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Review of  Morphosyntactic Expression in Functional Grammar

Reviewer: Inge Genee
Book Title: Morphosyntactic Expression in Functional Grammar
Book Author: Casper de Groot Kees Hengeveld
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard
Cree, Plains
Spanish Sign Language
Book Announcement: 16.3450

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Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 18:29:34 -0700
From: Inge Genee <inge.genee@uleth.ca>
Subject: Morphosyntactic Expression in Functional Grammar

EDITORS: de Groot, Casper; Hengeveld, Kees
TITLE: Morphosyntactic Expression in Functional Grammar
SERIES: Functional Grammar Series 27
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2005

Inge Genee, Department of Modern Languages, University of


This is a collection of papers addressing various aspects of the
expression rule component in Functional Grammar. The specific brand
of functionalism intended here is the framework formerly called
Functional Grammar (FG; Dik 1978, 1980, 1997). However, while the
title of the volume still uses the older name of the theory, the contents
of a number of the papers already places them firmly within the latest
version of the theory, which, to reflect its much more rigorously
systematic attempt at incorporating relevant aspects of discourse
structure into the grammar, now goes by the name Functional
Discourse Grammar (FDG; Mackenzie and Gómez-González 2004;
Hengeveld and Mackenzie 2005, fc.).

As mentioned by the editors in the preface, ''morphological and
syntactic issues have received relatively little attention in Functional
Grammar (...) partly due to the fact that this grammatical model, given
its functional orientation, assigns pride of place to pragmatics and
semantics'' (p. v). In other words, Functional Grammarians tended to
focus on providing a satisfactory underlying representation for a
specific utterance, without necessarily always worrying too much
about the expression rules that would model the derivation of the
actual surface form of the utterance based on this underlying
representation. The present volume is intended to begin to rectify this
situation with respect to morphosyntax.

I discuss the papers in groups on the basis of similarities in their
approaches and/or focus, not necessarily in the order in which they
are presented in the book or in the groupings suggested by the
editors in the introduction.

A first group of four papers address the mechanics of the expression
rule component in a way that brings the model closer to a real
production model, without necessarily intending it to be a full model of
the speaker.

Dik Bakker's chapter, ''Agreement: More arguments for the dynamic
expression model'' (p. 1-40), builds on a number of his earlier
publications (1999, 2001) that propose a new way of handling the
sandwiching of form and ordering rules in the derivation of utterances
in which form and order codetermine one another. Dynamic
expression generates so-called expression trees. These trees adhere
to three tree-construction principles: 'top-down', 'left-to-right'
and 'depth-first', and two information-passing principles: 'inheritance'
and 'percolation'. Bakker shows that a number of fairly straightforward
form-order interactions can be accounted for by means of these five
principles. However, some complicated subject agreement facts in
Arabic call for a fourth tree-construction principle which he
calls 'limited look-ahead'. The constructions in question exhibit various
combinations of person, gender and number agreement that crucially
depend on word order: the further a postverbal subject is away from
the verb, the less gender and number distinctions are encoded in
agreement morphology. Bakker accounts for these facts by assuming
that the semantic and pragmatic information required to correctly
express these categories becomes accessible at different points in the
generation of the expression tree. He distinguishes three degrees of
accessibility: global, relative and local. This accounts for the fact that
in the Arabic dialect under consideration person is always encoded
(globally accessible), gender less frequently (relatively accessible),
and number even less frequently (locally accessible).

The paper by Anna Siewierska and Dik Bakker, ''The agreement cross-
reference continuum: Person marking in FG'' (p. 203-247), takes a
more typological approach to the treatment of agreement and cross-
reference morphology. Based on Bakker's dynamic expression model
and a slightly idiosyncratic interpretation of the basics of Hengeveld's
FDG, they propose to handle all crosslinguistically possible types of
agreement and cross-reference as resulting from language-specific
differences in the interaction between pragmatics and morphosyntax,
rather than as signs of semantic differences between languages.
Since reference is treated as a pragmatic, interpersonal phenomenon
in FDG, referentiality is not relevant to the semantic analysis of a
given utterance. This allows us to posit identical semantic
representations for what look like wildly different ways of expressing
similar States of Affairs in different languages, by capturing the crucial
intuition that whether a specific entity is expressed not at all or multiple
times through various combinations of full NPs, pronouns, or cross-
reference and agreement markers, with some of them possibly even
occurring in more than one copy (as in e.g. clitic doubling), it is only
present once in the semantics. In a final section, Siewierska and
Bakker show how this approach can account for a series of
unexpected speech errors in bilingual situations.

