Firthian linguistics

Jan-Ola ÖstmanAnne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen
Table of contents

‘Firthian linguistics’ gets its name from John Rupert Firth (1890–1960), the main proponent of an approach to language which was developed at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. (Cf. Firth 1930, 1934, 1937, 1957a, 1957b, 1968). The views of this London group of linguists differed on a number of important points both from those held by the American post-Bloomfieldians and from those of the European Saussureans, and they became so influential in Britain in the 1940s and 1950s that the approach is also often referred to as the ‘British school’ of linguistics.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price.


Bartlett, F.C.
1932Remembering. Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
Bolinger, D.
1968Aspects of language. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Firth, J.R.
1930Speech. Benn. Google Scholar
1934Linguistics and the functional point of view. English Studies 16: 2–8. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1937The tongues of men. Watts. Google Scholar
1957aPapers in linguistics, 1934–1951. Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
1957bStudies in linguistic analysis. Blackwell. Google Scholar
1964The tongues of men & Speech. Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
1968Selected papers 1952–1959. Longman. Google Scholar
Halliday, M.A.K.
1961Categories of the theory of grammar. Word 17(3): 241–292.  BoP DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1967–8Notes on transitivity and theme in English. Journal of Linguistics 3(1): 37–81, 3(2): 199–244, 4(2): 179–215. DOI logo  BoPGoogle Scholar
1978Language as social semiotic. Edward Arnold.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Lyons, J.
1966Firth’s theory of ‘meaning’. In C.E. Bazell , J.C. Catford , M.A.K. Halliday & R.H. Robins (eds.) In memory of J. R. Firth: 288–302. Longman.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Malinowski, B.
1923The problem of meaning in primitive languages. Supplement I to C. K. Ogden & I. A. Richards The Meaning of meaning(8th edition, 1946/1989): 296–336. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Mitchell, T.F.
1957The language of buying and selling in Cyrenaica. Hesperis 44(1–2): 31–71. Google Scholar
1975Principles of Firthian linguistics. Longman.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Monaghan, J.
1979The Neo-Firthian tradition and its contribution to general linguistics. Niemeyer. DOI logo  BoPGoogle Scholar
Östman, J.-O.
1986Pragmatics as implicitness. UMI no. 86–24885. Google Scholar