. Similar constructions in other languages are also taken into account for comparison. The diachronic analysis shows that new constructions emerge through a cycle of language change in which the interaction of semantics and lexico-grammar plays a central role. In addition, the semantic condensing and junction are critical steps in the creation of new constructions. More generally, this study shows that the typological diversities of a construction arise diachronically from different sources across languages. However, these sources exhibit both semantic and lexico-grammatical similarities which were determined by their target functions.

Key words: Diachrony; Typology; Systemic Functional Linguistics; Old Chinese; Old English; Construction change


    Yang Yanning is a Professor at East China Normal University (ECNU), Dean of School of Foreign Languages EDNU and current Chair of China Association of Functional Linguistics. His research areas include Systemic Functional Linguistics, Historical Linguistics and Linguistic Typology. His current research consists of two primary elements. The first focuses on the comparison of Old English and Old Chinese, two genetically unrelated languages. The second is concerned with the exploration of new theoretical framework for diachronic analysis of language on the basis of SFL. This work is a continuation of his earlier work on Grammatical Metaphor in Chinese. He received his PhD from National University of Singapore and worked as an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University for six years before joined ECNU. In 2016, he was appointed by Ministry of Education (MOE), China as a member of Advisory Board of English Teaching. He is also the Editor of Researching and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (RTCFL) published by Equinox.











Abstracts of Panel Speakers











Panel 1: Discourses of Family, Parenting and Motherhood


Presenters and affiliations

Wendy L. Bowcher (Panel Convenor), Sun Yat-sen University

Chang Xinping, Sun Yat-sen University

Jennifer Y. Liang, University of Science and Technology Beijing

Tana X. Nie, Sun Yat-sen University

Zhang Qianqian, Sun Yat-sen University

Zhao Wenting, Zhejiang University


Paper 1


Messages and Meanings in Public Service Advertisements on Caring for Minors in China

Wendy L. Bowcher, Tana X. Nie

Sun Yat-sen University


Abstract: An important feature of the Chinese Government’s aim to create an advanced and equitable society is an attention to the welfare of children. This paper analyses a series of Chinese public service advertisements (PSAs) aimed at raising awareness and modifying behavior with regard to caring for children. Unlike commercial advertisements, PSAs serve to raise awareness and influence social ideas and/or practices in relation to a perceived issue of public concern. They ultimately reflect a society’s underlying values and what it means to be ‘civilized’. The PSAs in this study mainly target parents but also other institutions in which children are under care. Using a social semiotic multimodal discourse analytical approach, the paper shows how the visual-verbal features of the PSAs construct and implicitly define not just what the city means by ‘caring for minors’, but how these constructions point to specific national and local issues, such as children’s mental health, the discouragement of physical forms of discipline such as corporal punishment, a love of reading, and the active participation of parents in the life of their children. The analysis also shows how these messages are embedded within portrayals of socially sanctioned mainstream images of marriage, gender roles, and national achievements. The PSAs thus mediate a preferred social reality, and verbally and visually construct and foreground specific socio-cultural meanings and preferred practices in caring for minors.

Key words: Public Service Advertisements; caring for minors; multimodal discourse analysis; social practices; China



Paper 2


The Changing Faces of Motherhood in Family Planning Posters in China from the 1960s to the 2020s

Jennifer Yameng Liang

University of Science and Technology


Abstract: In 2021, the three-child policy was passed into law by the Chinese government. It represents another major relaxation of the one-child policy that was launched in the 1980s and had been implemented until 2016 when the universal two-child policy was released. Apparently, mothers are not only the most affected by fertility policies, but also play an instrumental/agentive role in carrying out these politics. The present research explores how the representation of mothers serves to legitimize fertility policies in different eras by focusing on a popular legitimating discourse, that of public family planning posters in the Chinese mainland from the 1970s to 2020s. Following van Leeuwen’s legitimation framework, the research discusses how the changing faces of motherhood serve to legitimize and promote the fertility policies in different eras, thus highlighting changes in societal concerns.

Key words: Family Planning Posters; motherhood; China; fertility practices; legitimation framework


van Leeuwen, T. (2008) Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zhang, Weibo (2021) Changing images and identity construction: female symbols in family planning posters [in Chinese]. Media Culture and Communication. 10(1): 16-23.

Zhang, Zili (2007) Multiple discourses and their construction in family planning posters [in Chinese]. Proceedings of the 2nd China Health Communication Conference, November, 2007.



Paper 3


Multimodal Discourses of Neoliberalism and Confucianism in Online Influencers' Constructions of Motherhood

Zhao Wenting 

Zhejiang University


Abstract: In this research, Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis is used to examine the posts of online influencers using parenting hashtags on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. It has been observed that motherhood in general has become a site of discursive tension in contemporary society, often played out online. In this research, we find an interaction between former, more Confucian roles of motherhood, related to duty and knowing one’s place, and a more recently arrived influence of Neoliberalism. On the one hand, the hashtags provide a sense of community for stay-at-home mothers who have given up their careers, and on the other, the influencers configure this duty and obligation into something based on striving, individual success and self-management. They appear to play a role in helping this ideology enter into the family.

Key words: Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis; parenting hashtags; social media; China; motherhood; neoliberalism; Confucianism

Paper 4


Motherhood in Australian Newspaper Advertisements in the Early Twentieth Century: An Intersemiotic Complementarity Analysis

Zhang Qianqian 

Sun Yat-sen University


Abstract: This paper takes a look at a specific time in history, the early twentieth century, and at how motherhood was portrayed in advertisements for infant formula in the popular Australian newspaper – The Sydney Morning Herald. Using advertisements by the well-known infant formula company, Glaxo, the analysis utilizes the intersemiotic complementarity framework developed by Royce (e.g. 2007) and extends this to the socio-political context of Australian society in order to understand how coherent verbal-visual images of motherhood are constructed. The findings suggest three specific constructions of motherhood - ‘scientific motherhood’, ‘happy motherhood’ and ‘simple motherhood’. With regard to scientific motherhood, mothers are portrayed as attaching much importance to experts’ (doctors and nurses) suggestions on infant feeding, and the technological advances that are behind the development of the Glaxo product. Second, through the use of the Glaxo infant formula, mothers are portrayed as being able to deliver happiness to themselves and their babies, thus making the whole family a happy family. Finally, by giving babies Glaxo, mothers are able to simplify their lives, both psychologically and materially, particularly when breast feeding is not possible or not deemed adequate enough. This study provides a snapshot of what motherhood was like in the early years of twentieth century Australia. It also complements motherhood research in other fields, such as sociology, nursing, and psychology and provides a basis for comparing motherhood representations between the past and the present.

Key words: early twentieth century; intersemiotic complementarity; infant formula; motherhood; breast milk; Sydney Morning Herald; newspaper advertisements; scientific motherhood; happy motherhood; simple motherhood.


Royce, T. (2007). Intersemiotic complementairy: A framework for multimodal discourse analysis. In T. Royce and W. Bowcher. (eds.). New directions in the analysis of multimodal discourse (63-109). Mahwah: Lawrence Erbaum and Associates.



Paper 5


Fatherhood Representations and Evaluations of Fatherhood by Chinese College Students

Tana X. Nie

Sun Yat-sen University


Abstract: With an increasingly aging population, the Chinese Government has recently put into place sweeping measures to encourage young people to get married and start a family. One of the most significant changes in legislation is also the change from the two-child policy to a three-child policy targeted not only at young adults, but also at married couples who may already have one or two children. Whereas, much of the research focus has been placed on women and mothers and how they perceive the impact these changes may have on their lives, some research has also focused on fatherhood.  Fatherhood research conducted in the Chinese context has focused on issues such as new fathers’ experience (Guo, 2019; He, 2020) and the construction of fatherhood in policy documents (Wang, 2014) and in legislation (Wang, 2017). Scholars have found that ‘parenting buds’, representations regarding parenting in general before actual parenting, form as early as in high school (Scharf and Mayseless, 2011). Such research is important in that it can indicate future parenting practices and inform timely intervention, yet few studies have been done on young adults’ views of fatherhood specifically, and particularly so in the Chinese context. To address this lack, this research explores fatherhood representations held by college students. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 36 college students (M=25, 17 female, 19 male), the present research analyses what the participants say about being fathered and their future fatherhood imagination. A two-fold method is used to analyse the interview data: a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) presenting the big picture of the future fatherhood attributes or practices, and an appraisal analysis (Martin & White, 2005) focusing on the most frequent theme in order to understand the kinds of linguistic evaluative resources as used by the interviewees, thus giving an insight into their attitudes towards the attributes of fatherhood. The thematic analysis identified four main themes regarding preferred ideas of fatherhood: father as companion, father as homework tutor, the educationally-empathetic father, and the health-concerned father. The most frequent theme, father as companion, is selected for a detailed appraisal analysis. The analysis indicates that most participants, both female and male, used the resources of judgement to indicate that spending time with the child is an ‘indispensable’ part of fatherhood. Their evaluation to a large degree related to negative judgments. That is, a father’s not spending time with the child is evaluated as “irresponsible”, “an act of hands-off boss”, and a form of “widow-style parenting”.

