English Linguistics III: functional grammar
Reference AHTALE02000006
Taught in Language specific courses group English (MA)
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 15.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 150.0
Studypoints (E) 5
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Course included in exam contract
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Anne-Marie Vandenbergen
Department LW11
Key Words

English, linguistics, functional grammar, corpus linguistics

Position of the Course

This master’s level course gives students insight into the aims of systemic functional grammar, with a special focus on its application to texts.


Introduction to systemic functional grammar (SFG); theory, description and application. The model adopted is the Cardiff (Systemic Functional) Grammar, one of the varieties of SFG that falls within the general framework of the Hallidayan school of linguistics. The course will cover a full description of the clause, presenting the functional structure that is required to reflect the various strands of meaning that are realised at clause level (e.g. the experiential, interpersonal and textual strands of meaning). Description and analysis will focus initially on the clause and then extend to full texts, with an exploration of how choices in the clauses within a text contribute to its overall meaning. Attention will also be given to the organisation of lexis within a model of Systemic Functional Grammar. The lexicogrammatical descriptions that are proposed will also be explored through reference to large on-line electronic corpora, using corpus linguistic methodology.

Starting Competences

To have successfully completed at least two English linguistics courses from Ba1 and Ba2 (excluding English Proficiency I and II).

Final Competences

At the end of the course, students will have
• A knowledge of the principles and methodology of functional grammar.
• Competence in analysing the functional structure of clauses and sentences.
• Competence in applying clause analysis, and the choices made by speakers/writers, to the wider analysis of a range of texts.
• The ability to relate the choices made at clause level to different text-types, genres and registers.
• The ability to apply basic corpus-linguistic methodology using large electronic corpora, as a heuristic tool in discovering grammatical behaviour and developing grammatical description.

Teaching and Learning Material

Cost: 20.0 EUR
• Handouts and texts
• On-line resources of all materials used, including Powerpoint slides, handouts, texts, analysis exercises etc.
• Book: Fawcett, R.P. (2008). Invitation to Systemic Functional Linguistics through the Cardiff Grammar: An extension and simplification of Halliday's Systemic Functional Grammar (Third Edition). London: Equinox.


To be provided in class and made available on-line.

Course Content-Related Study Coaching

In group.

Teaching Methods

• Delivery of content through lectures, using Powerpoint
• Clause and text analysis sessions in group with feedback from students
• Hands-on corpus-linguistic exploration, with guidance from the lecturer

Evaluation Methods

Periodical (100%)

Examination Methods

Written examination. The questions will concern the general principles and descriptive framework of SFG and analysis of clauses and short texts.

  Back to the highest level index Go to the general info section Go to the help pages Search the site Nederlandse versie / Dutch version Back to the previous page Back to the top of the page