This volume in honour of Michael Halliday begins with a section on the background to the development of MAK s ideas. The second section groups papers on language development in early childhood, which has always been one of Halliday s main interests. The focus of the third section is on aspects of synchronic and diachronic change in language. Halliday has always emphasised the dynamic interaction between these two perspectives in relation to language use in social contexts. The final section caters to Halliday s interest in ethnographic, anthropological and educational issues and explore language use in a diversity of world contexts.