Key words: fatherhood; parenthood; family; discourse; children’s perception; college students; gender role; evaluation; appraisal framework; China


Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) ‘Using thematic analysis in psychology’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), pp. 77–101.

Guo, G. (2019) Fatherhood Practice in Nursery Service for Infants Aged O 3 Years Old, China Youth Study, (11),85-92. Doi: 10.19633/j.cnki.11-2579/d.2019.0181.

He, S.H. (2020) Holding up Half the Sky of Child Care--a Sociological Study of the Practice of Fatherhood, China Youth Study, (02),85-91. doi: 10.19633/j.cnki.11-2579/d.2020.0027.

Martin, J. and White, P. R. (2005) The Language of Evaluation, Palgrave macmillan. doi: 10.31468/cjsdwr.238.

Scharf, M. and Mayseless, O. (2011) ‘Buds of parenting in emerging adult males: What we learned from our parents’, Journal of Adolescent Research, 26(4), pp. 479–505. doi: 10.1177/0743558411402339.

Wang, X.X. (2014) ‘How Does Social Policy Construct Fatherhood? Comparing Sweden, USA, and China’, Journal of Chinese Women’s Studies, 2(122), pp. 49–54.

Wang, X.X. (2017) ‘Labor Laws during 1929 - 1933: The Construction of the Modern Motherhood and Fatherhood in China’, Sociological Studies, (06),165-188+245. doi: 10.19934/j.cnki.shxyj.



Paper 6


Chinese university students’ attitudes toward abusive language use among family members

Chang Xinping 

Sun Yat-sen University


Abstract: Family abusive language use (FALU) is a common phenomenon in every society, but its manifestations are influenced by different cultures, societies and specific contexts. The consequences of such language use among family members can be formative and far-reaching, as has been reported in studies abroad (e.g., Sood et al, 2016; etc.). Similar cases also occur in the Chinese context, but discussions around this topic are still limited in scale and depth although concerns from different fields have been reported (Mo, 2020; Qi and Zhou, 2021, etc.). If linguistic theory is considered as something to be applied to real problems (Halliday, He & Yang, 2015), then, a perspective of understanding what is happening in the minds of different groups of people is THE thing we need to do concerning abusive language use. Through a questionnaire, this study investigates Chinese university students’ attitudes toward abusive language use among family members. Five categories concerning FALU (type, user role, consequence, experience, and education) are covered in the questionnaire with both close-ended and open-ended questions. Both statistical software and qualitative analysis, specifically, the appraisal framework, are employed for the analysis. This study is an attempt to contribute to dialogue on this complicated social issue from an SFL perspective.

Key words: family abusive language use; linguistic perspective; attitude; Chinese university students


Halliday, M. A. K., He, Yuanxiu, & Yang, Bingjun. (2015). The Marxist orientation of Systemic-Functional Linguistics – an interview with M. A. K. Halliday. Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies, Vol. 7 (1).  

Mo, Jie. (2020, July 17). The harm of family abusive language cannot be ignored. Guangming Daily. (莫洁 2020717日). 家庭语言暴力危害不容忽视.《光明日报》.)

Qi, Daolin and Zhou, Lizhe. (2021). A review of research on family abusive language use in China.  Survey of Education, Vol.10, No.2. (祁道林,周李哲.2021. 我国家庭语言暴力研究综述.《教育观察》第 10 卷 第 7 期,27-30.

Sood, Richa, Paul Novotny, Stephanie S. Faubion, et al. (2016). Self-reported verbal abuse in 1300+ older women within a private, tertiary women’s health clinic. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 66, 62–65. DOI:10.1109/ICAIIC459.2021.9415218.

Panel 2: Applying Appraisal Theory in the Analysis of Stance and Persuasiveness


Presenters and affiliations

Xu Qingxin, Xiamen University

Jing Yi, Harbin Institute of Technology


The papers in this panel report on Appraisal-informed research in the analysis of stance and persuasiveness. The focus is on what has variously been termed the ‘intended’, ‘imagined’, ‘ideal’, ‘virtual’, ‘model’ or ‘putative’ reader/addressee. This refers to the idea that a text construes for itself a particular reader or addressee – the text signals directly or indirectly authorial anticipations of the imagined addressee's beliefs, attitudes, dispositions and values. Drawing on recent work within the Appraisal-framework literature, the papers in this panel explore how a text projects particular attitudes, beliefs and expectations onto the reader/addressee. The types of text under investigation include YouTube commentaries, Twitters, television programs and danmu videos. This panel thus complements the body of Appraisal research which is concerned with the text producer’s identity/persona by shifting the focus to the putative addressee. From the current perspective, what is of interest is textual identity/persona, which is necessarily a dialogistic construct – it is concerned with not only the text producer’s values and beliefs, but also the values and beliefs projected onto the putative addressee. In this, the panel enhances the understanding of how a text may be persuasive.

Key words: Appraisal; stance; attitude; epistemology; argumentation; persuasion; putative addressee; rhetoric; commentary; YouTube; COVID-19; hashtag “#Shiavirus”; Islam; Pakistan; infidelity; mediation; conflict talk; dialogistic positioning; danmu; teacher home visit





Paper 1


Speaker and putative addressee: The case of disclosing intimate partner’s infidelity in family mediations

Xu Qingxin 

Xiamen University


Abstract: Infidelity seems always to have the effect of a fire – uncontrollable and unpredictable, potentially destroying romantic monogamous relationships. Victims of intimate partner’s infidelity commonly disclose their experiences to family dispute mediators. Previous studies have investigated individual differences in coping with infidelity, the association between personality and infidelity, and predictors of infidelity. However, no research is known to date to have examined the victims’ fidelity beliefs and their presumption of the mediators’ beliefs via scrutinizing the victims’ attitudinal language when disclosing their partner’s cheating behaviour. In this presentation, I examine how six disputing couples construct the meaning of the “same” life event – marital infidelity – in radically different ways. All spouses narrate their experience, using evaluative languages to reconstruct and interpret events and yet, because they have different beliefs about the meaning of “infidelity”, they construe the events and putative addressees in contrasting ways. Using Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal framework and informed by White’s (2020, 2021a, 2021b) formulation of the “putative reader”, I systematically unpack the attitudinal assessments conveyed by the disputing spouses. I track multiple attitudinal axes of each attitudinal instance and identify the value positions (Cf. “warrant” in Toulmin (2003)’s argument model). The value positions – either articulated or unarticulated – rationalize the inferential leap from the literal wording to the attitudinal claim. By deploying relevant computational data mining algorithms, I find multiple clusters of value positions. The value position clusters reveal the speakers’ normative expectations for how to “behave” in intimate relationships, including emotional and sexual exclusivity, as well as gender roles within relationships. The value positions also reveal the differences in the speakers’ construal of the putative addressees, who might hold similar or divergent normative expectations. The findings show that what on the surface appear to be the same life events are, in fact, quite different events. Accordingly, I argue that Appraisal analysis needs to attend more closely to the value positions underlying each attitudinal assessment and show how a systematic unpacking of value positions can enrich discourse studies of mediation talk by illuminating how individuals dialogically position the self and the putative addressees.


Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. R. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. Palgrave.

Toulmin, S. E. (2003). The Uses of Argument (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

White, P. R. R. (2020). The putative reader in mass media persuasion – stance, argumentation and ideology. Discourse & Communication, 14(4), 404–423. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481320910512

White, P. R. R. (2021a). Alignment, persuasiveness and the putative reader in opinion writing. Language, Context and Text, 3(2), 247–273.

White, P. R. R. (2021b). Textual Anticipation and the Putative Reader in Persuasive Discourse. Journal of Foreign Languages, 44(1), 2–20.



Paper 2


Danmu as a challenge to putative addressee

Jing Yi 

Harbin Institute of Technology


Abstract: This presentation is concerned with what the literature terms “putative addressee” (e.g. Thompson 2012; White 2020) in danmu videos. Danmu is an anonymous (pseudo-) real-time commenting system in video-sharing platforms (see e.g. Johnson 2013; Zhang & Cassany 2020 for more features of danmu) which has been gaining increasing popularity in China since the last decade. Different from traditional comments which appear at a separate section below the original video, danmu comments project directly onto the original video, and are synchronised to the playback time of the original video. Danmu video thus presents online viewers’ comments within the canvas of the original video, and enables (pseudo-) real-time interaction from online viewers. Deploying the Appraisal framework as proposed by Martin & White (2005), this study analyzed the attitudinal positioning in danmu and that in subtitles in the original video. The video under investigation shows the scenario of a teacher home visit during a summer vacation. It is the most popular video of the uploader, who is a primary school teacher in the rural area. The video is accessed from Bilibili, the largest danmu video platform in China. Key findings reveal a distinct difference between the stance of the original video producer and that of online viewers. Danmu is thus seen as a challenge to the putative addressee construed in the original video.


Johnson, Daniel. 2013. "Polyphonic/Pseudo-synchronic: Animated Writing in the Comment Feed of Nicovideo." Japanese Studies 33 (3): 297-313. doi: 10.1080/10371397.2013.859982.

Martin, J. R., and Peter R. R. White. 2005. The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Thompson, Geoff. 2012. Intersubjectivity in newspaper editorials: Construing the reader-in-the-text. English Text Construction 5 (1): 77–100. doi: 10.1075/etc.5.1.05tho

White, Peter R. R. 2020. "The putative reader in mass media persuasion – stance, argumentation and ideology." Discourse & Communication 14 (4): 404-423. doi: 10.1177/1750481320910512.

Zhang, Leticia-Tian, and Daniel Cassany. 2020. "Making sense of danmu: Coherence in massive anonymous chats on Bilibili.com." Discourse Studies 22 (4): 483-502. doi: 10.1177/1461445620940051.

Panel 3: A Multimodal Corpus-based Approach to Discourse Analysis


Presenters and affiliations

John BATEMAN, Bremen University

Kong Youqi, University of Shenzhen; Lin Wei, Fudan University

He Yufei, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; Xu Qingxin, Xiamen University; Wu Xiaoqin, University of New South Wales


Panel Abstract


Background: Multimodality has always been the inherent feature of human communication, with language being only part of the multimodal ensemble that enables various communicative practices. The recent decades have witnessed an increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies adopting multimodal approaches to explore the meaning-making mechanism of various presentation forms and communicative situations (e.g., O’Halloran, 2004; Jewitt, 2016; Bateman, Wildfeuer, Hiippala, 2017). However, a great majority of empirical studies are either descriptions raising small sets of examples for illustration or case studies that are largely ‘qualitative’ in nature. The conclusions or frameworks offered in these studies are often tentative that are subject to further data-driven studies. The status quo of multimodal research is therefore in urgent need of large-scale corpus-based studies that utilize automatic transcription and annotation techniques that greatly improve the efficiency of data processing and computational methods that reveal significant patterns against a great amount of data.

Body: The five presentations in this panel address precisely this need. This panel begins with an introduction of the advanced techniques and tools concerning the building and application of multimodal corpora by John Bateman and a discussion of how artificial intelligence and multimodal discourse analysis could benefit from each other by Kay O’Halloran. The rest three papers are empirical multimodal corpus-based studies that investigate different multimodal phenomena. Youqi Kong and Wei Lin present a comparative study of multimodal construction of news values in Chinese and American news discourse on 5G, using AI image annotation tools to analyse news photos in two corpora of news texts released from 2017 to 2021. Zheng Wang reports his multimodal corpus-based study of generic structure of multimodal documents including journal covers, print advertisement and film posters. In the final presentation, Yufei He, Qingxin Xu and Xiaoqin Wu shift their attention from two-dimensional presentation forms to three-dimensional communicative situation – IT companies’ product launches. Drawing on the Genre and Multimodality (GeM) framework, their study tracks the introduction of iPhone from 2007 to 2019 by systematically coding the content structure and appraisal resources in iPhone releases in MMAV (Multimodal Analysis Video) and statistically analysing the results with the programming language R. In summary, this panel introduces the state-of-the-art techniques and principles for multimodal corpora building and large-scale data analysis. It also brings together empirical multimodal corpus-based studies utilizing different tools, theoretical frameworks and analysis approaches. It is hoped that this panel can spark discussions and ultimately facilitate our understanding of the opportunities and challenges brought by the multimodal-corpus based approach to discourse analysis, which will help unravel multimodal complexities in a more efficient and effective manner.

Key words: multimodal corpus-based approach; multimodal discourse analysis; artificial intelligence; data science; computational methods; image processing; multimodal construction of news values; multimodal genre analysis; 5G news discourse; iPhone release


Bateman, J., Wildfeuer, J., & Hiippala, T. (2017). Multimodality: Foundations, research and analysis–A problem-oriented introduction. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.

Jewitt, C. (Ed.). (2011). The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

O'Halloran, K. L. (Ed.). (2004). Multimodal discourse analysis: Systemic-functional perspectives. London/New York: Continuum.


Paper 1


Multimodal Corpora: states of the art, theoretical foundations, and computational methods

John Bateman 

Bremen University


Background: In many areas of multimodality research there is an increasing awareness that it is beneficial to move beyond discussions of selected, or even individual cases. This makes natural contact with corpus-based approaches as they have developed in linguistics and there are many techniques, principles and even tools that can be adapted for multimodal use. What then raised as a challenge is just what properties, features or phenomena within potentially highly complex multimodal artefacts or performances should find their way into ‘multimodal corpora’ and how.

Body: In this contribution I present some of the state of the art now moving multimodal corpora onward both theoretically and practically and, on the basis of examples, discuss recommendations and requirements both for tool design and for tool selection.

Key words: multimodal corpora; computational methods; multimodal artefacts; multimodal performances; tool design; tool selection



Paper 2


Investigating the multimodal construction of news values: A comparative study of Chinese and American news discourse on 5G

Kong Youqi, Lin Wei 

University of Shenzhen; Fudan University


Aim: This article aims to study the multimodal construction of newsworthiness in Chinese and American news discourse by investigating news texts and accompanying photos on the issue of 5G.

Body: For comparison purposes, we have compiled two corpora consisting of 275 news texts on 5G from the year of 2017 to 2021, published on China Daily, New York Times and Washington Post. AI image annotation tools are used to assign labels that indicate the major categories and information of the news images. Adopting the Discursive News Values Analysis (DNVA) framework, our research reveals that the Timeliness and Eliteness values are emphasized across both Chinese and American news discourses. However, American news media highlights the Negativity value whereas Chinese news media stresses the Proximity and Impact values. Our study, integrating multimodal analysis and corpus-based approaches, demonstrates the different multimodal construction practices of news values by Chinese and American media, and scrutinizes the visual and linguistics semiotics of the news discourse. It sheds light on the potential of using computational annotation and visualization tools to process and understand information across semiotic channels.

Key words: multimodal construction of news values; newsworthiness; comparative study; 5G news discourse; Chinese and American news discourse; AI image annotation tool; news images; Discursive News Values Analysis; Corpus-based approach; computational annotation



Paper 3


Tracking the introduction of products in IT companies’ product launches: construing and evaluating an increasingly diversified dimensions of products

He Yufei, Xu Qingxin, Wu Xiaoqin 

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; Xiamen University;

University of New South Wales


Background: Since Apple Inc. launched its first iPhone in 2007, IT giants have been following suit, staging product launches once or twice a year to promote their newly developed products to a worldwide audience. These events never fail to capture media and public attention, placing the IT giants at the center of the digital revolution.

Body: Drawing on the Genre and Multimodality (GeM) framework proposed by Bateman (2008), this study tracks the introduction of iPhone by systematically analyzing the content structure and linguistic structure in 6 product launches by Apple Inc. from 2007 to 2019. The content structure in product launches describes the specific dimensions of the products (iPhone series introduced), e.g., function, design and performance. In terms of the linguistic structure, this study adopts a revised appraisal system proposed by Martin and White (2005) to examine the evaluation of the dimensions of the iPhone series introduced. The content structure (the dimensions and their multimodal realizations) and the linguistic structure (the evaluation of dimensions) are coded in MMAV (Multimodal Analysis Video) and then exported to excel for a statistical analysis by using the programing language R. By systematically coding and statistically analyzing the results, this study seeks to answer the following three questions: 1) what were the key dimensions of the iPhone series introduced? 2) How were these dimensions realized through multimodal resources? 3) How were these dimensions evaluated?

Research findings show that there is an increasingly diversified dimensions and sub-dimensions of iPhone introduced in the last decade and an increased use of various semiotic resources to construe these dimensions. The appraisal analysis of the texts reveals the features of product launches as a multimodal business promotion genre – foregrounding the novelty and industry leadership of the products introduced. This study exemplifies the application of statistical method in multimodal corpus-based studies. The phylogenetic perspective also helps mapping the evolution of this business promotion genre and portraying a profile of Apple’s development, which reflects the company’s identity and product values.

Key words: IT companies’ product launches; iPhone release; dimensions of products; Genre and Multimodality (GeM) framework; appraisal system; Multimodal Analysis Video; programming language R; multimodal business promotion genre; phylogenetic study; company identity


Bateman, J. (2008). Multimodality and Genre: A Foundation for the Systematic Analysis of Multimodal Documents. Springer.

Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Panel 4: System Networks as A Resource in Language Education 


Convenors: Winfred Wenhui Xuan, Christian Matthiessen

Institutions: College of Professional and Continuing Education, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Hunan University

Key words: SFL; Transitivity; System networks; Language education; Appraisal; L2 writing; Spanish; English; Academic writing


General introduction:

    While SFL-informed approaches have been widely applied to the field of language education in the past decade — genre-based pedagogy being very popular, effective and successful, the idea of the system embodying the potential of language, represented as a system network, is seldom used in this area.

    In the context of language education, where learning a second/ foreign language can be conceived of as learning how to mean in a new language, system networks can be used in a variety of ways. For example, we can use them to profile L2 learners’ choices in their output in order to track their frontier in the expansion of their own meaning potentials, determining if there are parts of the systemic potential that they don’t access or areas that they over-use.

    To shed light on L2 learning as mastering a new meaning potential, this colloquium is designed to promote the idea of utilising system networks as tools for language education. We will gather practices or voices from around the globe on this topic, such as the US, Mexico, England, Qatar, and Spain. In addition, we would like to showcase how different system networks can be applied to research into language education and how they can also be used a pedagogic resource by learners.

    Paper one explores the interaction of the systems of transitivity and attitude in humanistic writing in Spanish in Mexico. Its purpose is to investigate how student writers use process types to construe their specific disciplinary experience, how they inscribe attitudinal meanings in their texts, and how the transitivity and attitude systems interact in student choices. Paper two aims to integrate findings from research on citation practices to inform a system network that shows not only the citation options available but also the preferred options for different contexts with typical realisations. Paper three shows how the authors use genre analysis (and analysis based on relevant systems networks, e.g., appraisal) to diagnose student challenges in argument genres, and how they address these challenges with pedagogical materials in Qatar. Paper four shows how the system of transitivity can be used as the basis for the design of an EFL lesson in Spain, including a contextualized text as well as different kinds of activities for the lexicogrammatical exploitation of the lesson’s text. However, Paper five takes another perspective on reflecting how SFL-informed research could be more socially accountable if we bring our participants and their community objectives into our research consideration.



Paper 1


The interaction of transitivity and attitude systems in humanistic writing in Spanish

Natalia Ignatieva, Victoria Zamudio-Jasso, Guillermo Jiménez-Sánchez, Daniel Rodríguez-Vergara

National Autonomous University of Mexico


Aim: This paper presents a systemic functional analysis of process types in academic texts in Spanish from the Appraisal Framework perspective in order to establish connections and observe the interaction of the experiential and interpersonal metafunctions and the systems of transitivity and attitude. Our purpose is to explore how student writers use process types to construe their specific disciplinary experience, how they inscribe attitudinal meanings in their texts, and how the transitivity and attitude systems interact in student choices.

Background: This work was part of the research study ‘Verbal typology and evaluation in academic writing of the humanities: a systemic functional study, developed at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which, in turn, was included in the international SAL (Systemics Across Languages) project in its Latin American version (Scotta Cabral & Barbara, 2018).

Body: We used student texts from the CLAE corpus (Corpus del Lenguaje Académico en Español, or Corpus of Academic Language in Spanish), the product of one of our previous studies (Ignatieva & Colombi, 2014). The texts, collected at the Faculty of Arts, belong to three disciplines (literature, history and geography) and to four text types labeled in the university setting as essays, reviews, question-answers, and reports.

    The methodology included a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 1) process type realizations, 2) expressions of attitude, classified according to type (affect, judgment, appreciation), orientation (positive, negative) and structure (attribute, noun group, adjunct, etc.) and 3) interaction between the process types and attitude types. This was followed by a comparative analysis between the disciplines and between the genres considered in each one. The results showed both the similarities that unite these disciplines as part of the humanities area, and the differences that reflect their specific fields of knowledge and construction of meanings. In addition, some patterns that combine specific process types and attitude expressions were found to appear across texts (e.g. relational processes with attributes that inscribe appreciation). Such patterns represent an important tool in the implementation of a system-based pedagogy and the teaching of academic writing in Spanish.

Key words: Process types; Appraisal Framework; lexicogrammar; discourse semantics; literature; history; geography; academic writing; genres; patterns


Ignatieva, N. & Colombi, C. (Eds.) (2014). El lenguaje académico en México y los Estados Unidos: Un análisis sistémico funcional. Mexico: UNAM.

Scotta, S. R. & Barbara, L. (Eds.) (2018). Estudos sistêmico-funcionais no âmbito do projeto SAL. Santa Maria: PPGL Editores.





Paper 2


A System Network for Teaching Citation in First-Year Student Writing

Sheena Gardner

Coventry University


Aim: The aim of this paper is to integrate findings from research on citation practices to inform a system network that shows not only the citation options available but also the preferred options for different contexts with typical realisations. It is appropriate for teaching students for first-year undergraduate university study.

Background: A frequent comment, at least in the UK, by academic writing tutors on the assignments submitted particularly by second language university students is ‘use more integral citation’. Ideally, such comments would be pre-empted by effective teaching. There are two main reasons that university students have difficulty with citation practices. First, in English language admissions tests, such as IELTS, students may not be required to integrate the writing of others into their own writing. As Coffin and Hewings (2004) show, this means that for IELTS students are encouraged to develop arguments based on their own opinions, which is quite different interpersonally and textually from university writing. Then at university, the risks of plagiarism (which can lead to expulsion) are emphasised, meaning students are expected to cite other sources, without perhaps understanding when, how and why.

Body: Research on citation practices is wide-ranging and diverse: the methods used to investigate it range from corpus approaches to interviewing students; while the focus ranges from the ‘reporting verbs’ used to the nature of engagement with sources to how the work is cited. The schemes used by Coffin (2009) and Hu and Wang (2014) provide a potential system network that forms the basis of a pedagogical tool. The pedagogical tool will incorporate what we know about student writing (e.g. that students can be reluctant to challenge sources [Nesi 2021]) and what we know about genre and disciplinary differences in citation practices (e.g. that non-integral citation is more common in the hard sciences [Harwood 2009]).

Key words: citation; system network; L2 writing; teaching; pedagogic materials; attribution


Coffin, C. J. (2009). Incorporating and evaluating voices in a film studies thesis. Writing and Pedagogy, 1(2), 163-193.

Coffin, C., & Hewings, A. (2004). IELTS as preparation for tertiary writing: Distinctive interpersonal and textual strategies. Analysing academic writing: Contextualized frameworks, 153-171.

Gao, J., Picoral, A., Staples, S., & Macdonald, L. (2021). Citation practices of L2 writers in first-year writing courses: Form, rhetorical function, and connection with pedagogical materials. Applied Corpus Linguistics, 1(2), 100005.

Harwood, N. (2009). An interview-based study of the functions of citations in academic writing across two disciplines. Journal of pragmatics, 41(3), 497-518.

Hu, G., & Wang, G. (2014). Disciplinary and ethnolinguistic influences on citation in research articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 14, 14-28.

Lee, J. J., Hitchcock, C., & Casal, J. E. (2018). Citation practices of L2 university students in first-year writing: Form, function, and stance. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 33, 1-11.

Nesi, H. (2021). Sources for courses: Metadiscourse and the role of citation in student writing. Lingua, 253, 103040.



Paper 3:


Addressing student challenges with Argument genres across disciplines

Silvia Pessoa, Thomas D. Mitchell, Maria Pia Gomez-Laich

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

Aim: In this presentation, we show how we use genre analysis (and analysis based on relevant systems networks, e.g., appraisal (Martin & White, 20005)) to diagnose student challenges with Argument genres, and how we address these challenges with pedagogical materials.

Background: Undergraduate students have to produce a variety of genres across disciplines with differing expectations (Nesi & Gardner, 2012). Despite the diversity of genres, what is prominent across the disciplines is argumentation (Hirvela, 2017). However, research shows that argument genres are challenging for many students, especially L2 writers of academic English, and disciplinary faculty may not be equipped to help students meet writing expectations (Coffin & Donohue, 2014). Students who produce less effective writing often apply or over-apply their knowledge of academic writing in less effective ways (Ivanic, 1996). For example, a student who is asked to write an Analytical Exposition in a history class may only partially stay focused on bringing the reader towards their position, and revert to more descriptive, elementary genres like Reports or Explanations. Similarly, a student who is asked to write a case analysis in an organizational behavior class may be challenged by the expectation to support an argument for their recommended solution to a company’s problem among a series of alternative solutions; rather than writing a Discussion, they instead may fall back on more familiar compare-and-contrast approaches that lack comparative reasoning or coherent evaluative positioning. Thus, students may partially or wholly fail to meet genre expectations (Schleppegrell, 2006).

Body: Drawing on our iterative collaborations with disciplinary professors to scaffold writing in their courses (e.g., in history, information systems, organizational behavior), we share how genre analysis of student writing reveals particular ways that students do and do not meet expectations for argumentative writing, and how this leads to an understanding of which ideational, interpersonal, and textual resources students need to focus on to more effectively meet expectations. Rather than solely focusing on exemplar texts, we draw on our analysis of a range of student response type. We share how we have applied our research-based findings in classroom workshops and how we have helped disciplinary faculty be more attentive to linguistic details that contribute to less effective student responses so that they can improve their ability to articulate their expectations.

