Demystifying Halliday’s Metafunctions of Language
Justine Bakuuro

According to Michael Halliday, a language evolves in response to the specific demands of the society in which it is used. The nature of the language is closely related to the functions it has to serve. Halliday’s theory of Systematic functional grammar is constructed around some basic concepts, one of which is the concept of “metafunction”. Considering the clause as a unit in which meanings of three different kinds are combined, the clause serves as a pivot around which metafunctional discussions centre. Halliday divides the way we use language into three different metafunctions. The textual metafunction of the clause portrays it as having a theme and a rheme – clause as a message. The interpersonal metafunction of it however portrays it as having mood and residue – clause as an exchange. And finally, the ideational metafunction of the clause portrays it as having transitivity (process), participants(s) and circumstance(s). The study serves to help the systemic functional linguistics student to understand the key pillars of Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG).The study may be termed as “SFG made easy”.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v5n2a21