John Connolly's paper, ''Constituent ordering in the expression
component of Functional Grammar'', suggests some modifications to
Bakker's (1999, 2001) dynamic expression model in terms of how it
handles linearization templates. After stating that the dynamic model is
to be preferred over the standard model (Dik 1978, 1980, 1997),
Connolly proposes the following refinements:
(i) ''full templates should be employed within the dynamic model'' (47)
rather than deleting unfilled entries - this eliminates the need for
a ''pruning mechanism'';
(ii) trace phenomena can be handled by inserting an empty string into
the node's configuration slot - this allows for appropriate expansions
of the node where necessary to account for their syntactic effects, an
option not available to ''real'' empty nodes;
(iii) functional categories such as Subject or Modifier are assigned to
an element as it is inserted into the appropriate slot in the linearization
template - this prevents unnecessary copying of information while
preserving useful functional and syntactic information;
(iv) where more than one constituent can be placed in one slot,
an ''elastic template'' (49) can be used to specify the number of
constituents in that slot.

Kees Hengeveld's paper, ''Dynamic expression in Functional
Discourse Grammar'', shows how Bakker's (1999, 2001) dynamic
expression model can be incorporated into the grammar component of
FDG. Within the grammatical module of FDG, an utterance is analyzed
at four hierarchically ordered levels: the Interpersonal level takes care
of the pragmatic aspects of the utterance, the Representational level
of the semantic aspects, and the Structural and Phonological levels of
respectively the morphosyntactic and phonological aspects. The
Interpersonal and Representational levels are generated by a process
called Formulation; the Structural and Phonological levels by a
process called Encoding. The various Formulators and Encoders
select appropriate ''building blocks'', called primitives, from the relevant
section of the Fund, which is split up into three parts and contains
frames, templates, prosodic patterns, lexical and grammatical
morphemes, and various kinds of operators. Hengeveld shows how
Bakker's principles 'Depth First' and 'Maximal Depth' can be
incorporated into the FDG grammar module by specifying different
pathways through the grammar. Most importantly, it follows from this
analysis that not all levels of representation are always relevant to the
generation of an utterance. For instance, when a specific illocution is
expressed through prosodic means (e.g. the rising intonation in a
yes/no question), the Representational and Structural levels are not
relevant and are bypassed in that part of the generation process.
Hengeveld exemplifies the dynamic nature of the generation process
by providing detailed derivations for three one-word utterances from
typologically different languages.

A second group of four papers addresses theoretical and practical
issues around specific aspects of FDG, generally focusing on the
detailed analysis of problematic or otherwise interesting data.

Niels Smit's paper, ''Noun incorporation in Functional Discourse
Grammar'' (p. 87-134), shows how FDG is capable of handling noun
incorporation (NI). Based on a reinterpretation of Mithun's
(1984) ''functional-lexicalist'' (97) approach, Smit offers a functional-
syntactic account of NI. His analysis capitalizes on the fact that, within
FDG, nouns can be introduced in three different ways. Minimally, a
noun represents a zero-order entity and is associated with a predicate
frame f. Such nouns are non-modifiable and non-referential: they do
not correspond to an entity and no referential subact is associated
with them at the Interpersonal level. Alternatively, a noun represents a
first-order entity and is associated with a term x. Such nouns are
modifiable, but not necessarily referential: a referential subact may or
may not be associated with them at the Interpersonal level. Based on
this distinction between three types of noun-headed constituents, (f),
(x) and (R), Smit now shows how they map onto three types of NI,
associated with different combinations of referentiality and modifiability
of the incorporated noun (IncN): fNI (IncN is non-referential and non-
modifiable), xNI (IncN is non-referential but modifiable) and RNI (IncN
is referential and modifiable). Finally, Smit proposes a new
implicational hierarchy for NI: RNI >xNI > fNI. This needs to be read
slightly differently from the normal way in which such hierarchies are
usually interpreted. Rather than arguing that languages would
develop NI from right to left on this scale, Smit sees xNI as a kind of
pivot point, which all NI languages have. Languages with rigid part-of-
speech categories will additionally include constructions to the left to
include RN, while languages with flexible categories will extend to the
right to include fNI.