Key words: Systemic Functional Linguistics; L2 writing; engagement; disciplinary writing; argumentative writing; genre pedagogy; genre analysis; history writing; case analysis writing; disciplinary collaboration


Coffin, C. & Donahue (2014). “This is description, not film analysis”: Semiotically mediating genre, conceptual formations, and text development. Language Learning, 64, 85-145.

Hirvela, A. (2017). Argumentation and second language writing: Are we missing the boat? Journal of Second Language Writing, 36, 69-74.

Ivanic, R. (1996). Linguistics and the logic of non-standard punctuation. In N. Hall and A. Robinson (Eds.), Learning about punctuation (pp.148-169). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. R. (2005). The language of evaluation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Nesi, H. & Gardner, S. (2012). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Schleppegrell, M. J. (2006). The linguistic features of advanced language use: The grammar of exposition. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning: The contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 134-146). London: Continuum.



Paper 4


Teaching mental transitivity to EFL learners: a blended-learning proposal

Jorge Arús-Hita

Universidad Complutense de Madrid


Aim: This presentation intends to offer a practical case of application of Systemic Functional Linguistics (henceforth SFL) to Foreign Language Teaching. More precisely, the aim is to show how one specific area of the lexicogrammar of English, i.e. mental transitivity can be used as the basis for the design of a EFL lesson, including a contextualized text as well as different kinds of activities for the lexicogrammatical exploitation of the lesson’s text.

Background: As an eminently appliable theory, SFL has informed several language teaching proposals. Although a wide majority of these have arguably revolved around the concept of literacy, there has also been some research related to foreign and second language teaching (e.g. Kim and Kellog 2015; Palincsar and Schleppegrell 2014; Gleason 2013; Jones and Lock 2013; Ryshina-Pankova and Byrnes, to mention but a few). While all of these offer very interesting insights for the application of SFL to Foreign and Second Language teaching contexts, none of them provides a straightforward application of SFL to the actual design of lessons.

Body: This paper intends to fill the gap pointed out above by demonstrating how to create a blended learning EFL lesson ex nihilo using SFL. We first focus on how to create a text that contains the lexicogrammar object of study of the lesson. Once this has been done, and using the Virtual Learning Environment Moodle, a series of activities are proposed, moving from more guided to more open-ended, all of them driven by the didactic exploitation of the lexicogrammar of mental transitivity. The presentation also includes a proposal for the integration of SFL theory into the explanation of the lesson (lexico)grammatical goals. As part of this, the convenience of introducing learners to the interpretation of system networks, e.g. the system network of mental transitivity, will be discussed.

Key words: Systemic Functional Theory; English as a Foreign Language (EFL); Foreign Language Teaching (FLT), mental transitivity, lesson design; Moodle; blended learning


Gleason, J. (2013). An interpretive argument for blended Spanish tasks. Foreign Language Annals, 46(4), 588—609.

Jones, R. and G. Lock, (2011). Functional grammar in the ESL classroom: noticing, exploring and practising. London, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kim, Y.-H. and D. Kellogg (2015). Rocks and Other Hard Places: Tracing ethical thinking in Korean and English dialogue. Language and Education,

Palincsar, A. and M. Schleppegrell. (2014). Focusing on language and meaning while learning with text. TESOL Quarterly, 48(3), 616-623.

Ryshina-Pankova, M., and H. Byrnes (2013). Writing as learning to know: Tracing knowledge construction in L2 German compositions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22, 179-197.



Panel 5: The Semogenesis of Experiential Grammar


Paper 1


The meaning-making mechanism of V-ee Derivatives from the Transitive-ergative Perspectives

Chen Xiaoran 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: In this research, firstly, three under-explained phenomena of V-ee derivatives are answered. The three questions that semanticists have failed to address, and that cognitive linguists have failed to adequately address, can be adequately explained.

Secondly, this paper further reveals the meaning-making mechanism of V-ee derivatives through data analysis. V-ee derivatives are fundamentally determined by the constraints imposed by the the way grammar construing experience, rather than by their main lexical verbs.

Thirdly, according to this meaning-making mechanism, it is possible to predict predictive the productivity of V-ee derivatives.

Background: Neither the syntactic nor the semantic perspectives can explain the presence of inanimate V-ee derivatives, agentive V-ee derivatives, or V-ee derivatives with no link with their base verbs. To better explain the existence of peripheral members, like linechisee, attendee and amputee, more recent research (Langacker 1991; Wang & Wu 2017) has focused on the formation mechanism of V-ee derivatives, but their explanations are too general, either explaining it as a linguistic choice of the speaker in a communicative context or attributing the cause to unpredictable semantic properties.base verbs are seen as actions involved in the process, and V-ee derivatives as inherent participants of the process. Halliday (1992) proposes the ergative and the transitive model, which serve as complementary perspectives, on the possibilities of the phenomenon of nominalization or affixation, which enables a novel understanding of V-ee derivatives based on SFL. Therefore, different semantic roles of V-ee derivatives are manifested as various participants functions that are associated with the process. In addition, the meaning-making mechanism of V-ee derivatives is revealed by examining what the participant roles they play when they are as inherent participants in the clause where their base verbs constitute. This is the motivation for the research of V-ee derivatives from transitive-ergative perspectives.

Body: Based on the data extracted from COCA, under the framework of the Transitive-ergative theory, this paper first examines the participant roles played by V-ee derivatives in the unfolding of the process from different perspective—the transitive perspective and the ergative perspective; and then, it divides V-ee derivatives into three general categories: the transitive type, the ergative type, and the mixture of both depending on the way in which grammar construes experience. The V-ee derivatives from the transitive type all have the receptive semantic features, albeit to a slightly different degree; the V-ee derivatives from the ergative type have agentive semantic features; the V-ee derivatives from the mixture type of transitive and ergative have mix of agentive and receptive semantic features.

Key words: V-ee Derivatives; transitive-ergative perspectives; transitivity; ergativity; systemic functional linguistics; dynamicity; experiential grammar; semogenesis, logogenesis; COCA


Halliday, M. A. K. (1992). How do you mean?. In J. J. Webster (Eds.), On Grammar: Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday, Vol.1 (pp.333-348). London: Continuum, 384-417.

Langacker, R. W. (1991). Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol.2. Stanford: University of Stanford Press

Wang, Wenbin., & Wu, Juyan. (2017). 从语义论元共指原则视角考察英语X-ee派生词 [The Perspective of the Co-indexation Principle on Semantic Arguments: A Probe into English X-ee Derivatives]. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching, (1), 33-41+146.



Paper 2


On the semogenesis of meteorological process

Dong Tianshu 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: On the explanation of the way of construing the meteorological experience in spatio-temporal dimension.

Background: Previous SFL researchers mentioned meteorological process in many works but failed to systemically establish the semantic network of it as the seventh process type.

Body: This study establishes a semantic system network of meteorological process based on its evolution trajectory. The experience of it is taxonomized as two types, the weather in a shorter time period and the climate in a longer time period. Both these two ways of construing meteorological meaning depends on different human observing perspectives, from a participant view to a nearer observing point and finally a wholly further helicopter view. Meteorological extensions in the spatio-temporal dimension means that we could not make analogies with previous categories that are featured by spatio-temporal boundaries. Although it can be construed as participant, it is closer to the meaning of process in the temporal dimension. The difficulty of describing this seventh process type lies in the explanation of what nature means for human being. After analyzing those different meteorological meaning categories, this study reaches the conclusion that the evidence of meteorological process existing in the transitivity system lies in its exceptional ways of construing the experience of causality. The network clearly construes the way of building semantic junctions from material world into the semiotic world. So, after analyzing the basis of what weather and climate mean for the living of human being, meteorological meaning is construed as different grammatical categories in different evolution stages. We could also see how different descriptive ways are adopted in different evolution stages, from indeterminate category to a more delicate system network. This network also includes the differences between previous relational process which attributes and identifies categories with spatial boundaries and the attributive and identifying modes of meteorological categories with spatio-temporal extension. In one word, putting the meaning of participant and process into the whole spatio-temporal dimension, the more comprehensive meaning of categories is established.

Key words: Transitivity; weather; climate; semogenesis; system network; causality; material world; semiotic world; indeterminacy; metaredundancy


Ahrens, D. & R. Henson. 2018. Essentials of meteorology: An invitation to the atmosphere (8th ed.). Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

Allen, J. F. 1994. Actions and events in interval temporal logic [J]. Journal of logic and computation, 4(5): 531-579.

Campbell, R. J. 2015. The metaphysics of emergence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Davidse, K. & A. Noppen. 2003. FSP and the grammar of the weather in English. In: Language and Function. To the memory of Jan Firbas. Hg. von Hdlasky, Joseph. Amsterdam: John Benjamins; S.71-88.

