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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

All functional approaches share the conviction that the structure of languages and their historical development are strongly impacted by the cognitive properties of language users, the social relations between them, and the spatio-temporal and socio-cultural contexts in which they operate. This chapter describes how functionalism has impinged on the study of English grammar and covers the interrelations of discourse and grammar, various corpus- and usage-based approaches, the influence of processing considerations, the hierarchical organization of the clause, information structure, the noun phrase, and the contributions of language typology. The grammatical analysis of English has been enriched by the insight that its structures are bound up with our ability to participate in dialogues, to construct written texts, to surmize the state of mind of our conversational partner, to modulate our formulations to maximize politeness, and to use different registers or dialects in different social contexts.

Keywords: corpus, discourse, functionalism, hierarchy, information structure, noun phrases, processing, socio-cultural context, typology, usage

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