SARAH JANE S.SERIL
FEATURES OF FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
• 1. It is based on the notion of choice
– it models grammar as a set of options
( a repertoire or resource).
• 2. It looks at the way in which grammar
to construct texts in their
context of use.
3. It is concerned with the way in
which grammar is organized to make
IT IS CONCERNED WITH THE RESOURCE FOR:
1. analyzing experience – what is going
2. analyzing interaction – who is
communicating with whom
3. analyzing with ways in which messages
In order to Model Grammar As a Context
Sensitive, Meaning-making Resource, FG Looks Closely At
the Different Contributions Made by the ff:
1. At the clause level, FG deals with resource for analyzing
experience (Process type, Participants and
Circumstances),participating in communication (mood and
modality), packaging information (theme and cohesion). In
addition, it is concerned for combining clauses into clause
• 2. At the phrase and group level, FG deals with
resources constructing participants( noun
groups), assessing events and setting them in time
(verb groups), modifying events (adverb
groups), qualifying processes(preposition phrases).
3. At the word class level, FG is concerned with
resources for adapting words to clause, phrase and
group structures. With in words, FG is concerned with
resources for analyzing morphemes(inflection and
FUNCTIONAL THEORIES OF GRAMMAR
• Functional theories of grammar are those approaches to
the study of language that see the functions of language
and its elements to be the key to understanding linguistic
processes and structures.
• Functional theories of language propose that since
language is fundamentally a tool, it is reasonable to
assume that its structures are best analyzed and
understood with reference to the functions they carry out
• Functional theories of grammar differ from formal
theories of grammar, in that the latter seeks to define the
different elements of language and describe the way they
relate to each other as systems of formal rules or
operations, whereas the former defines the functions
performed by language and then relates these functions
to the linguistic elements that carry them out.
• This means that functional theories of grammar tend to
pay attention to the way language is actually used in
communicative context, and not just to the formal
relations between linguistic elements.
SEVERAL DISTINCT GRAMMATICAL THEORIES
THAT EMPLOY A FUNCTIONAL APPROACH
1. The structuralist functionalism of the Prague
school, was the earliest functionalist framework in the
2. Simon Dik’s functional discourse
grammar, originally developed in the 1970s and 80s. It has
also been continuously developed by Linguist such as
3. Michael Haliday’s systemic functional grammar.
Haliday draws on the work of Buhler and Malinowski.
STRUCTURALIST FUNCTIONALISM OF THE PRAGUE
Structuralism is a theoretical paradigm that
emphasizes that elements of culture must be understood in
terms of their relationships to a larger oversearching system
of structure. Alternately, as summarized by philosophers
Simon Blackburn; Structuralism is “the belief that phenomena
of human life are not intelligible except through their
interrelations. These relations constitue a structure and
behind local variations in the surface phenomena there are
constant laws of abstract culture.
• Structuralism originated in the early 1900s in the
structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Sausure and the
subsequent Prague, Moscow and Copenhagen linguistics.
In the late 1950s and early 60s, when structural
linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of
Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in
linguistics, an array of scholars in the
humanities, borrowed Sausure’s concepts for use in their
respective field of study. French anthropologist Claude
Levi- Strauss was arguably the 1st scholar, sparking a
widespread interest in Structuralism
FUNCTIONAL DISCOURSE GRAMMAR BY SIMON C.
FG and FDG are grammar models and theories motivated by
functional theories of grammar. These theories explain how
linguistic utterances are shaped, based on the goals and
knowledge of natural language users. In doing so, it contrasts
with Chomskyan transformational grammar. FDG has been
developed as a successor to FG attempting to be more
psychologically and pragmatically adequate functional grammar.
The top-level unit of analysis in FDG is the discourse move not
the sentence or the clause. This is a principle that sets FDG apart
from many other linguistic theories, including its predecessor
PRINCIPLES OF FUNCTIONAL DISCOURSE
FDG explains the phonology, morphosyntax, pragmatics and semantics in
one linguistic theory.
Accdg.to FDG, linguistics utterances are built top-down in this order by
1. The pragmatic aspects of the utterance
2. The semantic aspects of the utterance
3. The morphosyntactic aspects of the utterance
4. The phonological aspect of the utterance
ACCDG. TO FDG, FOUR COMPONENTS ARE
INVOLVED IN BUILDING UP AN UTTERANCE:
1.The conceptual component, which is where the communicative
intention that drives the utterance construction arises.
2.The grammatical component, where the utterance is formulated and
encoded accdg. To the communicative intention
3.The contextual component, which contains all elements that can be
referred to in the history of the discourse or in the environment
4.The output component, which realizes the utterance as sound, writing
SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
BY MICHAEL HALLIDAY
SFG is part of social semiotic approach to language systemic functional
linguistics. The term systemic refers to the view of language as “a network of
systems, or interrelated sts of options for making meaning.” The term
functional refers to Halliday’s view that language is as it is because bec. of
what it has evolved to do. Grammar, for Halliday is described as system not
as rules, on the basis that every grammatical structure involves a choice
from a describable options.
Traditionally the “choices” are viewed in terms of either the content or the
structure of the language used. In SFG, language is analyzed in three
ways (strata): semantics, phonology and lexicogrammar.SFG presents a
view of language in terms of both structure(grammar) and words(lexis).
The term “lexicogrammar” describes, this combined approach.
Three general functions of language(metafunctions)
1. The ideational functions, resources for constructing experience
2. The interpersonal functions, resources for enacting humans’ diverse and
complex social relations.
3. The textual function, resources for enabling these two kinds of meaning
to come together
LEXICAL FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR
LFG is a grammar framework in theoretical linguistics, a variety
of generative grammar. It is a type of phrase structure grammar, as
opposed to a dependency grammar.
• The development of the theory was initiated by Joan Bresnan and
Ronald Kaplan in the 1970s, in reaction to the direction research in
the area of transformational grammar had began to take. It mainly
focuses on syntax, including its relation with morphology and
LFG views language as being made up of multiple dimensions
of structure. Each of these dimensions is represented as a distinct
structure with its own rules, concepts and form.
FUNCTIONAL GRAMMAR IN DENMARK
Danish functional school
• The Danish school of functional linguistics was developed in an attempt to
combine modern functional grammar and cognitive linguistics with the
best ideas and concepts of the earlier structuralist school. The school insist
in the basic structural division of communication in planes of content and
• Danish functionalists also insist that language is fundamentally a
means of communication between humans and is best understood
and analysed through its communicative function. When analysing
linguistic utterances, the content and expression planes are
analysed separately, with the expression plane being analysed
through traditional structural methods and the content plane being
analysed mostly through methods from semantics and pragmatics.
• However it is assumed that structures on the expression plane mirrors
structures on the content plane. This can be seen in the parallelism
between the structure of Danish sentences as described by the structural
syntactic model of Paul Diderichsen dividing utterances into three basic
fields a foundation field, a nexus field and a content field, and the
pragmatic structure of utterances that often use the foundation field for
discourse pragmatic functions, the nexus field for illocutionary functions
and the content field for the linguistic message. Danish functionalists
assume that an utterance is not to be analysed from the minimal units
and up, but rather from the maximal units and down, because speakers
begin the construction of utterances by choosing what to say in a given
situation, then by choosing the words to use and finally by building the
sentence by means of sounds.
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING………
HAVE A NICE DAY…