Casper De Groot's paper, ''Morphosyntactic templates'' (p. 135-161),
shows how redundancy in the generation process can be avoided by
allowing multiple different semantic and pragmatic configurations to
map onto one morphosyntactic template. Templates are selected by
the morphosyntactic encoder from the second level of the Fund, on
the basis of relevant distinctions specified at the Interpersonal
(pragmatic) and the Representational (semantic) levels. The output of
this encoding process is a representation at the Structural
(morphosyntactic) level. De Groot shows that, in Dutch, eleven
different inflectional and derivational word-formation processes
resulting in various kinds of modifiers and participles map onto two
word-level templates. For Hungarian he shows that four semantically
different types of modifiers map onto one term-level template. Finally,
he shows that in the Western Brazilian language Oro Nao a number of
different question word questions, which share the same pragmatic
representation at the Interpersonal level but different semantic
representations at the Representational level, are expressed using
one clause-level word order template. These three case studies
underscore the usefulness of templates in the Fund to account for
word, phrase and clause structure.

Francis Cornish's paper, ''A Crosslinguistic study of 'locative
inversion': Evidence for the Functional Discourse Grammar model'' (p.
163-202), provides an FDG analysis of sentences with initial
locative/temporal constituents, such as French 'Dans l'armoire se
trouvaient les chaussures' or English 'On the wall hung an antique
chimney hook'. The analysis is based on data from French, English,
Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Arabic, chosen because they have
different basic word order patterns. All these languages have
similar 'locative inversion' constructions, which share the following
(i) a locative/temporal constituent is in initial position and fulfils a
thematic function;
(ii) the position of the subject varies, in accordance with the word
order rules of the language in question, but it is always in a special
rhematic/focus position and signals new information;
(iii) the verb does not predicate.
Drawing on Hannay's (1991) idea of ''message management modes'',
Cornish analyses the constructions under discussion within the FDG
framework as instances of a special kind of transitional discourse
Move, characterized by a specific configuration of:
(i) a referential subact with the pragmatic function SubTopic/Stager,
(ii) a second referential subact with the pragmatic function
Presentational Focus, and
(iii) the absence of any ascriptive subact.
Finally, Cornish offers an explanation for the lack of agreement
morphology on the postposed subjects in some of the languages
under discussion.

Evelien Keizer's paper ''Close appositions'' (p. 381-417) revisits the
analysis of constructions like
(1a) 'the actor Orson Welles',
(1b) 'the word recession' and
(2) 'Orson Welles the actor'
from an FDG point of view and based on natural data from the British
component of the International Corpus of English. Her paper may
serve as a stern reminder of the dangers of using made-up examples.
Some previous analyses of close appositions have suffered from
being based on such non-natural ''data'' - Keizer's data shows that
various constructions said by earlier scholars not to be grammatical
are perfectly fine given the right context, significantly undermining the
value of their analysis (especially Acuña-Fariña 1996, but also Burton-
Roberts 1975). Reevaluating issues like definiteness, referentiality,
and headedness, Keizer proposes underlying representations for (1a)
and (1b) that reflect the fact that the determiner has scope over both
nouns, the two elements are non-referential, and the second element
functions as a modifier. Her representation for (2) reflects the fact that
the proper name is intrinsically definite but non-referential, while the
second element is a modifier with its own specification for definiteness.
Both types represent, at the Interpersonal level, a referential subact
consisting of two ascriptive (non-referential) subacts. She then
classifies the uses of these constructions, based on the
communicative function of the two contributing elements:
(1) functionally identifying, as in 'the number four' or 'the name
(2) descriptionally identifying, as in 'the Jaguar boss Tom
Walkenshaw' or 'Humphrey the Cabinet cat';
(3) introductory, as in 'Roald Dahl the author' or 'this bloke Mark'; and
(4) contrastive, as in 'the CRITIC Paul Jones or the AUTHOR Paul
Various combinations of pragmatic function assignment and
identifiability allow for the formulation of matching underlying
representations at the Interpersonal and Representational levels that
account for the discourse functionality of the four types.

The remaining papers revisit problems left unsolved by the canonical
FG model or begin the analysis of phenomena not previously
addressed within this framework. These analyses are generally still
formulated in terms of the older framework, but can be
easily ''translated'' into the newer versions of the model.

Two papers deal with non-verbal predication, both taking Hengeveld's
(1992) influential typological framework for the treatment of non-verbal
predication as their starting point.

