Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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The study takes a critical look at the status of syntactic functions within a multi-level view of grammatical relations. Re-examining the widespread approach to the traditional notion of ‘syntactic function’ that treats it as fitting into a system of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic functions, the syntactic functions are seen to be cognitively invisible vis-à-vis the other two, and this is assumed to be more than an irrelevant accident. After a brief review of theoretical treatments of syntactic functions within functionalism, the conclusion is reached that, contrary to what is commonly assumed, e.g. in FG or SFG, unlike functions on the other two levels, syntactic functions per se contribute nothing to sentence meaning, and thus should no longer be considered functions. Instead, this study treats them as syntactic figures, i.e. instrumental, multi-purpose, formal devices whose job it is to give optimal expression to functional content which may be of just two types: either semantic or pragmatic.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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