M. van Rijn
- Phrasal alignment in Functional Discourse Grammar
- Web Papers in Functional Discourse Grammar
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Although the term is alignment is typically associated with morphosyntactic expression of arguments of the Clause, alignment is also relevant to units of the Phrase. In Functional Discourse Grammar a basic distinction is made between two kinds of dependency relations obtaining both within Phrases and within Clauses: head-modifier relations and nucleus-dependent relations. This paper investigates the alignment of nominal units within different types of Phrases and Clauses on the basis of this distinction in a sample of twenty-six languages. It is demonstrated that of the six logically possible main alignment types, five are observed in the data. One alignment pattern is not attested, as there is no language which aligns modifiers within Phrases in the same way as arguments within Clauses, while aligning arguments within Phrases in a different way. In other words, if modifiers within Phrases are aligned in the same way as arguments within Clauses, arguments within Phrases also receive the same treatment. This outcome strongly supports the unique distinction in dependency relations made by Functional Discourse Grammar and the relevance of this distinction in Phrasal alignment across the world’s languages.
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