Lexical-Functional Grammar

Ash Asudeh and Ida Toivonen

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Lexical-Functional Grammar

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) is a theory of generative grammar. The goal is to explain the native speaker's knowledge of language by specifying a grammar that models the speaker's knowledge explicitly and which is distinct from the computational mechanisms that constitute the language processor. This chapter is organized as follows. Section 15.2 discusses the two syntactic structures posited by LFG: constituent structure (c-structure) and functional structure (f-structure). LFG distinguishes between formal structures and structural descriptions that well-formed structures must satisfy. The structural descriptions are sets of constraints. A constraint is a statement that is either true or false of a structure. Section 15.3 provides an overview of the most important sorts of constraints. Section 17.4 explains how c-structure and f-structure are related by structural correspondences. Section 17.5 describes the Correspondence Architecture. Section 17.6 considers some recent developments in LFG.

Keywords: generative grammar; linguistic theory; constituent structure; functional structure; structural correspondence; Correspondence Architecture

Article.  11438 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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