Eva van Lier's paper, ''The explanatory power of typological
hierarchies: Developmental perspectives on non-verbal predication''
(p. 249-280), tests the explanatory power of synchronic hierarchies
for several types of developmental data. She investigates two
predicability hierarchies and two expression hierarchies:
Predicability hierarchies:
(i) [equative > ascriptive]
(ii) (within ascriptive:) [locative > adjectival > nominal > possessive]
Expression hierarchies:
(iii) zero-1 hierarchy: no copula, non-verbal predicate is marked as
intransitive verb: [bare > referential > relational]
(iv) zero-2 hierarchy: no copula, no morphology: simple juxtaposition:
[equative > ascriptive]

In addition, two diachronic pathways for copula development are taken
into account:
(v) diachronic pathway 1: [verb > locative > adjective > noun >
(vi) diachronic pathway 2: [pronoun > identifying > classifying >

Van Lier then tests the applicability of these hierarchies and pathways
to five types of developmental data: (synchronic variation as) change
in progress, internally motivated and contact-induced language
change, and first and second language acquisition, hypothesizing that
these data should be explainable in terms of the hierarchies and
pathways under investigation. Data come from African American
Vernacular English copula deletion patterns, copula development in
Ibero-Romance, Chinese, Sranan and Swahili, non-verbal predication
in embedded clauses in Hungarian spoken outside of Hungary, the
development of copula support in young children learning English, and
the acquisition of the Spanish double-copula system by L2 learners
with English L1. All of these follow the hierarchies under discussion,
suggesting that the synchronic hierarchies are applicable also to
developmental and diachronic data. In particular, the zero-1 hierarchy
in (iii) and the first predicability hierarchy in (i) are relevant to contact-
induced change, and the second predicability hierarchy in (ii) is
relevant to both language-internal synchronic variation and to first and
second language acquisition processes.

''Non-verbal predicability and copula support rule in Spanish Sign
Language'' (p. 281-315), by Ángel Herrero-Blanco and Ventura
Salazar-García, applies Hengeveld's (1992) framework to a non-oral
language. To my knowledge this is the first systematic attempt at
applying F(D)G to (aspects of) a sign language, which makes it all the
more interesting: a theory which claims typological adequacy should
be applicable to all languages, including non-oral ones. The paper
presents a wealth of data concerning non-verbal predication in
Spanish Sign Language (LSE), with the aim of determining which
types of non-verbal predicates are predicable (in Hengeveld's 1992
sense) in this language. With respect to LSE, Herrero-Blanco and
Salazar-García posit a number of hypotheses (286), which boil down
to the claim that LSE will conform to the predicability and expression
hierarchies mentioned in the discussion of Van Lier's paper above. It
turns out that it does, confirming that Hengeveld's typological
generalizations also hold for signed languages, which strengthens the
theory's claims for typological adequacy.

A couple of facts about ESL are especially interesting. First, ascriptive
and equative constructions such as 'my friend is a/the famous
physician' are expressed by simple juxtaposition: MY FRIEND
PHYSICIAN FAMOUS; but specification constructions, such as 'the
capital of France is Paris', require a question-answer construction
format that seems to stem from the fact that the specifying element,
which is the argument in the construction, carries the pragmatic
function Completive Focus, as in the answer to a question: FRANCE C
A P I T A L y/n, PARIS (spacing marks the prosodic marker for a
yes/no question, which takes the form of raised eyebrows). When
present, aspect markers appear on non-verbal predicates just like on
verbal predicates, confirming a basic 'zero-1' strategy for nominal and
adjectival predicates. Second, presentative predications such
as 'there is a dog in my house' use a form of the verbal predicate
HAVE: MY HOUSE DOG HAVE. This is interesting given the existence
of parallel constructions in Spanish. The authors suggest that this
HAVE was actually borrowed from Spanish, given the fact that its sign
takes the form of the Spanish verb 'hay' in fingerspelling. Third, the
indirect deictic predicate THERE(i), which is normally used to
reference 'a space outside the communication setting'(299), functions
as a copula in non-presentative locative predications such as 'my
friend is in Alicante': MY FRIEND ALICANTE THERE(i); that it
functions as a copula is confirmed by its taking on aspect markers,
such as the perfective/egressive marker END in 'my mother is not in
Alicante anymore': MY MOTHER ALICANTE THERE(i) END.

This is the only paper in the collection that, in my opinion, could have
benefited from more careful editing. It is noticeably clear throughout
that English is not the authors' native language, and in a number of
cases the points they want to make would have benefited from more
explicit explanations and examples.

Annerieke Boland's paper, ''A new view on the semantics and
pragmatics of operators of aspect, tense and quantification'' (p. 317-
350), reassesses the treatment of operators that have traditionally in
FG been treated as belonging to level 1 (predicate operators) or 2
(predication operators). Level 1 operators ''contribute to the
description of the property or relation'' and level 2
operators ''contribute to referring to the real or imaginary world'' (346).
Basing herself on Bohnemeyer's (1998) distinction between pre- and
post states on the one hand and pre- and post times on the other,
Boland shows phasal, (im)perfective, and perspectival aspect to
belong to the descriptive level: ''they select a part of the temporal
structure of the property or relation and only this part is ascribed to
the argument(s)'' (329). Standard FG (Dik 1997:239) treats
perspectival aspect (prospective and perfect) as a level 2 operator,
mainly on the basis of scope facts, but Boland shows that scope can
also operate within levels and is thus not an automatic reason for
relegating something to a higher or lower level.

Based on Klein's (1994) notion of topic time, she proposes that tense
locates the State of Affairs in time, ''but only the part that is relevant to
topic time'' (331), and that it is a level 2 (referring) operator. This
allows for the analysis of apparent contradictions, such as the use of
Simple Present for scheduled future events, as in 'The train leaves at
five tomorrow', and, in combination with her previous analysis of
aspect, for a very elegant analysis of complicated conflations of tense
and aspect as in 'He will have written a letter' and the habitual reading
of 'He runs the marathon'.

Following Klein (1994) and Anstey (2002), finally, she shows that
there are two different types of quantification: property quantification
(level 1) and event quantification (level 2). Habituality expressed
by 'used to' and frequentativity expressed by 'keep -ing' (with telic
States of Affairs) in English are shown to be types of event
quantification. 'Keep -ing' (with non-telic States of Affairs), however, is
seen as property quantification. In her conclusion, Boland states that
her new treatment of the semantics of these operators ''would fit nicely
into the model of FDG''. Both the level 1 and level 2 operators belong
to the representational level (where the semantics are accounted for),
but only the highest ones, at level 2, ''require a link with the
interpersonal level'' (where pragmatics are accounted for),
since ''mutual knowledge and pragmatic inferences based on context,
situation and world knowledge (...) play an important role in the
interpretation of operators of tense and event quantification'' (347).

Ahmed Moutaouakil's paper ''Exclamation: Sentence type, illocution or
modality?'' (p. 351-379) argues, to me convincingly, that there are
serious problems in treating Exclamation as a sentence type, as well
as in treating it as a special kind of illocution, as is done in standard
FG (Dik 1997). He proposes instead to treat it as a special type of
subjective modality. Subjective modality concerns specifications of the
source of S's evaluation of the proposition, including personal opinion
regarding its truth and desirability. Moutaouakil now proposes to add
a third type, which he calls ''Impression/emotional reaction''. He then
shows, with data from English, French and various Arabic dialects,
that Exclamative modality can be positive (appreciative) or negative
(depreciative) and that there are various degrees of Exclamation,
which have different expression forms.

In the final part of the paper he explores the consequences of his
proposal for the layered structure of the clause. After first arguing that
Exclamative modality can have a proposition, a term, or a stretch of
discourse in its scope, he proposes a Discourse structure, a Clause
structure and a Term structure that would take the scope facts into
account, and ends with a proposal for a ''transmodular'' approach to
subjective modality in general. However, his proposal for a modular
grammar model has, I think, been superseded by more recent work in
FDG, which, surprisingly given the other contributions in this
collection, is completely ignored.

