Welcome to the Functional Linguistics Institute, Sun Yat-sen University!

The Functional Linguistics Institute was established in 2002 to provide a platform for innovative, collaborative research and to foster and exchange current research on functional linguistics. It is the oldest and most active of its kind in China, with a strong local and international presence.

Over the years the Institute’s focus has expanded and it now promotes research into a wide range of different types of discourse from a functional and social semiotic perspective including research on language and other modes of communication. The overall aim of the Institute is to encourage innovative, socially responsible, theoretical and applied interdisciplinary research into a range of modes of communication. Browse the pages of this site to find a wealth of ideas and links to high quality research by our members and associates from around the world.

The Institute regularly holds seminars, workshops and symposia to deliver the latest research in functional linguistics and social semiotics. Please check out our News & Events page to see when our next events will be held, and browse through our archive of past events. You are warmly invited to participate in any of our events, or simply to drop in and visit the Institute, which is located on the 6th floor of the School of Foreign Languages on the beautiful historic south campus of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

Sun Yat-sen University has close ties to M.A.K. Halliday, the founder of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Halliday is an alumnus of Lingnan University where he studied under the famous Chinese linguist, Wang Li during the Second World War. Sun Yat-sen University is situated on the original Lingnan University campus in Guangzhou, and in 1953, Lingnan University was incorporated into Sun Yat-sen University. In 1988, Lingnan College was established as part of Sun Yat-sen University. Thus, visitors to Sun Yat-sen University can experience a lot of history – perhaps through taking a stroll through the expansive grounds of the campus while taking in the sights of the beautiful historical buildings, some of which date back to the late 19th century, and at the same time contemplating some of the places that Professor Halliday himself would have been very familiar with during his early years in China.

The Institute is run in association with the Halliday Library, which is located on the 2nd floor of the same building as the Institute.
The Institute is also associated with the Functional Linguistics journal, an online open access journal published by Springer.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Functional Linguistics Institute! 

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