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Title: A survey of studies in systemic functional language description and typology
Authors: Mwinlaaru, IN
Xuan, WWH
Keywords: Functional language typology
Language description
History of linguistics
Multilingual studies
Systemic functional theory
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Springer
Source: Functional linguist, Dec. 2016, 3 : 8, p. 1-41 How to cite?
Journal: Functional linguist 
Abstract: Systemic functional theory embodies a multilingual perspective to language from its earliest formulation. However, it was not until the last two decades that descriptions of languages other than English, particularly in the light of language typology, garnered much interest among scholars working with systemic theory. The objective of the present study is to survey the growing literature in this field. The survey consists of two main parts. The first part discusses theoretical developments in relation to language description and typology. The second part presents a meta-analysis of empirical studies in the field. The meta-analysis examines the historical progress in systemic typology and description of non-Anglo languages, the coverage of descriptions in terms of areal and genetic language families, mode of publication and, finally, methodological procedures employed by the studies. Challenges arising from these analytical decisions are also examined. The motivation for the study is to provide a state of the art review of the field in order to guide new descriptions and draw implications for further research in functional language typology, in general, and systemic typology, in particular.
EISSN: 2196-419X
DOI: 10.1186/s40554-016-0030-4
Rights: © The Author(s). 2016 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The following publication Mwinlaaru, I.N. & Xuan, W.W. Functional Linguist. (2016) 3: 8. doi:10.1186/s40554-016-0030-4 is published by Springer and is available at
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