Martin Centre Forum 2015: Functional Language Typology

International Conference on Functional Language Typology Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University 12-16 December 2015


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It is now a little over a decade since the publication of Caffarel et al.'s Language Typology: a functional perspective – a book which drew together papers based on workshops and seminars focusing on the description of languages other than English from an SFL perspective. Since that time, SFL work on languages from different language families has expanded considerably. This year's forum is dedicated to encouraging these developments, with special reference to inspiring the role scholars in Chinese universities might play by working on Chinese, minority languages in China and regional languages.

The forum will consist of five days of intensive seminars and paper presentations, led by several ground-breaking functional linguists from around the world (Nick Enfield, Giacomo Figueredo, Randy LaPolla, J R Martin, Christian Matthiessen, Edward McDonald, Beatriz Quiroz, Miriam Taverniers, Kazuhiro Teruya and Wang Pin). Their provisional keynote address titles are listed below. As this selection of keynote speakers suggests, the forum organisers are keen to encourage dialogue across a range of functional perspectives, alongside SFL.

Venue: School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Location: 800 Dongchuan Road, Minhang District, Shanghai, China

Fees: Standard: RMB¥1,800 Early bird standard: RMB¥1,500 Student: RMB¥1,200 Early bird student: RMB¥800 (Early bird: before 31 October)

Travel, accommodation and meals are to be arranged by participants on their own.

Registration: Please fill in the registration form and send it to

Accommodation: Participants can stay at Academic Activity Centre, an on-campus guesthouse within 10 minutes' walking distance from the conference venue. The price varies by room type (Standard rooms – RMB360 per night; executive rooms – RMB699, 899, 1099, 1299 per night). For further information and reservation please contact the Centre via +86 21 54740800.

Contact: Wang Pin,, +86 15121004695

How to pay the registration fee Our online payment website is now open: Please register a username and login, and you'll see the item list. Our event is under the names "ICFLT (Early bird standard)" and "ICFLT (Early bird student). Select the correct item and click "PAY".

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Please note that Early bird registration will be closed on 1 November, 2015. On the same day, normal registration ("ICFLT (Standard)" and "ICFLT (Student)") will be opened.


Plenary speakers

Nick Enfield (University of Sydney, Australia)

"The Lao language in its social context”

"Pragmatic typology: Conversation in comparative perspective"

Giacomo Figueredo (Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil)

"Exploring the grammatical space of multilingual environments”

Randy LaPolla (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

“Describing Sino-Tibetan language/s: a functional perspective”

“Issues in functional language typology”

J R Martin (University of Sydney, Australia)

"Tagalog: a metafunctional profile"

"Functional language typology: a discourse semantic perspective"

Christian Matthiessen (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

"Functional language typology: ideational meaning"

"Functional language typology: interpersonal meaning"

"Functional language typology: textual meaning"

Edward McDonald (Sun Yat-sen University, China)

"From grammatica to gelangma 葛郎玛 to wenfa 文法 to yufa 语法: the historical background to developing a functional grammar for Chinese"

Beatriz Quiroz (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

"Experiential cryptotypes in Spanish: reasoning about process types"

Miriam Taverniers (Ghent University, Belgium)

"Functional grammars: towards a metalinguistic topology"

"Linguistic change: connecting grammatical metaphor and grammaticalization"

Kazuhiro Teruya (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

"Japanese: a metafunctional profile"

Wang Pin (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China)

"Exploring the metafunctional profile of the grammar of Classical Tibetan"


Please click here for the specific program and registration form.