Functional discourse grammar

Mike HannayKees Hengeveld
Table of contents

This chapter introduces Functional Discourse Grammar, focusing on the way in which this model is capable of accounting for the grammatical encoding of pragmatic distinctions and for the typological variation found in this area of grammar. An outline of the model is given in Section 2, which shows, among other things, that Discourse Acts rather than sentences are taken as the basic units of analysis, and that the grammar is allowed to interact with a specification of the context in which it is used. Within the grammar there are four levels of analysis, one of which is pragmatic in nature. Section 3 presents this level of analysis in more detail. Sections 4 and 5 then present the way in which the model deals with several phenomena that are of interest to pragmaticians. Section 4 is dedicated to a number of aspects related to Discourse Acts, such as the encoding of illocution and of rhetorical relations, while Section 5 deals with aspects related to ascription and reference, such as the encoding of the straightforwardness of ascription, the specificity of reference, and the encoding of information structure. The chapter ends with a conclusion in Section 6.

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