Eriksen, P., S. Kittila & L. Kolehmainen. 2010. The linguistics of weather: cross- linguistic patterns of meteorological expressions. Studies in Language. 34 (3):565-601.

Fawcett, R. P. 1999. On the subject of Subject in English: two positions on its meaning (and on how to test for it). Functions of Language, 6(2), 243-273.

GaltonA. 2003. Desiderata for a Spatio-temporal Geo-ontology, Kuhn, W., Worboys, M. F. & Timpf, S. (eds.) Spatial Information Theory: Foundations of Geographical Information Science, Berlin: Springer, pp. 1-12.

Galton, A. 2004. Fields and Objects in Space, Time and Space-time, Spatial Cognition and Computation, 4(1), pp. 39-67.

Galton, A. & M. Riichiro, 2009. The water falls but the waterfall does not fall: new perspectives on objects, processes and events, Applied Ontology, 4(2), pp. 71-107.

Galton, A. 2017. The dynamic present. In P. Halse, P. Blackburn & P. Ohrstrom (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Themes from Prior, Aalborg University Press, pp. 167-187.

Halliday, M.A.K. On grammar and grammatics [A]. In R. Hasan, C. Cloran & D.G. Butt (eds). Functional Descriptions: Theory and Practice. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1996: 1-38. Reprinted in J. Webster (ed). On Grammar, vol. 1 in The Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday [M]. London: Continuum/Beijing: Peking University Press, 2002/2007: 384-417.

Halliday, M.A.K., 2002. How do you mean [A]. In J. J. Webster (ed). On Grammar: Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday Vol. 2 [C]. London: Continuum, 2002: 352-368.

Halliday, M.A.K., 2004. Things and relations: Regrammaticizing experience as technical knowledge [A]. In J. J. Webster (ed). The Language of Science: Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday Vol. 5 [C]. Beijing: Peking University Press, 2004: 49-101.

Halliday, M.A.K., 2009. Mountains of the word: construing the architecture of nature into meaning. In: Paper prepared for presentation at the conference: The Language of Space, Light and Shadow: Language and Architecture Systemically Entwined. (Indonesian International Systemics Conference.) University of Brawijaya, Malang, East Java, Indonesia, 5–7 December 2009. Reprinted as Chapter 15 of Halliday, M.A.K. 2013. Halliday in the 21st century. Volume 11 in the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday, edited by Jonathan J. Webster. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Hasan, R. 1976. Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

Halliday, M.A.K., Matthiessen, C.M.I.M., 1999. Construing Experience Through Meaning: a Language-based Approach to Cognition. Cassell, London. Reissued in 2006. Continuum, London, New York.

Halliday, M.A.K., Matthiessen, C.M.I.M., 2013. Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar, fourth ed. Routledge, London.

Jackendoff, R.1983. Semantics and Cognition. Cambridge: MIT press.

Lemke, J.L. 1993. Discourse, dynamics, and social change. Cultural Dynamics, 6(1), 243-275. 

Lemke, J.L. 2000. Opening up closure: Semiotics across scales. In J. Chandler & G. van de Vijver (Eds.), Closure: Emergent organizations and their dynamics. New York: New York Academy of Science

Levin, B., Krejci, B. 2019. Talking about the weather: Two construals of precipitation events in English. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4(1), Article 58.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & A. Kasyap. 2014. “The construal of space in different registers: an exploratory study.” Language Sciences 45: 1–27.

Meulleman, M. & Katia P. 2016. Weather verbs sifted through a motion seive. Contrastive Linguistics, 5, 58-67.

Rijkhoff, Jan & J. Seibt (2005): “Mood, definiteness and specificity: a linguistic and a philosophical account of their similarities and differences”, in: Tidsskrift for Sprogforskning 3(2), 85-132.

Seibt, J. 2018. “What Is a Process? Modes of Occurrence and Forms of Dynamicity in General Process Theory”, in R. Stout (ed.), Process, Action, and Experience, Oxford: Oxford University Press (pp. 121-149).

WhorfB. L. 1956. Language, Thought and Reality. Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf, Carroll, J. B. (ed.). Cambridge: MIT press.

Talmy, L. 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics. 2 vols. Cambridge: MIT press.

Thibault, Paul J. 2021. Selves, interactive representations, and context: A systemic functional linguistic account of process in language and world. Language, Context and Text: The social semiotic forum. 3(1): 33-92.

Zemach, E. (1970) Four Ontologies. Journal of Philosophy 23, 231-247.

伟,张存玉. 表达气象意义小句的及物性研究: 系统功能类型学视角[J]. 解放军外国语学院学报,20161):36-44.



Paper 3


The Description on English Prepositional Phrase Complexes System

Li Xinying 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: This thesis aims to explore a systemic description on English prepositional phrase complexes based on an integrated framework of rank position, logical meaning and experiential meaning.

Background: On the strength of Halliday & Matthiessen’s description of prepositional phrase complexes, an ignorance of the relationships between the rank position, logical meaning and experiential meaning leads to an inadequate description of prepositional phrase complexes. Therefore, a more refined descriptive framework is needed to interpret prepositional phrase complexes system systemically.

Body: The interpretations on English prepositional phrase complexes are always diverged and absent of delicacy and system. This article targets at clarifying the grammatical evidences and descriptive principles of English prepositional phrase complexes, accomplishing systemic description of it. The description of English prepositional phrase complexes concerns three dimensions: rank position, logical meaning and experiential meaning. On account of the complementation of both relational clause cryptotypes overt configuration and prepositional phrase cryptotypes overt configuration, English prepositional phrase complexes are represented as circumstance-participant cline with three sub-categories —— conjunctional category, blending category and conjunctional-blending category, with each is construed into various types based on logical meaning differences.

Key words: English prepositional phrase complexes; descriptive principles; entry condition; cryptotypes; overt configuration; logogenesis; experiential grammar; conjunction; relator; circumstance-participant cline


Butler, C. S. Structure and Function: A Guide to Three Major Structural-Functional Theories. Part 1: Approaches to the Simplex Clause [M]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.

Fawcett, R. P. A Theory of Syntax for Systemic Functional Linguistics [M]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2000.

Goldberg, A. E. Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure [M]. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995.

Halliday, M. A. K. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd ed.) [M]. London: Edward Arnold, 1994.

Halliday, M. A. K. The concept of rank: a reply [A]. In J. J. Webster (ed). Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday. Vol. 1: On Grammar [C]. London: Continuum, 2002: 118-126.

Halliday, M. A. K. Complementarities in Language [M]. Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2008.

Halliday, M. A. K. & C. M. I. M. Matthiessen. Construing Experience through Meaning: A Language-based Approach to Cognition [M]. London: Continuum, 1999.

Halliday, M. A. K. & C. M. I. M. Matthiessen. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd ed.) [M]. London: Hodder Arnold, 2004.

Langacker, R. W. Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction [M]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Lemke, J. L. Opening up closure semiotics across scales [J]. Annals New York Academy of Sciences, 2010, 901(1): 100-111.

Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. Lexicogrammatical Cartography: English Systems [M]. Tokyo: International Language Sciences Publishers, 1995.

Thibault, P. J. Brain, Mind and the Signifying Body [M]. London: Continuum, 2004.

黄国文, 何伟, 廖楚燕, R.P. Fawcett. 系统功能语法入门: 加的夫模式[M]. 北京: 北京大学出版社, 2008.

吴海波译, Goldberg. 构式: 论元结构的构式语法研究[M]. 北京: 北京大学出版社, 2007.

周晋英. 英语主从介词短语复合体的系统功能语言学研究[J]. 外语教学与研究, 2017(3): 353-365.



Paper 4


Semogenesis of Mood Adjuncts in English

Liu Na 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aims: This study aims to answer the following two questions: What are the features of the distribution of mood adjuncts in different text types? What is the mechanism of semogenesis about mood adjunct and how it works?

Background: Mood and modality have been studied many years though no researcher can clarify their boundaries. Mood in systemic functional linguistic is a system to realize interpersonal function, which cooperate with the system of modality and others. Within the network of mood, Subject and Finite are two components to decide provide information or ask for information, provide goods and services or ask for goods and services. Finite is composed by verbs and mood adjuncts, which is the only adjunct appear in mood system, other kinds of adjuncts are out of mood system. Halliday & Matthiessen (2014) show us three kinds of mood adjuncts: mood adjuncts of temporality, mood adjuncts of modality and mood adjuncts of polarity. These three mood adjuncts contribute to the semogenesis by realization of phylogeny, ontogeny and logogeny. Semogenesis happens in three facets, two of them have vector property in time. Those three are complementary in evolution in pairs. The evolution is realized by text, that is logogenesis. Text types perform as the diversity of evolution. The diversity and coupling features as realizations of functions not only in interpersonal but also in ideational.

Body: Semogenesis take language as a dynamic process and aims to trace the mechanism of language evolution. There are three directions of evolution, 1) new things appeared or new species are explored, e.g. computer comes alive accompanied with the appearance of the object. The evolution of language is the new unity of signifier and signified. 2) the movement of the scale of delicacy, the two parts of the unity can separate new signifier and signified. The elevation of delicacy makes the new knowledge of research goal. 3) rank shift, that is grammatical metaphor is a way of language evolution.

Semogenesis focus on functions of language in construction and maintain social relationships for human beings. It does pay attention to language features. It is the evolutionary theory of meaning, not the evolutionary theory of language. SFL is interested in the evolution of social functions implemented by language, not the evolution of the form of language. Semogenesis is appeared in “How do you mean?” (Halliday 1992). Its key components are the process of evolution from protolanguage to modern language from phylogeny, ontogeny and logonegy. The term phylogeny and ontogeny borrowed from E. Hackel, a German zoologist, in 19th century. The concept of evolution comes from Darwin, a British scientist, in the middle of 19th century.  Phylogeny try to trace the morphologic change of species from occurrence to extinction. Ontogeny try to record the traits of individuals of certain species at different times by tracing the biological remains of various ages.

The theory of semogenesis is short of evidence in theoretical and practical sense. As the written history of human civilization takes small part in human phylogenetic history. The form and evolution of language in its infancy cannot be traced by archaeological means. The analogy of phylogeny and ontogeny provides a possibility to infer the process of phylogeny by studying the ontogeny of children. The hypothesis of phylogeny set the original state is the mammalian experience, based on the opposition between human beings and their environment. In this stage, the plane of expression and the plane of content seems to opposite. It is in fact a unity of opposites for the unity of these two is decoupled by lexicogrammar gradually in the history of evolution. lexicogrammar evolves as an interface of the two, which makes the one-to-one corresponding relations of content and expression evolved into a metaredundant relation. In modern language system, content (meaning or signifed) is realized by lexicogrammar, lexicogrammar is realized by expression. Metaredundant becomes a mechanism of meaning creation. And the start point of language evolution is language consciousness, which is based on human experience.

Key words: Semogenesis; logogenesis; phylogenesis; ontogenesis; adjunts; mood adjuncts; mechanism; evolution; grammaticalization; English


Halliday, M. A. K. 1992. How do you mean? [A] In M. Davies & L. Ravelli (eds.). Advances in Systemic Linguistics: Recent Theory and Practice [C]. London: Pinter Publishers. 20-35.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1970a. Functional Diversity in Language, as Seen from a Consideration of Modality and Mood in English [J]. Foundations of Language 6: 322–361.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1975. Learning How to Mean: Exploration in the Development of Language. [M]. London: Arnold.

Jean Piaget, W Mays(trans.) 1972. The Principles of Genetic Epistemology [M]. London: Routledge.

Jespersen, Otto 1924. The Philosophy of Grammar. [M]. London: Allen & Unwin.

Tucker, Gordon 2001. Possibly Alternative Modality [J]. Functions of Language 8: 183–215.

Vygotsky, L. S. 1978. Mind and Society. [M]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.



Paper 5


On the Calculus Approach Thinking in Systemic Functional Linguistics

Liu Shuxin 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: Some more attentions to certain science property of linguistics would bring some big surprises to us.

Background: It is well-known that according to Bernstein’s knowledge structure theory, linguistics is the one of dual properties of science and humanities. However, the humanity property of linguistics has been being more concentrated than such science one over a long time.

Body: Calculus that is all about changes is the language God talks. The word Calculus comes from Latin meaning "small stone", being like making sense of matters by looking at small pieces. Calculus is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, infinite series and inverses of differential calculus and integral calculus, and looks at matters, usually from the real world, to map out how they are changing. Language is the one which is changing. There is possibility that studies on languages could be conducted via the approach of calculus. In other words, due to the dual properties of science and humanities, approaches which are appliable in the field of science, are of appliability in the field of linguistics as well. Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) is one of the most reputational theories of functional linguistics, the linguistic theory of English language. The present study aims to explore the calculus approach applied in SFL and the relative research questions are: a. whether or not languages are of properties, as it could be studied via certain approach of calculus; a. Whether or not there is certain calculus approach thinking in SFL. The study finds that: (1) due to the nature of changing, natural property and systemic property, languages could be studied via the approach of calculus; (2) there are two main aspects of calculus approach thinking in SFL, which are differential calculus approach and functions. As to the thinking of differential calculus approach, there are two levels of realizations in SFL. From the macro level, SFL aims to descript general languages, which would be basing on description of specific languages. Such instantiation concept of SFL is micro-level sample of the application of differential calculus approach to studies on languages. Instantiation and language system are two ends of the language cline. To descript a language, it could be realized basing on descriptions of instantiations. And the three metafunctions are some like factors to realize the functions sense of calculus, being used to map real-world relationships between factors. However, the humanity property of linguistics has been being more concentrated than such science one over a long time. Some more attentions to such science property of linguistics may bring some big surprise to us.

Key words: Calculus; SFL; changing; natural property; systemic property; differential calculus; functions; systemic functional typology; instantiation; metafunctions


Bernstein, B. Theoretical Studies towards a Sociology of Language [A]. In Class, Codes and Control, Vol. 1 [C]. London, Henley & Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971.

Bernstein, B. Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions [A]. In Class Codes and Control, Vol. 3 [C]. London & Boston: Routledge, 1975.

Halliday, M. A. K. Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning [M]. Edward Arnold: London, 1978.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (3rd edition) [M]. London: Arnold, 2004.

Halliday, M. A. K., Volume 1 in the Collected Works of M.A K. Halliday, ed. by Jonathan J. Webster. London and New York: Continuum, 2007.

Halliday, M. A. K., Volume3 in the Collected Works of M.A K. Halliday, ed. by Jonathan J. Webster. London and New York: Continuum, 2007.

Halliday, M. A. K., Volume11 in the Collected Works of M.A K. Halliday, ed. by Jonathan J. Webster. London and New York: Continuum, 2009.



Paper 6


The transcategorisation of relators: A phylogenic perspective

Wang Jiawei 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: Underpinned by the theory of semogenesis in Systemic Functional Linguistics, the motif of the research is to investigate how relators evolve in the history of language and what motives finally bring to their transcategorisation (i.e. semantic expansions and junctions) in the scientific language.

Background: Since the rise of linguistics as a discipline, linguists have always felt obliged to find out and describe universal categories of the human language. The recent dynamic turn of categorisation echoes the basic tenets of systemic functional linguistics where language is considered as a ‘dynamic open system’. Transcategorisation, as a major process in the cline of categorisation featured with strong dynamicity, refers to the changes in the process of categorisation.

Body: In the stratum of lexicogrammar, transcategorisation is realised as the category-changing operation triggered by morpho-syntactic techniques, whereas it is realised as the interaction among semantic roles in the stratum of semantics. Semantically, transcategorisation is construed as the Relator-induced interaction amongst Participant, Process, and Circumstance. The directionality of such interactions is found to be constantly towards thingness and concreteness.

Relator, the most unstable and dynamic semantic element, is selected to showcase the phenomenon of transcategorisation with the help of the analytic framework — the Probabilistic Rank-Class Matrix.

Methodologically, the combination of the quantitative and qualitative approaches is adopted to settle the conundrum of the description of the relator as by exploring the dynamicity of the lexicogrammar, semantics, semantic configurations of the relator in the spatial-temporal address of language evolution. The body part of the thesis enumerates the lexicogrammar, semantics, semantic configurations as well junctional phenomenon of the relator with the help of the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts.

The study concludes that the semantic nature of the Relator as can be described and represented with the Probabilistic Rank-Class Matrix, where its meaning is increasing tremendously during the process of transcategorisation. The realisation of the dynamicity of categorisation in the lexicogrammatical stratum of a given semantic category prepares for a unified approach to the description of transcategorisation with or without formal markers. Hence it is not just an insightful contribution to the theorisation of linguistic categorisation from the Systemic Functional Linguistics, but a valuable input to the application of language education and processing.

Key words: relator; transcategorisation; phylogenesis; semantic junction; semantic expansion; metaphorisation; grammatical metaphor; the probabilistic rank-class matrix; gradience; categorisation; dynamicity; language evolution; scientific language; Helsinki Corpus of English Texts; systemic functional linguistics


Aarts, B. (2004). Conceptions of gradience in the history of linguistics. Language Sciences, 26(4), 343–389.

Aarts, B. (2006). Conceptions of categorization in the history of linguistics. Language Sciences, 28(4), 361–385.

Aarts, B. (2007). Syntactic gradience: The nature of indeterminacy. Cambridge University Press.

Aarts, B. (2004). Conceptions of gradience in the history of linguistics. Language Sciences, 26(4), 343–389.

