M.A.K. Halliday RIP

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