Minutes of the Annual General Meeting,

July 16, 2002, Liverpool, England


Due to an oversight, an attendance sheet was not passed around at the meeting, but attendees were asked to sign afterwards.  It is possible, therefore, that some names have been omitted.  Anyone who attended and whose name does not appear is asked to please submit his/her name to the secretary.  Among those present were: Among those present were: Luisa Azuaga, Anthony Baldry, David Banks, Lelia Barbara, Ylva Berglund, Fran Christie, Michael Cummings, Lucia de Oliveria, Yan Fang, Robin Fawcett, Rhondda Fahey, Angela Fulgaro, Sheena Gardner, Carlos Gouveia, Carolyn Hartnett, Motoko Hori, Rosemary Huisman, Gbenga Ibileye, Maurice Ijard, Noriko Ito, Carys Jones, Hisao Kakehi, Beverly Lewin, Anne McCabe,  Bernard Mohan, David Morley, Takeshi Okada, M. O’Donnell, Linda Rashidi,  Erich Steiner, T. Y. Surakat, Geoff Thompson, Kathryn Tuckwell, Eija Ventola, Geoff Williams, Lynne Young.


1          Opening

Since the current president had resigned, previous past president Bernard Mohan opened the meeting, at 6 p.m.


2          Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, Ottawa, 2001

The minutes of the previous AGM had been distributed through the internet.  The minutes were amended to say that only convenors of previous and future planning committees were to be included in the Executive Committee. A motion to adopt the minutes as amended was seconded and carried.


3           Business arising from the minutes of the previous meeting:



4          Election of Officers

The following slate was proposed by the nominating committee and nominations were also solicited, via e-mail, from members prior to the meeting.  No nominations were received from the membership at large.  A motion to adopt  the slate proposed by the nominating committee was accepted unanimously  by the assembled members:

a.       Chair – Geoff Williams

b.      Deputy Chair –Yan Fang

c.       Membership Secretary:  Mick O’Donnell

d.      Recording/ Corresponding Secretary:  Beverly Lewin

e.       Treasurer (North America):  Lynne Young

f.        Treasurer (Australia): Kathryn Tuckwell

g.       Treasurer (U.K.):  Robin Fawcett

The incumbent of the post of Regional Representative (North America), Michael Cummings, requested to step down:  Jessica de Villiers was nominated and elected in his stead for the remainder of the term.


5          Future Congresses

a)      Dec. 8 – 13, 2003 – the site was changed from Hyderabad to the Central Institute for Teaching Foreign Languages,  Lucknow,  India.  The convenor will be asked to post information about this Congress, including its theme, on the Web. 

b)      August 30 – Sept. 4, 2004 – Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. These dates have been chosen in order to avoid the high tourist season and very hot weather.  The theme will be:  “SF Theory and Linguistic Description”.  The plenary speakers will be:  Suzanne Eggins, Peter Fries, Robin Fawcett, Eija Ventola, and Christian Matthiessen.

c)      July 18 –22, 2005 – University of Sydney.   Jim Martin will be Convenor.

d)      End of July, 2006 – Catholic University, Sao Paulo, Brazil.   Proposed theme: Systemics and Education.  Convenor:  Lelia Barbara. 

e)      2007 – Odense, Denmark.  A motion to accept the offer of colleagues at the University of Southern Denmark to convene the congress there was accepted. 


6          Treasurer’s Reports

a)      Australia – Kathryn Tuckwell reported that they have AUS$11,500 in their treasury.

b)      North America – Lynne Young reported that they have CAN$ 2000 in their treasury, which they will keep for North American activities.

c)      United Kingdom – Robin Fawcett reported that they have 1,913.06 pounds in their current bank account, which they will keep locally and move around if necessary. A final report will be sent to the executive later.

d)      Geoff Thompson, Liverpool convenor,  reported that it was too early to tell what his final accounting for the present conference would be. 


7          Reports from regional and national associations

  1. People’s Republic of China - Yan Fang reported that the Functional Linguistics Association of PRC, (which includes other Functional Linguistics besides Systemics), was founded in 1995, after the Beijing congress. Comprising about 100 members, mostly foreign language teachers, the FLA is one of the largest linguistic associations in China. FLA has held either a discourse analysis or an SFL conference almost every other year in the 4 major cities in China. They work with other organizations, such as ELT.