Two fascinating papers address aspects of direction/inversion
morphology in two Native American languages, a topic that, as far as I
am aware, has not been dealt with in this theoretical framework
before, but turns out to lend itself very well to a classical FG analysis.
The first deals with Plains Cree (Algonquian, Canada) and employs
the term inversion; the second deals with Mapudungun (Araucanian,
Chile/Argentina), and uses the term direction for the same

Arok Wolvengrey's paper, ''Inversion and the absence of grammatical
relations in Plains Cree'' (p. 419-445), argues convincingly that the
Algonquian languages lack the syntactic functions Subject and Object
as defined in standard FG. One obvious consequence of this is that
they do not have case agreement. In fact, not only do they not mark
case, they do not mark semantic function either. Person marking
affixes merely signal the involvement of a first, second or third person
entity. In the case of transitive verbs, semantic role disambiguation is
achieved indirectly, by so-called direct/inverse marking: a separate
morpheme on the verb that indicates whether a specific person
hierarchy is either in alignment (direct) or out of alignment (inverse)
with a specific semantic function hierarchy (as in Aissen 1997). A
second consequence of the analysis of Cree as lacking syntactic
functions is the lack of an active-passive distinction. FG analyses
active/passive oppositions as resulting from alternative syntactic
function assignment - given the absence of syntactic functions,
active/passive distinctions are therefore not possible. Constructions
analyzed by others as involving active/passive on the basis of
quantifier scope facts, as well as unspecified-actor constructions, are
demonstrated to crucially depend on pragmatic information status
rather than subject- or objecthood. Wolvengrey concludes that ''The
interaction of pragmatic and semantic functions is enough to
disambiguate all necessary interactions without recourse to a third
level of grammatical functions'' (441).

Ole Nedergaard Thomsen's paper, ''Direction diathesis and obviation
in Functional Grammar: The case of the inverse in Mapudungun, an
indigenous language of south central Chile'' (p. 447-482), focuses on
the role of direction/inversion morphology in the marking of obviation
distinctions. His analysis is probably broadly applicable to all
languages that combine direction/inversion with obviation, including
Algonquian, and deserves to be read by anyone concerned with the
question of what exactly it is that is coded by obviation. Obviation is a
morphological distinction on verbs (and sometimes, but not in
Mapundungun, on nouns) that subdivides the third person category in
two: the more topical/central entity is marked proximate, and the less
topical/central entity is marked obviative. In terms of the hierarchy
alignment involved in direction/inversion, proximate ranks higher than
obviative, so that in a transitive verb, when agent is proximate and
patient is obviative, the direct morpheme applies, while the inverse
morpheme applies when agent is obviative and patient is proximate.
The paper addresses the question as to what kind of topicality it is
that is encoded by obviation: a kind of vantage point or speaker's
focus of (visual) attention, or rather a kind of textual aboutness or
discourse topicality.

In order to test this, an experiment similar to Tomlin's (1995) Fish Film
experiment is conducted, ''to see whether voice and subject selection
in utterances correlate with visual attention focusing'', the hypothesis
being ''that Proximate would be chosen to code a visually primed
participant in Tomlin's experiment, and that a primed Agent
(Proximate) would select direct voice whereas a primed Patient would
select inverse voice'' (450). This turns out not to be the case: visual
priming has no effect on Proximate choice or inverse voice selection.
Regardless of visual priming, the agent was always encoded as
Proximate, the Patient as Obviative, resulting in Direct voice selection.
Nedergaard Thomsen concludes that ''focal attention does not
determine Proximate status (empathy)'' but is rather determined
by ''textual topicality'' (472). The Proximate/Obviative distinction
therefore appears to encode pragmatic rather than syntactic
(perspectivizing) functions. Nedergaard Thomsen finally argues that
the new top-down FDG model, which situates pragmatic functions at
the highest, i.e. Interpersonal level, and consequently early on in the
derivation of the utterance, would be better suited to handle these
facts than the older, bottom-up FG model.

Johan Lotterman and Lachlan J. Mackenzie, in their
paper ''Unexpected insertion or omission of an absolutive marker as
an icon of a surprising turn of events in discourse'' (p. 483-501),
describe the grammar of the Absolutive marker 'a' in Tanggu, a Sepik-
Ramu language of Papua New Guinea. This marker appears regularly
on the second argument of transitive predicates and on the sole
argument of intransitive predicates, including non-verbal predicates
and postpositions. At this level this marker can be interpreted as the
expression of the basic Ergative/Absolutive semantics of Tanggu, and
can thus be accounted for at the Representational level in FDG.
However, there are exceptions that require the involvement of the
Morphosyntactic and Interpersonal levels as well as the Fund.
Morphosyntax is involved in accounting for the normal absence of the
Absolutive marker in one-place predications, which Lotterman and
Mackenzie interpret as resulting from the non-activation of the
operator that would be responsible for its presence. The Fund is
involved in accounting for the lexically determined absence of the
Absolutive marker with selected verbal and non-verbal predicates,
which does not appear to reflect any kind of semantic distinction in
those predicates and therefore needs to be separately represented in
their lexical entries. The most interesting exceptional facts involve the
unexpected presence or absence of the marker in contexts where the
opposite would normally be expected. The authors show that this
surprising presence/absence iconically reflects a surprising turn of
events in a narrative. In FDG terms they analyze these utterances as
corresponding, at the Interpersonal level, to Discourse Acts ''that
convey the speaker's desire to engender in the hearer an effect of
surprise'', this effect being ''marked by an inversion of the normal
marking of the Absolutive'' (498).

