Content, Expression and Structure: Studies in Danish Functional Grammar

Overview

This collection of papers offers an alternative to mainstream functional linguistics on two points. Especially in American linguistics, function and structure are often viewed almost as polar opposites; in addition, structure is often understood as being only a matter of linguistic form — or expression — as opposed to content. The book tries to illustrate why function and structure must be understood as mutually dependent in relation to language — and why the most interesting aspect of language structure is the ...
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Overview

This collection of papers offers an alternative to mainstream functional linguistics on two points. Especially in American linguistics, function and structure are often viewed almost as polar opposites; in addition, structure is often understood as being only a matter of linguistic form — or expression — as opposed to content. The book tries to illustrate why function and structure must be understood as mutually dependent in relation to language — and why the most interesting aspect of language structure is the way it structures the content side of language. In this, the book represents a reaffirmation of traditional concerns in structural linguistics, especially with respect to the structural integrity of individual languages — but with a reversal of traditional priority: structure is not autonomous, but must be understood on the basis of function. Without being hostile to typological and universal generalizations, the articles suggest that similarities between languages can only be responsibly discussed on the basis of an understanding that includes a respect for language differences.
The book contains discussions of a number of different languages including Nahuatl, Danish Sign Language, French, and Tlapanec, and focuses on the way meaning is organized in the grammar of Danish. A final section sums up theoretical perspectives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556193811
  • Publisher: Benjamins, John Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Series: Studies in Language Companion Series , #29
  • Pages: 526
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Is there a passive in Nahuatl? 1
Grammaticalized focus in Yukagir: Is it really grammaticalized and is it really focus? 17
Iconic motivations in conflict: Language-specific structure and influence from the medium 39
The syntax of Danish verbs: Lexical and syntactic transitivity 65
From lexical potential to syntactic realization: A Danish verb valency model 103
Danish directional adverbs: Content syntax and complex predicates - a case for host and co-predicates 159
Danish passives and subject positions as a mood system: A content analysis 199
Information structure and the anatomy of the noun phrase: The expression of subject and object in Danish noun phrases 235
Topic continuity and prosody: An experimental study in Danish 261
Discourse particles in Danish 283
Eh bien: Market of comparison and contrast 315
The degrammaticalization of agentivity in Tlapanec 343
The functions of locative prepositions 361
Communicative function and language-specific structure in second language acquisition: A discussion of natural sequences of acquisition 385
Theoretical considerations 421
Linguistic structure in a functional grammar 423
Iconicity and arbitrariness 453
Paradigmatic structure, word order and grammaticalization 469
Subject Index 495
Index of names 505
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