LINGUIST List 9.1747

Wed Dec 9 1998

Books: Semantics/Syntax

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. AnneGodfre, The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A Systemic Functional Approach to Lexis

Message 1: The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A Systemic Functional Approach to Lexis

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 11:10:30 EST
From: AnneGodfre <>
Subject: The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A Systemic Functional Approach to Lexis

Tucker, Gordon H (Cardiff University); The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A
Systemic Functional Approach to Lexis; 
Published by Cassell; Hb.: 0 304 33903 2; US$75.00/ 50.00

Adjectives are the third most important class of words (after verbs and
nouns), yet this is the first book-length study in English of this central
grammatical category. In it English adjectives are described within a
framework which unifies semantics and syntax; this has important implications
for the modelling of lexis in general.
 It has long been a principle of systemic functional linguistics - the
theory in which the description is set - that lexis should be treated, in
Halliday's words, as 'most delicate grammar'. Until now, this challenging
concept has never been explored and tested for more than a few small areas of
lexis. The research reported here is the first large-scale test of this
 After a thorough survey of the relevant literature, Gordon Tucker
provides a linguistic description of the meanings and forms of the adjectives
themselves, the structures that occur around them, and the funtions that such
units perform as elements of other units (such as the clause and the nominal
 The Lexicogrammar of Adjectives constitutes a major descriptive additon
to our knowledge of the value of 'lexis as most delicate grammar'. It is a
major contribution to the theoretical modelling of language in general and of
words in particular. Its conclusions are important both for systemic
functional linguistics and for linguistic theory in general.
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1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics