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Extending the lexicogrammar: Towards a more comprehensive account of partially clausal and non-clausal expressions

Tucker, Gordon Howard 2005. Extending the lexicogrammar: Towards a more comprehensive account of partially clausal and non-clausal expressions. Language Sciences 27 (6) , pp. 679-709. 10.1016/j.langsci.2005.07.006

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A number of systematic phenomena attested in spoken discourse sit uncomfortably alongside the clause as the principal unit of lexicogrammatical organisation. From a grammatical perspective, therefore, certain elements may be considered to lie outside of the purview of the clause, in the sense that they are either ‘clause-external’, in the case of prefaces and tags, or ‘non-clausal’, in the case of independent, free-standing syntactic or formulaic expressions. In this article, I explore the possibility of revising the lexicogrammatical framework in order to incorporate such phenomena, thus providing a more inclusive and integrated account of them. The framework adopted here, Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), gives considerable importance to the contribution of the clause to discourse, particularly through the textual and informational organisation of ideational content within the wider discourse context. The proposed modifications to the lexicogrammar are therefore considered to reflect the textual and informational demands of the speaker in the creation of spoken discourse. Drawing largely on Biber et al.’s [Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., Finegan, E., 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Longman, London, pp. 1037ff] corpus-based description of the ‘grammar of conversation’, I propose a clause-based approach to (a) clause prefaces and tags, (b) independent, non-clausal expressions, and (c) formulaic speech act realisations, and discuss the implications of such an approach for a systemic functional model of language that prioritises the lexicogrammar in terms of meaning potential.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0388-0001
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2017 02:03

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