Lexicogrammar of Adjectives: A Systemic Functional Approach by Gordon Tucker

By Gordon Tucker

It has lengthy been a suggestion of systemic practical linguistics that lexis may be handled as "most gentle grammar", that's, that the "senses" of lexical goods will be modelled in approach networks which are basically comparable in variety to these utilized in version meanings learned in grammar. After verbs and nouns, adjectives are an important lexical note classification. it is a descriptive and theoretical examine of this valuable grammatical type, supplying an indication of the validity of Halliday's speculation, and aiming to give a contribution to the linguistic conception of either systemic useful and common linguistics.>

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In her conclusion, Hasan provides an important clarification of the value of the features found in her network. She stresses that: The options of the networks are not 'universals', 'primitives' or god-given truths: they are schematic pointers to man-made meanings which can be expressed verbally. The options are presented in certain relations to each other because this is how I understand English ways of meaning; they are not there because the making of any other kind of relation is impossible...

Ideally, it seems, Hasan would wish to subcategorize according to features that have the same lexicogrammatical status as those she uses in the TRANSITIVITY network. To take one example, statement 3 above subcategorizes the Agent Thing as '/human, person(s) or institutions/'. These features must refer to features in the system network for Thing. However informally they may be expressed here, in the more formal statement required for Hasan's network a set of lexicogrammatically significant features would presumably need to be identified.

1988: 87) Renouf and Sinclair (1991) reinforce this challenge to the grammarian's approach to structure in their examination of certain collocational patternings which involve common grammatical words, such as the context (a) A + ? + OF and (b) TOO + ? OF. These grammatical contexts, they suggest, offer a firm basis for studying collocation. They conclude that the 'choice of word class and collocate is specific, and governed by both elements in the framework' (Renouf and Sinclair 1991: 143). The exploration of such item-based frameworks constitutes an eminently sensible way of presenting language patterning, beyond the traditional approach of linguists which sees language as divisible into coherent units.

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