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A cross-linguistic study of so-called "locative inversion"... A cross-linguistic study of so-called "locative inversion"...: ...Evidence for the Functional Discourse Grammar model

Books and book chapters

KeywordsTriple Keywords
Buildings--Design and construction
Building design
Western architecture (Western countries)
Architecture, Western (Western countries)
Language and languages
Foreign languages
Grammar, Universal
Comparative grammar
Grammar, Comparative and general
Grammar, Philosophical
Philosophical grammar
Language and languages--Grammar, Comparative
Standard of value


International audience This chapter's goal is to isolate the internal syntactic, semantic and discourse-pragmatic properties of the "locative inversion" construction in six languages, representing three constituent order types: English, French, Italian, European Portuguese, Turkish (rigid SOV) and Arabic (flexible VSO). The descriptive framework adopted is that of Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG). The FDG approach in terms of the subsequent placement of underlyingly unordered constituents in positions within a template is shown to be perfectly suited to a proper treatment of this construction. Locative inversion is a distinct construction in its own right: indeed, its properties do not derive from those of the canonical, unmarked construction with which it can be correlated (so there is no "inversion" in terms of movement from an underlyingly clause-initial position to a post-verbal one in this case). The overall purpose is to show that the properties specific to the construction flow from its essential function within discourse, and from its information-structural value. Hence an accurate description of the construction presupposes a top-down organisation of the grammar, such as is provided by the FDG model.

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