prof. dr. M. (Mike) Hannay

  • Telephone:+31 20 59 86445
  • Room nr:13a-86
  • Unit:fac. der geesteswetenschappen ( taal,lit.&comm. )
  • Position:Department Head of Language and Communication

Office hours: I have no fixed consulting hours. Please mail for an appointment.

Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Functional Discourse Grammar; contrastive linguistics and learner language.


Functional Grammar, grammar and discourse, discourse analysis, writing skills, translation, text editing, lexis and lexical skills.


Functional Discourse Grammar:
Functional Discourse Grammar is a major development from Simon Dik's Functional Grammar (see link below) which takes the discourse act as the basic unit of linguistic analysis and places the grammar more firmly in relation to the conceptual and contextual components of a model of the language user. My research is principally concerned with the pragmatic, or interpersonal level of the grammar, and the interface between syntax and discourse.  With regard to syntax I am particularly interested in constituent order variation, the beginning of the sentence, and complex structures. The annotation of discourse units in language corpora plays an important role in this research.

Contrastive Linguistics and Learner Language:
This research is concerned with sentence patterning in English and Dutch, in particular but not exclusively from an English learner perspective. An important general aim is getting a fix on the discourse competence of advanced learners of English. The research considers the overuse and underuse of specific text strategic patterns at the level of the text sentence in the context of the influence of the first language  and in the context of the development of discourse competence in general. An initial aim is to reach a full understanding of the major thematic patterns employed by writers to help orient their readers to the content of the message. In a broader context I am interested in defining the (to a certain extent genre-specific) linguistic repertoire needed to be communicatively competent in writing tasks at the C1 and C2 levels of the Common European Framework.
Pd.D projects

  • Aletta Smits (2002) How writers begin their sentences: complex beginnings in native and learner English. LOT dissertation series, 67. Utrecht: LOT.
  • Lotte Tavecchio, Sentencing patterns in Dutch and English. The project, under the joint supervision of Wilbert Spooren, commenced in November 2002 and is expected to complete in 2008.
  • Philip Springer, Advance writing skills and the CEF. The project got under way in January 2004.
    Olga Kolbasina, A constructionist approach to multi-word verbs in English. The project got under way in November 2007.


In preparation

  • Hannay, M. & K. Hengeveld (in prep.). Pragmatics in Functional Discourse Grammar. In Jef Verschueren, Jan-Ola Östman, Jan Blommaert & Chris Bulcaen (eds), Handbook of Pragmatics. Amsterdam: & Philadelphia PA: Benjamins.


  • Siepmann, D., J.D. Gallagher, M. Hannay, & J.L. Mackenzie (2008). Writing in English: a guide for advanced learners. Tübingen & Basel: Francke [UTB series, 3124]. pp 460.
    Hannay, M. & E. Martinez Caro (2008a).Last things first? A FDG approach to clause-final Focus constituents in English and Spanish. Gómez González, M.A., J.L. Mackenzie and E. González-Álvarez (eds), Languages and cultures in contrast: new directions in contrastive linguistics. . Amsterdam & Philadelphia PA: Benjamins [Pragmatics and Beyond Series 175]. 33-68.
  • Hannay, M. & E. Martinez Caro (2008b). Thematic choice in the written English of advanced Spanish and Dutch learners. In G. Gilquin, S. Papp & B. Diez (eds), Linking up contrastive and learner corpus research. Amsterdam: Rodopi [Language and Computer Series 66]. 227-253.


  • Hannay, M. (2007a). Patterns of multiple theme and their role in developing English writing skills. In C. Butler, R. Hidalgo & J. Lavid (eds), Functional perspectives on grammar and discourse. Amsterdam & Philadelphia PA: Benjamins. 257-278.
  • Hannay, M. (2007b). Review of A. Downing & P. Locke (2006). English grammar: a university course (London: Routledge). Atlantis 29, no. 1. 179-185.
  • Hannay, M. (2007c). Grammar, discourse, and effective communication. Inaugural lecture, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. pp. 23.
  • Hannay, M. & G.J. Steen (eds) (2007). Structural-functional studies in English grammar. Amsterdam and Philadelphia PA: Benjamins. pp. 393. 

Extensive list of publications 

Professional activities

  • member, editorial board of Functions of Language
  • member, Supervisory Board, Taalcentrum VU
  • member, SENSE (Society of English Native Speaker editors)


  • English language workbench
    This is an annotated portal which I developed in 2002 and which provides language students with information on and direct access to a wide range of electronic information sources and software. The portal supports the language and linguistics curriculum within the BA and MA in English Language and Culture. 
  • Functional Grammar
    The official website for Functional Grammar and Functional Discourse Grammar. 
  • Newcastle United
    The unofficial and best NUFC site. 
  • Morpeth
    Where four-lane roads end.

Ancillary activities

Bureau beëdigde tolken en vertalers,Raad voor Rechtsbijstand

02 januari 2014
Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 13 november 2015
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