Reading Malinowski and Firth

Hello everyone,

I have now posted a page title ‘Reading Firth’.

I have collated various papers, and produced a talk (uploaded in two parts) based on various extracts from his writings. Firth is not so easy to read, but his ideas are so important for linguistics, in particular for Hallidayan linguistics. I hope some of you might go and post on the forum page – an introduction, a question or some views on the ideas of Firth and Malinowski.

On Friday, we will start with Malinowski – what are his key ideas, and in what ways have they influence Firth and Halliday? Then we want to understand how the conception of context changes in the theory of Firth. We also want to get a sense of the main ideas of Firth. Come ready to talk these questions over.

Would anyone like to volunteer some of their data to use for a discussion of text-context relations?

Best wishes


Getting started

Hello everyone!. Thanks for registering. There are about 40 of you, and I am expecting at least some of you will be silent members of this little community. If you would like to introduce yourself, please visit the forum page:

Living language forum

I have put an introductory note about myself there. I am keen to hear from those of you who want to be visible  and participate online in discussions pertaining to our course content.

If you are attending the face to face sessions, can you let me know by email? We start this Friday at 2pm, at Room 202 in the Transient Building at the University of Sydney.

We are beginning with the work of Malinowski, and I’ve put together the following page:

Reading Malinowski

He really is fantastic to read and understand.

At the face to face sessions, come prepared to talk about the ideas and your own research. I will begin by briefly summarizing the key ideas of Malinowski, but since you can watch the videos online and read the articles. I am keen that we spend the time together in dialogue.

I am still trying to work out how to get ‘student blogs’ set up on edublogs, for those of you who would like to blog during the course. I would strongly recommend it as a way of deepening your understanding, and sorting out your own views on key matters of how language makes meaning.

Warm wishes