Chair Professor Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen

Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen is Chair Professor of the Department of English, the Faculty of Humanities at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he is a member of the PolySystemic Research Group. He has degrees in linguistics from Lund University (BA), where he also studied Arabic and philosophy, and from UCLA (MA, PhD), and has previously held positions at USC/ Information Sciences Institute, Sydney University, and Macquarie University. He has held visiting appointments at e.g. the University of Hamburg and the Brain Science Division of the RIKEN Institute in Tokyo. He is Honorary Professor, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, the Australian National University, Canberra, and Guest Professor, University of Science and Technology, Beijing.

With other members of the PolySystemic Research Group in the Faculty of Humanities at PolyU, he is working on medical discourse/ health communication, language across the curriculum and other aspects of educational linguistics, multilingual studies (language comparison and typology, translation studies and second/foreign language education), language arts, and the language of space.  Matthiessen has lectured and given courses around the world, including in China, Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Greece, Germany, Denmark and the UK, Lebanon, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Tunisia and Ghana; and he is involved in a number of international research networks.

Recent Publications:


Halliday, M.A.K. & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2014. Halliday’s Introduction to Functional Grammar. 4th, revised edition. London: Routledge. Manuscript submitted in June 2012. Publication date: July 2013.

Slade, Diana, Marie Manidis, Jeannette McGregor, Hermine Scheeres, Eloise Chandler, Jane Stein-Parbury, Roger Dunstan, Maria Herke & Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen. 2015. Communication in Hospital Emergency Departments. Berlin: Springer.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. in press, forthc. The Collected Works of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen [working title], in 8 volumes, edited by Kazuhiro Teruya, Wu Canzhong & Diana Slade. Volume 1: in press. Equinox.

Volume 1: Systemic Functional Linguistics

Matthiessen. Christian M.I.M.  & Kazuhiro Teruya. forthc. Guide to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge. Under contract, MS submitted to Routledge.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M., Bo Wang, Yuanyi Ma & Isaac N. Mwinlaaru. forthcoming. Systemic functional insights on language and linguistics. Volume 1. Under contract. To be submitted to Springer in September 2020.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. in prep. System in Systemic Functional Linguistics: a system-based theory of language. Sheffield: Equinox. Under contract.

Book chapters and journal articles (selection from 2015 onwards)

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen.” [An interview of Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen by Eva Maagerø and Thomas Hestbaek Andersen.] In Eva Maagerø & Thomas Hestbaek Andersen (eds.), Social semiotics: key figures, new directions. London: Routledge. Chapter 2.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Halliday on language.” In Jonathan J. Webster (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to M.A.K. Halliday. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic. 137-202.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Register in the round: registerial cartography.” Journal of Functional Linguistics 2(9): 1-48.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2015. “Systemic Functional Morphology: the Lexicogrammar of the Word.” In Edson Rosa de Souza (ed.), Estudos de descrição funcionalista: objetos e abordagens. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 55. München: LINCOM. 150-199.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & Kazuhiro Teruya. 2015. “Grammatical realization of rhetorical relations in different registers.” Word 61(3): 232-281.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2017. “Language use in a social semiotic perspective.” In Anne Barron, Gu Yueguo & Gerard Steen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. London: Routledge. Chapter 34.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2018. “The notion of a multilingual meaning potential: a systemic exploration.” In Akila Baklouti & Lise Fontaine (eds.), Perspectives from Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge. Chapter 6. Version with additional figures to be available at:

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2018. “Transitivity in Systemic Functional Linguistics: achievements and challenges.”  In Sara Regina Scotta Cabral & Leila Barbara (eds.), Estudos de transitividade em linguística sistêmico-funcional. [Transitivity studies in systemic functional linguistics.] Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil: PROGRAMA DE PÓS-GRADUAÇÃO EM LETRAS – PPGL UFSM. Chapter 1: 14-108.

Mwinlaaru, Isaac, Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen & Ernest Akerejola. 2018. “A system-based typology of MOOD in African languages.” In Augustine Agwuele & Adam Bodomo (eds.), Handbook of African Languages. London: Routledge. 93-117.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2019. “Register in Systemic Functional Linguistics.” In Register Studies 1(1): 10-41. Published by Benjamins:

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2020. “Translation, multilingual text production and cognition: a systemic functional approach.” In Arnt Jakobsen & Fabio Alves (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Cognition. London: Routledge. 517-544.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & Guo Enhua. 2020. “Matthiessen’s Thoughts on Some Key Issues in SFL.” Word 66(2):  130-145.

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. forthc. “Theory: a resource for engaging with language.” [Translated into Japanese.] In Kazuhiro Teruya (ed.), Taikei Kinoo Gengogaku heno shootai: Sekai kara no kooken (An introduction to systemic functional linguistics: contributions from the world). Kuroshio Shuppan (Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishers).

Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. 2020. “Approaching register trinocularly.” Language, Context and Text: The Social Semiotics Forum 2(1). 3-21.