How to analyse the structure of sentences in Functional Discourse Grammar
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What is it about?
Many people study the structure of sentences without considering the meaning of those sentences or how they might be used in conversation or in a text. This article explains how sentence structure is approached in a linguistic framework that has been developed in recent years by Kees Hengeveld, myself and many others. Our approach emphasizes that language use is a form of action (and interaction) and shows how several -- but not all! -- aspects of sentence structure follow from that. The article ends by analysing the sentence "After Mary introduced herself to the audience, she turned to a man she had met before", which was devised by the editors of the book as a challenge to the authors of all the chapters. By looking at the other chapters in the book, you can compare how I do it with various other people's suggestions.
Why is it important?
Many people are interested in working with Functional Discourse Grammar, but are not sure exactly how to implement it. This article explains how it can be used as a comprehensive tool.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Lachlan Mackenzie
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