Outline of a notional grammar

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume I

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608317
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732034 | DOI:
Outline of a notional grammar

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The notional grammar described here accepts the extralinguistic groundedness of both syntactic categories and the structures that they project in terms of their valency/subcategorization. The structures are built up by the application of re‐representation via the introduction of a structural dimension associated with a particular substance: cognitive salience, perception of temporality, perception of sound. Cognitive salience is grammaticalized in terms of dependency structures involving both adjunction, where head and dependent are separately linearized, and subjunction, where dependency is internal to a particular word. Primary and secondary categories are recognized, and among the former functional vs. lexical. Primary categories determine the basic distribution of a word, and secondary, which are notionally appropriate to the primary they are associated with, and may be morphologically expressed (e.g. tense, gender), give a ‘fine‐tuning’ to this distribution. The functional category functor (adpositions, case) is given a localist interpretation. And it is shown to be crucial to the erection of complex structures, especially those including argument‐sharing in ‘raising’ structures.

Keywords: subcategorization; dependency; adjunction and subjunction; complement and adjunct; primary and secondary category; functional and lexical category; case and adposition; localism; argument‐sharing; raising

Chapter.  14841 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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