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Academic Paper


Title: 'Downstream' effects on the predicate in Functional Grammar clause derivations
Author: Francis Cornish
Institution: Université de Toulouse II - Le Mirail
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Syntax
Abstract: The article deals with the dynamic, retroactive effects within a clause derivation of various 'downstream' specifications (that is, at subsequent levels in the derivation)on the semantic structure and aspectual character of the predicator at the 'nuclear','core' and 'extended' predication layers within standard Functional Grammar (Dik 1997a) - specifically, the insertion of given types of argument expressions within the predicate frame and the adjunction of certain semantically marked types of level 1 and level 2 satellites. A third type of retroactive effect is produced via the assignment or otherwise of the pragmatic function 'Focus' to the syntactic exponent of a predicate, which results in the singling out of a given part of the latter's semantic structure to act as a predicator.
All these dynamic, retroactive effects on a predicator and the structures it projects assume a semantically transparent underlying predicate structure on which to operate; yet in the standard FG model, no such structure is available via the predicate frame, which forms the initial structure for the derivation of a clause. The article demonstrates the drawbacks of the strict separation of meaning definitions (lexical semantics) and predicate frames (semantically-based
syntax) within FG in terms, precisely, of the perspicuous mapping between syntax and semantics.
It proposes a semantically transparent alternative to the standard predicate frame, based on Pustejovsky's (1995) 'Generative Lexicon' approach to lexico-semantic structure.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 38, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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