    SFL has developed quickly in China because a large number of Chinese linguists were trained under Halliday, Hasan, Martin, Fawcett, Matthiessen and Berry. These linguists, in addition to Ventola and Fries, and other important SFL linguists, have been active in lectures, conferences, seminars, and summer institutes in China. In addition it is easier to get literature on SFL and other schools today. In 2001, the Foreign Language Press succeeded in getting 50 books republished in Beijing through negotiation with foreign publishers. Among them are Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar and Thompson’s Introducing Functional Grammar, both with additional notes for the Chinese audience.  In addition, facilities have been improved so that articles and relevant information are available from the internet for scholars and students in some institutions.

    For their part, the Chinese linguistic community has contributed nearly 100 articles, published in seven major Chinese linguistics of language journals, dealing with topics such as grammatical metaphor, FL and Stylistics, FL and DA, cohesion, coherence, interpersonal function, FL and translation, functional syntax, and genre. 

    SFL conference will be held at Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao, Hebei province in July, 2003.  International scholars are welcome.  The 9th DA conference will take place at Shandong University in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province in 2004.

  2. North America - The North American Systemic Functional Linguistic Association was established last year, with 30 founding members.  Their web site is:

    They plan sessions at the following conferences:  World Englishes, Oct. 17-20 2002, Illinois; NCTE, November 21-24, AAAL, March 21 –24 2003, (this will include a dinner); and the Linguistic Society of American, July 25-27, 2003, in Michigan.

  3. Australia - Australia has had a very active year. Fran Christie reported that the ASFLA had a successful cross-disciplinary meeting on Brain, Language, and Culture.  Next year’s ASFLA annual conference will be in Adelaide.   A selection of  the papers from the Child Language Conference will be published.

    The newly elected President of the ASFLA, Kristina Love, could not attend the AGM, but later sent additional news, which I include in the minutes. The other new officers of the ASFLA are:  David Butt, Vice-President;  Susan Hoadley, Treasurer.   Annabelle Lukin and Christian Matthiessen are responsible for the ASFLA-ISFC newsletter. 

    ASFLA continued the cross-disciplinary dialogue begun in the Brain, Language, and Culture Conference, with a conference on “Exploring Semantics”, held at Macquarie University in early July, 2002, with sessions run by Professor Michael Arbib being a highlight.   Following the considerable efforts of Annabelle Lukin and support from the membership, the president of the Nigerian Association of Systemic Functional Linguistics, Ernest Akerejola, was able to take up a scholarship at Macquarie University …. 

    ASFLA’s budget is in a fairly healthy state, with a current balance of just over [AUS$] 24,000, though income through membership is declining.   We are organising ongoing membership drives which will highlight the intellectual and professional benefits of joining the association, particularly for our teacher cohorts, who are declining most rapidly.   Membership remains at a  very reasonable AU$30 ($20 for students and part-time employed; $250 for life membership).”

    The web masters for ASFLA’s site are volunteers John Polias and Carl Nilsson-Polias; all members are invited to visit:

  4. Nigeria - The Nigerian delegates, Gbenga Ibileye and T. Y. Surakat, reported that the SFA of Nigeria was founded in 1998.  Although a fledgling organization, they already have 60 registered members.   There are pockets of SF scholars scattered among Nigeria’s 40 universities.  Since they do not have publications from after the 1980’s; Robin Fawcett urged members to send recent books to Nigeria.

  5. France - David Banks reported the founding of the French Systemic Association, in July 2001.  They held their first AGM in November.  Their first contribution is to provide a French-English glossary of systemic terminology on their website:

  6. Europe - Eija Ventola reported that the European SF Workshop would be held on July 24- 27, in Lisbon, Portugal.

  7. India - the Indian Systemic Functional Association has been formed in Hyderabad.

8          Other business

(a) and (b) below were made known to the executive after the meeting:

a)      Nan Fries, as requested in a motion from the Ottawa Congress, completed and
submitted a list of past Congress Convenors to be used as a source of
consultants for future Congress Convenors.

b)      Nan Fries also volunteered to compile a mailing list of future and past conference convenors for reference purposes.

c)      Publishing conference proceedings – Questions were raised about Vol. 8 of Occasional Papers in Systemic Linguistics, which was to be published in 1996.   It was decided that the executive has to make decisions about publishing this and future volumes.   Mick O’Donnell will put the relevant information on the ISFL website.

d)      There was discussion of the possibility of gathering surplus books relevant to SFL from scholars in Australia, Europe and North America, and distributing them to colleagues in countries where they are needed.  The executive is to pursue this matter.

e)      There was also a general discussion of the possibility of a dedicated SFL journal.  The executive is to discuss this matter further.

f)        At the final session of this conference, Geoff Thompson announced that he is planning a publication, mainly based around the plenaries and with a selection of the other papers.


Respectfully submitted by Beverly Lewin, Recording Secretary.   Any additions or corrections should be sent to her at: