Modification as a propositional act

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A complete functional theory of grammar should be able to specify the communicativefunction of each constituent in a sentence (or rather ‘DiscourseAct’). Whereas predicating and referring have been given due attentionin functional approaches to grammar, the modifying function of linguisticmaterial in a Discourse Act has been largely ignored. This chapter argues (i) thatmodifying is no less actional than predicating or referring in the process of verbalcommunication and (ii) that the modifying function of linguistic materialshould be specified at the highest level of representation in Functional DiscourseGrammar. Apart from Attitudinal Modification, there are at least five Subactsof Modification that are required for an adequate functional analysis of nounphrases and clauses: classifying modification, qualifying modification,quantifying modification, localizing modification and discoursereferentialmodification.


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