Aarts, B. (2006). Conceptions of categorization in the history of linguistics. Language Sciences, 28(4), 361–385.

Aarts, B. (2007). Syntactic gradience: The nature of indeterminacy. Cambridge University Press.

Banks, D. (2003). The evolution of grammatical metaphor in scientific writing. In A. Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverniers, & L. Ravelli (Eds.), Grammatical metaphor: Views from systemic functional linguistics (pp. 127-147). John Benjamins.

Banks, D. (2019). SFL and diachronic studies. In G. Thompson, W. L. Bowcher, L. Fontaine, & D. Schönthal (Eds.), The cambridge handbook of systemic functional linguistics (pp. 410-432). Cambridge University Press.

Bartlett, T. (2021). No Gods and precious few heroes: SFL and evolutionary linguistics. Lingua, 261, 1-11.

Bauer, L. & Valera, S. (Eds.), (2005). Approaches to conversion/zero-derivation. Waxmann.

Bod, R., Hay, J., & Jannedy, S. (Eds.). (2003). Probabilistic linguistics. The MIT Press.

Bolinger, D. L. (1961/2004). Generality, gradience, and the all-or-none. In B. Aarts, D. Denison, & G. Popova (Eds.), Fuzzy grammar: A reader (pp. 311-319). Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1961/2002). Categories of the theory of grammar. In J. J. Webster (Ed.), On grammar: Volume 1 of the collected works of M. A. K. Halliday (pp. 37-94). Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1963/2002). Class in relation the axes of chain and choice in language. In J. J. Webster (Ed.), On grammar: Volume 1 of the collected works of M. A. K. Halliday (pp. 95-105). Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1985). An introduction to functional grammar. Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2008). Complementarities in language. The Commercial Press.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, Q. (1976). Cohesion in English. Longman.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Martin, J. R. (1993). Writing science: Literacy and discursive power. The Falmer Press.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (1999). Construing experience through meaning: A language-based approach to cognition. Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd ed.). Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2014). Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar (4th ed.). Routledge.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Webster, J. J. (Eds.). (2009). Continuum companion to systemic functional linguistics. Continuum.

Hampe, B. (2014). More on the as-predicative: Granularity issues in the description of construction networks. Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, 2(1), 207234.

Hao, Jing. (2020). Nominalisations in scientific English: A tri-stratal perspective. Functions of Language, 27(2), 143-173.


Paper 7


Examining Chinese EFL learners’ use of ideational grammatical metaphor and metaphorical competence

Xia Weifan 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: Through comparing Chinese EFL learners’ corpus and Natives speakers’ corpus, this research investigates Chinese EFL learners’ use of ideational grammatical metaphor (IGM) and metaphorical competence quantitatively and qualitatively.

Background: (1) Understanding and Applying grammatical metaphor (GM) is one of the criteria to examine one’s language ability. GM is a key feature of academic discourse.

(2) Most of the previous studies focused on the use and deployment of GM. Few studies have been done on the competence of grammatical metaphor.

(3) This research explores the use of IGM quantitatively and qualitatively to examine Chinese EFL learners’ use of IGM and metaphorical competence from the perspective of anaphoric reconstruals, elaborated nominal groups, cause and effect networks and meaning accumulation.


1. Introduction of IGM and metaphorical competence

2. The study

  2.1 The corpus

  2.2 Identification and annotation of nominalization

  2.3 Identification and annotation of verbalization

3. Framework of analysis

  3.1 Anaphoric reconstruals

  3.2 elaborated nominal groups

  3.3 cause and effect networks

  3.4 meaning accumulation

4. Findings

  4.1 Use of nominalization

  4.2 Use of verbalization

5. Metaphoric competence of Chinese EFL learners

6. Conclusion

Key words: Chinese EFL learners; academic discourse; ideational grammatical metaphor; metaphoric competence; corpus; anaphoric reconstrual; elaborated nominal groups; cause and effect networks; meaning accumulation; nominalization; verbalization


Durst, R.K. The development of analytic writing[A]. In A.N. Applebee (Ed.), Context for learning to writing: Studies of secondary school instruction[C]. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1984.

Halliday, M. A. K. Complementarities in Language [M]. Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2008.

Halliday, M. A. K. The Language of Science [M]. London & New York: Continuum, 2004.

Halliday, M.A.K. & Matthiessen. C. M.I.M. Construing Experience through Meaning – A Language-Based Approach to Cognition [M]. London & New York: Cassel Press, 1999.

Halliday, M.A.K. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd ed.). London: Edward Arnold, 1994.

He, Q. & Yang, B. Textual metaphor from the perspective of relator [J]. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 2015 (4): 334-350.

Liardet, C.L. An exploration of Chinese EFL learner’s deployment of grammatical metaphor: Learning to make academically valued meanings [J]. Journal of Second Language Writing, 2013 (22): 161-178.

Liardet, C.L. ‘As we all know’: Examining Chinese EFL learner’s use of interpersonal grammatical metaphor in academic writing[J]. English for Specific Purposes, 2018 (50): 64-80.

Liardet, C.L. Nominalization and grammatical metaphor: Elaborating the theory [J]. English for Specific Purposes, 2016(44): 16-29.

Martin, J.R. & Rose, D. Working with Discourse: Meaning Beyond the Clause (2nd ed) [M]. London: Continuum, 2007.

Martin, J.R. Factual writing [M]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Taverniers, M. Grammatical metaphor in SFL[A]. In A. -M Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverniers & L. J. Ravelli (eds) Grammatical Metaphor: views from systemic functional linguistics [C]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003.

常晨光. 2004. 语法隐喻与经验的重新建构[J]. 外语教学与研究(1): 31-36.


姜望琪. 2014. 语法隐喻理论的来龙去脉及实质[J]. 解放军外国语学院学报(5): 63-72.

王红阳、丛迎旭. 2018.语法隐喻的语篇功能分析模式[J].宁波大学学报 (人文科学版) (2): 76-80.

杨炳钧. 2021. 从亚里士多德的隐喻论到韩礼德的语法隐喻论[J]. 中国外语(5): 26-34.



Paper 8


Children’s Development of Duration Time: A Systemic Functional Approach

Zhao Xiaoliang 

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Xiamen University


Aim: This research aims to reveal: How do children construe duration time?

Background: Time is an ephemeral yet essential dimension of human experience. The nature of time and how it is developed have been a source of fascination for long, beginning with early philosophical inquiries. Previous studies show that although Children use duration time words such as minute, hour, month, etc. early in development, they take years to master their precise meanings based on formal linguistics. These researches presuppose the fact that form is acquired prior to meaning. However, functional linguistics believes that all the language forms are realizations of meanings. In other others, meaning is prior to words.

Body: The present study aims to reveal the developmental path of duration time. We first drew on Lemke's eco-social dynamics theory to interpret Halliday's semogenesis, and then built an analytical framework. Subsequently, a longitudinal case study is adopted to track the language development of a Chinese-speaking child from 2 to 4. There are two main means of data collection: observation diaries and audio and video recordings. After data collection and transcription, we analyzed the development of duration time based on the framework we developed. We find that: (1) Children first construe duration time at the age of 2.2. by means of circumstance realizing extent temporal circumstance. (2) At the age of 3, children begin to construe duration time through other means, such as hypotactic enhancing clause, qualifier and participants realizing extent temporal circumstance. The maning potential of duration expands steadily from 3 years old on. We conclude that children first develop the meaning of duration, and forms of duration words are realizations of meanings.

Key words: Systemic functional linguistics; extent; temporal deixis; circumstance; ontogenesis; semogenesis; language development; realization; system; child language


Comrie, Bernard. 1985. Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dale, P. S., & Fenson, L. (1996). Lexical development norms for young children. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 28(1), 125–127.

Derewianka, B. (1999) Language Development in the Transition from Childhood to Adolescence: The Role of Grammatical Metaphor. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Macquarie University.

Derewianka, B. (2003) Grammatical metaphor in the transition to adolescence. In A.-M. Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Tavernier's, and L. J. Ravelli (eds): 185–219.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning How to Mean. London: Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). Introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd edition). London: Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2004). The language of early childhood. In J. Webster (ED.), Collected Works of M. A. K Halliday (Vol 4). London: Continuum

Halliday, M. A. K. & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M (1999). Construing experience through meaning: a language-based approach to cognition [M]. London: Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2014). Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar (4th edition) [M]. New York: Routledge.

McTaggart, J. (1908). The unreality of time. Mind, 17, 457–474.

Painter, C. (1996). Learning about learning: Construing semiosis in the preschool years. Functions of Language 3 (1): 95–125.

Painter, C. Torr, J. (1997). From Child Tongue to Mother Tongue: A Case Study of Language Development in the First two and a half years. Department of English Studies, Monographs in Systemic Linguistics 9. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

Panel 6: Multimodal Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies from the Perspective of SFL 


Paper 1


Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Audiovisual Translation: A model integrating SFL, Visual Grammar and Text Typology