M.A.K. Halliday, 93, British linguist
(too old to reply)
2018-04-18 23:52:34 UTC
Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, he died in Sydney.


From: Monika Bednarek

Michael Halliday, who founded the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney in 1976, has passed away at Uniting Wesley Heights Nursing Home in Manly – aged 93. While Professor of Linguistics at Sydney, Michael built up the Department, developing an undergraduate pass and honours program and the first Master of Applied Linguistics program in the Southern Hemisphere; and he played a key role in attracting an energetic cohort of PhD students. He retired in 1987, becoming Emeritus Professor of the University of Sydney. He had previously held chairs at the University of London, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, and the University of Essex.

Born in Yorkshire in 1925, Michael's undergraduate and postgraduate studies, which he pursued in Beijing, Guangzhou, Cambridge and London, focused on Chinese. He later concentrated on English (cohesion, lexicogrammar and prosodic phonology in particular), and is internationally acclaimed as the founder of the theory of language known as Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The fourth edition of his most cited publication, An Introduction to Functional Grammar (first published in 1985) was published in 2014. Unlike many of his peers he conceived of linguistics as an ideologically committed form of social action, and devoted his career to the development of an appliable linguistics that could be used to productively address secular concerns; his interest in education and the critical role played by language in teaching and learning is well-known. As Ron Carter comments on the collection of interviews with Halliday edited by J.R. Martin (Bloomsbury 2013):

“The phrases “major figure”, “significance” and “international influence” are commonly overblown in the contemporary academic world; but these interviews with Michael Halliday require no exaggeration. They represent the richest of testimonies to his centrality, significance, impact and enduring influence as a linguist.”

Those who had the good fortune to know Michael as a teacher, mentor, colleague, comrade and/or friend will remember him as a warm and humble yet inspirational figure who made time for those around him, regardless of their status. He suffered terribly from the loss of his beloved wife, colleague and companion Ruqaiya Hasan in 2015, but was comforted in his final years by frequent visits from family and colleagues from around the globe, and the loving care of his son Neil and his partner Shaye.

The Department honoured Michael with the founding of the Halliday Medal upon his retirement, awarded annually to the leading students in its applied linguistics program. As recently as 2014, Halliday presented the award personally at the School of Literature, Art and Media’s prize-giving ceremony. His work continues to influence teaching and research in the Department and around the world – an enduring touchstone for everyone interested in language and the ways in which people make meaning to live.

The Department extends it sympathy to Michael's surviving family. His life has passed but the amazing treasure of his intellect will thrive in all those touched by his work for generations to come.


Richard Smith / 2 days ago

From BAALmail: On 16 Apr 2018, at 13:51, Li, Wei … wrote:

Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday, usually M.A.K. Halliday; passed away peacefully yesterday 15th April 2018 at the Uniting Wesley Heights Nursing Home in Manly, Sydney, Australia, aged 93. He was Director of the Communication Research Centre at UCL from 1963 to 1965 and was Professor of Linguistics at UCL from 1965 to 1971. Following various posts in the US and Britain (He held posts in Cambridge, Edinburgh and Essex), he moved to Australia in 1976 as foundation professor of linguistics at the University of Sydney, where he remained until he retired in 1987.

Michael Halliday did his BA in modern Chinese (Mandarin) at the University of London as an external student as he lived and studied in China. Amongst his teachers were well-known Chinese philologists Luo Changpei and Wang Li. He did his PhD in Chinese linguistics at Cambridge under the supervision of Gustav Hallam and then J.R. Firth. He was best known for developing Systemic Functional Linguistics, which sees language as a semiotic system, not in the sense of a system of signs, but a systemic resource for meaning. For Halliday, language is a ‘meaning potential’, and he defined linguistics as the study of how people exchange meanings by ‘languaging’. His work has had a fundamental impact on sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and language teaching and learning.

Michael Halliday received honorary degrees from Birmingham and York in Britain, Athens in Greece, Macquarie in Australia, British Columbia in Canada, Lingnan and Education University in Hong Kong. He was Foreign Fellow of the Academia Europaea and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Li Wei, PhD, FAcSS, FRSA, Chair of Applied Linguistics / Director, UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK

(this one includes a photo)

(3:24 tribute - audio only)

(tiny remembrance)

(nice and long)

(some book covers - one is more humorous than you might expect)


The Language of the Chinese: The Secret History of the Mongols, Basil Blackwell, 1959.

(With Angus McIntosh and Peter Strevens) The Linguistics Sciences and Language Teaching, Indiana University Press, 1964.
(With McIntosh) Patterns of Language: Papers in General, Descriptive, and Applied Linguistics, Indiana University Press, 1967.
Intonation and Grammar in British English, Mouton, 1967.

A Course in Spoken English: Intonation, Oxford University Press, 1970.
(With McIntosh and Strevens) Linguistik, Phonetik und Sprachunterricht, Quelle & Meyer, 1972.
Explorations in the Functions of Language, Edward Arnold, 1973.
Language and Social Man, Longman, 1974.
Learning How to Mean: Explorations in the Development of Language, Edward Arnold, 1975.
Halliday: System and Function in Language; Selected Papers, Oxford University Press, 1976.
(With Ruqaiya Hasan) Cohesion in English, Longman, 1976.
Language as a Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning, University Park Press, 1978.

(Editor with J. R. Martin) Readings in Systemic Linguistics, Batsford, 1981.
An Introduction to Functional Grammar, Edward Arnold, 1985.
(Editor with Robin P. Fawcett) New Developments in Systemic Linguistics, Volume I: Theory and Description, Pinter, 1987.

(With J. R. Martin) Writing Science: Literacy and Discursive Power, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993.
(With Christian M.I.M. Mathhiessen) Construing Experience Through Meaning: A Language-Based Approach to Cognition, Cassell, 1999.

MJ Emigh
2018-04-19 02:34:05 UTC
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, he died in Sydney.
Another linguist? We just had one about a week ago. Now, what adjective shall we use to describe THIS guy?
RH Draney
2018-04-19 05:58:28 UTC
Post by MJ Emigh
Post by l***@yahoo.com
Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, he died in Sydney.
Another linguist? We just had one about a week ago. Now, what adjective shall we use to describe THIS guy?
"The *late* M.A.K. Halliday"....r