Functional Perspectives on Grammar and Discourse
In honour of Angela Downing
This book, a tribute to Angela Downing, consists of twenty papers taking a broadly functional perspective on language, with topics ranging from the general (grammar as an evolutionary product, text comprehension, integrative linguistics) to particular aspects of the grammars of languages (Bulgarian, English, Icelandic, Spanish, Swedish). The more specific papers are sequenced according to Halliday’s division into ideational, textual and interpersonal aspects of the grammar, and cover a wide range of areas, including aspect, argument structure, noun phrase/nominal group structure and nominalisations, pronominal clitics, theme in relation to writing skills, discourse structures and markers, the role of attention in conversation, the functions of topic, phatic communion, subjectification, formulaic language and modality. A recurrent theme in the volume is the use of corpus materials in order to base functional descriptions on authentic productions. Overall, the volume constitutes a panoramic but nevertheless detailed view of some important current trends in functional linguistics.