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Functional Grammar

Appunti di Linguistica Inglese 1: Functional Grammar basati su appunti personali del publisher presi alle lezioni della prof. Fusari dell’università degli Studi di Bologna - Unibo, facoltà di Lingue e letterature straniere, Corso di laurea in lingue e letterature straniere. Scarica il file in formato PDF!

Esame di Linguistica inglese 1 docente Prof. S. Fusari




field: what’s going on / transitivity + logico semantic relations

logical subject: actor

experiential logical

• →

transitivity taxis (interdependency) / logico-semantic relations (expansion/projection)

• system that defines how experiential meaning is represented in the clause in terms of Processes,

Participants and Circumstances

VERBAL GROUP PROCESSES second verb expresses the process, first modifies process in

some way


PROCESS verbal groups

1. →

material process physical actions: actor + goal + range + beneficiary

• →

relational process states of being/having

• a. attributive processes: carrier + attribute

b. identifying processes: identifier + identified

mental process thoughts/feelings: senser + phenomenon

• →

verbal processes talk about what is said: sayer + receiver + verbiage

• →

existential process existence: existent (follows ‘there is/are’)

• →

behavioral process involuntary psychological and physiological activity: behaver

• →

causative process x makes y do something: initiator/agent + causative + actor + process +

• goal / attributor + relational (attributive) process + carrier + attribute / assigner + relational

(identifying) process + identified + identifier

a. initiator when caused process is material

b. attributor when caused process is relational: attributive

assigner when caused process is relational: identifying

c. →

PARTICIPANTS nominal groups

2. →

3. CIRCUMSTANCES (optional) adverbial group / prepositional phrase / nominal group

time / place / cause (reason / purpose / behalf) / manner (means / quality / comparison) / accompaniment /

contingency / matter / role / angle

TAXIS refers to the dependency status of the clauses in a clause complex (combination of 2 or

more clauses into a larger unit, with their interdependence shown by explicit signals)

hypotaxis unequal relationship in which a clause is dependent on another (α , β )

• dominant dependent

primary verb includes the Mood of the clause / can be finite or non-finite

• secondary verb expresses the event, or in transitivity terms, the process / always non-finite, can be

• in the to-infinitive form or in the -ing form

parataxis equal relationship in which a clause follows on from another (1 , 2 )

• initiating continuing

- →

reported clauses can be both paratactical and hypotactic

- →

embedded clauses don’t form clause complexes, no para/hypotaxis, use ([[ ]])


EXPANSION one clause expanses on the meaning of another in various ways (adds

• specifications) / semantic work ~ conjunction / divides in 3:

extension extends/adds to it by addition (and, but) or replacement (or)

(+) →

paratactic what is normally called coordination / and, paraphrased ‘and also/similarly’

• →

hypotactic while/whereas / if clause + negative, paraphrased with ‘either … or alternatively’ / semantic

• relation between the primary and the secondary verb is one of conation = idea of trying and succeeding/

failing (try to/succeed -ing/manage to/avoid -ing/can’t help -ing/fail to)

elaboration gives more info about what is already there

(=) →

paratactic normally is in apposition to the preceding clause / can be paraphrased with ‘in other words/to

• be precise/for example’

hypotactic called non-defining relative clauses / normally follow the element immediately / most likely

• introduced by who/which/whose/where/when / semantic relation between the primary and secondary verb

is one of phase: reality-phase, based on appearance (appear/seem to be) and realization (prove/turn out to

be) + time-phase, based on duration/inception (keep (on) -ing/continue to -ing/go on -ing/begin to -ing/starts

to), conclusion (stop -ing/ceases to -ing)


(x) →

paratactic similar to extension / conjunctions as so, yet, but, and then, and yet, however, therefore

• →

hypotactic adverbial clauses, similar to adjuncts as they specify aspects of the dominant clause (when/