The final paper of the collection is ''Pronominal expression rule
ordering in Danish and the question of a discourse grammar'' (p. 503-
524), by Lisbeth Falster Jakobsen. Falster Jakobsen discusses the
complicated interaction between ordering and case morphology in the
Danish pronoun system, which is complicated by the kind of high
degree of synchronic variation related to register and age indicative of
an ongoing change in progress. While the details of the Danish facts
are a bit different from those of English, the situation reminds us of the
general confusion on the part of native speakers of English with
regard to their pronoun system, which reflects the ongoing
generalization of the original accusative forms. In fact, in a number of
cases a more idiomatic translation into English would have better
reflected what is going on in the Danish examples, e.g. in example
(20) (p. 513), where Danish 'mor og mig(acc)' is translated as 'Mum
and I', while the perfectly grammatical colloquial 'Mum and me' would
have underlined the parallel development. Similarly closer translations
could have been given for examples (21), (22), (23), (25). The central
problem is how to model such variation. It is not enough to simply
distinguish between written and spoken language and formulate
different expression rules for each modality. Nevertheless, a top-down
FDG-like dynamic expression model will be better able to handle this
type of variation: distinctions of mode and style will need to be
specified at the Interpersonal level, which interface with the
expression level to produce appropriate output for all possible
combinations of mode (written vs. spoken), formality, and Speaker
attributes such as age and social class.


This book will be the last in the Functional Grammar Series, published
by Foris since 1985 and by Mouton the Gruyter since 1992. The
series editors have decided that, given the now more generally
available publication options for work in this framework, a dedicated
series is no longer warranted. Taken as a sign of the mainstreaming
of F(D)G, this may be seen as a positive development.

If the editors of the Functional Grammar Series intended it to go out
with a bang, they have certainly succeeded. This is a very valuable
collection of papers that contributes both to the development of the
theory into one that truly takes discourse into account, as well as to
the understanding of problematic phenomena in a variety of
languages. Linguists already working within F(D)G or in other
functionally oriented frameworks will find much to inspire them in this

That said, a few critical comments are also in order. First, I was
disappointed that some of the papers display a lack of detailed
derivations. In good old FG style, they are still long on underlying
representations and short on derivations. Some do not even offer fully
specified underlying representations. Perhaps this reflects the fact
that the new FDG format is still in quite a bit of flux and many details
still need to be worked out. Nevertheless, in a volume on
morphosyntax one would expect the details of the proposed
derivations and all the steps that lead from the underlying
representation to the resulting expression, or at least to its
phonological form, to be worked out in their entirety, especially since it
is the explicitly stated goal of the collection to contribute to the
development of the expression rule component of the grammar.
Notable exceptions are the papers by Bakker, Bakker and Siewierska,
Hengeveld, Smit, de Groot, Cornish.

Secondly, aspects of some of the FG-based papers are already
partially superseded by newer developments in the FDG framework.
For instance, in Herrero-Blanco and Salazar-García's contribution on
non-verbal predication, pragmatic functions are still represented at the
level of the predication, as add-on functions assigned to terms.
Boland's otherwise excellent analysis of operators of tense and
aspect, to the extent that it refers to things like discourse relevance
(''topic time'') and the ''referring'' functions of tense, just seems to be
asking for an updated FDG analysis. She mentions herself, at the very
end of her paper, that her account ''would fit nicely into the model of
FDG'' (347), but this leaves me unsatisfied: I can see the outlines of
how it would fit, but I would like to see the details worked out.
Moutaouakil presents his analysis of exclamation initially in
the ''upward layering'' framework, and then later on suggests the
outlines of a modular approach which appears not to take into account
any work after 1998. If he has reasons for preferring his version of the
modular approach to the one developed in the FDG framework, I think
they need to be made explicit. Keizer, in her otherwise exemplary
treatment of close appositions, gives convincing FG representations of
the constructions under consideration, and then discusses in quite a
bit of detail how aspects of these representations, especially
definiteness and referentiality, would be represented at the
Interpersonal level. Why not give the FDG representation of the
constructions at all three relevant levels, so we can see how it would

