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Jan Rijkhoff

Introduction (of 'The Noun Phrase in Functional Discourse Grammar')

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  • Daniel García Velasco, University of Oviedo, Spain
  • Jan Rijkhoff
  • Section for Linguistics
The articles in this volume analyse the noun phrase within the framework of Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG), the successor to Simon C. Dik’s Functional Grammar (FG). The Noun Phrase was the main conference theme of the 11th International Conference on Functional Grammar, which took place at the University of Oviedo (Gijón, Spain) in September 2004 and the present anthology consists of a selection of the manuscripts that were submitted after a call for contributions following the conference.
   There were several reasons to devote the theme session of the conference to the noun phrase (NP). First, the most recent treatment of NPs by Dik in terms of “classical FG” was published (posthumously) in 1997, in the first volume of The Theory of Functional Grammar. Given the fact that FDG presents a strongly revised version of Dikkian FG with respect to rules, variables, representations and overall design, it seemed appropriate to investigate how the new theory deals with one of the most basic grammatical constructions, the noun phrase.
    Secondly, in a recent, cross-linguistic investigation on the structure of the NP, Rijkhoff (2002) presented an alternative analysis of the NP within the FG framework. This study contains several new facts and ideas, which made it an interesting challenge to investigate to what extent the proposals he put forward could or should be integrated into the new FDG model (see also Rijkhoff this volume). All in all, the time seemed ripe for a detailed investigation of the way NPs are handled in FDG. Moreover, to analyse a major linguistic construction from various perspectives (textual, typological, logical, semantic, morphosyntactic, etc.) is an excellent way to test a new model of grammar with regard to some of the standards of adequacy for linguistic theories (see also section 1).
   In order to contextualize the papers in the present volume, we will first lay out the main differences between FG and FDG and explain why some FG scholars felt that a general reorganization of the model was necessary. Section 2 gives a brief overview of the history of the way NPs have been analysed in F(D)G,2 paying special attention to variables for the various entities (i.e. the “ontology”) and the overall organization of the two models (i.e. the “architecture”: representational frames, layers, levels, modules). Finally, in section 3, we will summarize the most relevant aspects of the articles included in the volume. The reader is invited to consult Dik (1997a; 1997b), Anstey and Mackenzie eds. (2005), Hengeveld (2004a), Hengeveld and Mackenzie (2006) and Hengeveld and Mackenzie (forthcoming) for more detailed expositions of F(D)G.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesTrends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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