• why something happened) / paraphrased with ‘after/because’ / semantic relation between the primary and

the secondary verb expresses a more articulated circumstance, modulation:categories of time,

manner:quality (insist (on) doing = do perversely/hasten to do = do quickly/venture to do = do tentatively/

hesitate to do = do reluctantly), cause:reason (happen to do = do by chance), cause:purpose,

contingency:concession, accompaniment →

i. embedded expansion in nominal groups function: postmodifier/head

internal expansion between clauses / is concerned with connection between what the speakers says and their

• justification for saying it/between moves in the exchange

external expansion establishes a relationship between processes of the external world

• →

PROJECTION one clause projects another in the sense that it indicates that the other is a

• →

‘second order’ use of language language not our own, but differs from the original utterance /

uses reporting verbs / joining of clauses through locution (“ verbal process: saying / claim to/ask to/consent to/

) / idea (‘ )

refuse to/promise to mental process: thinking / intend to/like -ing/consider -ing/hope to/want to/love to/hate to/enjoy -ing

(a) embedded projection in nominal groups qualifier = embedded projection / nouns +

projected clause with that (finite) or of (non finite) / nouns + projected clause with if/

whether/wh- (finite) or whether/wh- (non finite)

facts type of embedded progression where no sayer or sense is involved / ideas without a thinker /

• anticipatory it


tenor: who is taking part / clause as exchange / mood + modality + appraisal

grammatical subject

MOOD system that defines how interactional meanings is enacted in the clause in terms of what

the clause is doing, as a verbal exchange between speaker/writer and audience / 2 components:

1. SUBJECT entity the speaker wants to make responsible for the validity of the clause

may be NG / (postmodifying) embedded clause // when S is an embedded clause common to find an anticipatory

‘it’ in the normal S position, with the embedded appearing at the end of the clause of which it is S both it +

embedded are S

FINITE first functional element of the verbal group /

2. consisting of 2 functional elements (predicator

+finite) that can be fused but always becomes explicit in y/n questions

tense when the proposition is valid / past/present/future

a. →

b. modality to what extent the proposition is valid/the proposal is being imposed / can/


c. polarity whether the proposition is about positive/negative validity / y/n

3. RESIDUE (optional / not relevant)

predicator non finite part of verbal group

• →

complement object/direct complement, element that has the potential of being the subject

• but isn’t →

adjunct adverbial group / prepositional phrase / 3 types

• →

a. circumstantial adjunct experiential perspective, ‘performance’

b. conjunctive adjunct ‘discourse markers’ / signals how the clause fits in with the

preceding text / textual meanings / not Mood nor Residue

modal adjuncts interpersonal function / includes in Mood / 2 main groups

c. →

comment adjuncts comment on the clause as a whole / often separated from the

A. rest of the clause by commas

B. mood adjuncts express meanings associated with Mood

→ →

(i) declarative clauses Subject^Finite tense

- exclamative clauses (wh-) + Subject^Finite

→ →

y/n interrogatives Finite^Subject polarity

(ii) →

wh- interrogatives Finite^Subject

(iii) imperative clauses

(iv) →

- unmarked forms: no mood Subject not specified, it can only be referred to the Addressee +

Finite usually doesn’t appear/if it does, it’s to signal negative polarity (don’t)

- marked forms →

a. Subject ‘you’ Finite^Subject / Finite only for emphasis

Subject ‘you+me’ Finite^Subject / let’s = Subject +Finite only for emphasis


tag question: repeats the two elements in the Mood at the end of the clause, making Finite explicit.

only independent clauses have a choice of mood / express speech roles:

1. non-finite have no mood they aren’t finite

2. dependent finite clauses no mood can only have Subject^Finite ordering




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10 mesi fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in lingue e letterature straniere
Università: Bologna - Unibo
A.A.: 2015-2016

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher ironlux di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Linguistica inglese 1 e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Bologna - Unibo o del prof Fusari Sabrina.

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