Structure and Function – A Guide to Three Major Structural-Functional Theories

Part 2: From clause to discourse and beyond

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Like its companion volume, this book offers a detailed description and comparison of three major structural-functional theories: Functional Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar, illustrated throughout with corpus-derived examples from English and other languages. Whereas Part 1 confines itself largely to the simplex clause, Part 2 moves from the clause towards the discourse and its context. The first three chapters deal with the areas of illocution, information structuring (topic and focus, theme and rheme, given and new information, etc.), and clause combining within complex sentences. Chapter 4 examines approaches to discourse, text and context across the three theories. The fifth chapter deals with the learning of language by both native and non-native speakers, and applications of the theories in stylistics, computational linguistics, translation and contrastive studies, and language pathology. The final chapter assesses the extent to which each theory attains the goals it sets for itself, and then outlines a programme for the development of an integrated approach responding to a range of criteria of descriptive and explanatory adequacy.<br /><br />

Subjects: Functional linguistics; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Honorary Professor, University of Wales, Swansea

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