Similar comments would apply to the papers by Wolvengrey and, to a
lesser extent, by Nedergaard Thomsen, Lotterman and Mackenzie,
and Falster Jakobsen. Nedergaard Thomsen argues, in some detail,
that the FDG model would be better able to handle obviation than the
FG model, because of its radical top-down structure - unfortunately,
again, no actual representations or derivations are provided.
Lotterman and Mackenzie explicitly take the FDG model as their
framework, giving a few new representations of term structures to
account for the parallel Absolutive marking in predications and terms.
However, their main point, illustrated with copious textual materials,
hinges on speaker intention, which is represented at the Interpersonal
level. A very general Move structure is proposed, which leaves many
questions open, most importantly the nature and representation of the
intended 'surprise': is this a function to be assigned to an Act, or an
Act type, or something else altogether? Finally, FALSTER JAKOBSEN
suggests that aspects of mode and style and Speaker attributes need
to be accounted for at the Interpersonal level, but does not attempt to
show how or where this would exactly take place.

In conclusion, this collection itself provides ample supporting evidence
for the idea that synchronic variation is often indicative of ongoing
change-in-progress. Some of the variation reflects real differences of
opinion, but most of it clearly points toward the FDG model or a
version of it, if I may be permitted a teleological interpretation of the
direction of the change. Given that most of the more FG-oriented
contributions deal with unsolved problems that were carried over from
FG into FDG, and that their conclusions and solutions are easily
translated into the FDG framework for the most part, this is a very
valuable contribution to its development.

Let me finish by stressing that most of the contributions are also of
importance to a more general audience. Stripped of their framework-
specific terminology, these papers offer important insights into the
phenomena they study and are required reading for linguists involved
in their investigation.


Acuña-Fariña, Juan Carlos. 1996. The puzzle of apposition: on so-
called appositive structures in English. Universidade de Santiago de

Aissen, Judith. 1997. On the syntax of obviation. Language 73:705-

Anstey, Matthew. 2002. Layers and operators revisited. Working
Papers in Functional Grammar 77. University of Amsterdam.

Bakker, Dik. 1999. FG expression rules: from templates to constituent
structure. Working Papers in Functional Grammar 67. University of

Bakker, Dik. 2001. The FG expression rules: a dynamic model.
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 42:15-54.

Bohnemeyer, Jürgen. 1998. Time relations in discourse. Evidence
from a comparative approach to Yucatec Maya. Ph.D diss., Katholieke
Universiteit Brabant.

Burton-Roberts, Noel. 1975. Nominal apposition. Foundations of
Language 13:391-419.

Dik, Simon C. 1978. Functional Grammar. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

Dik, Simon C. 1980. Studies in Functional Grammar. London:
Academic Press.

Dik, Simon C. 1997. The Theory of Functional Grammar. I: The
structure of the clause. II: Complex and derived constructions. Edited
by Kees Hengeveld. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hannay, Mike. 1991. Pragmatic function assignment and word order
variation in a functional grammar of English. Journal of Pragmatics

Hengeveld, Kees. 1992. Non-verbal predication. Theory, typology,
diachrony. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Hengeveld, Kees & J. Lachlan Mackenzie. 2005. Functional Discourse
Grammar. In: Keith Brown (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and
Linguistics. 2nd edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

Hengeveld, Kees & J. Lachlan Mackenzie. fc. Functional Discourse
Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klein, Wolfgang. 1994. Time in Language. London: Routledge.

Mackenzie, J. Lachlan & María A. Gómez-González (eds.) 2004. A
new Architecture for Functional Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mithun, Marianne. 1984. The evolution of noun incorporation.
Language 60(4):847-894.

Tomlin, Russell S. 1995. Focal attention, voice, and word order. An
experimental, cross-linguistic study. In: Downing, Pamela and Michael
Noonan (eds.) Word order in discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins,

Inge Genee is an Assistant professor of Linguistics in the Department
of Modern Languages at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta,
Canada. She works on Celtic (especially medieval Irish) and
Algonquian (especially Blackfoot) languages and is interested in
historical syntax, language contact and shift/loss, language
description and functional theories of language.

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