Monday, February 23, 2009

Functions in the CGEL

One of the most useful and yet ignored principles in thinking about grammar is the consistent separation of categories and functions. When you can keep them distinct, analysis become much clearer. One grammar that is scrupulous in making the distinction is the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. It clearly sets out the various categories on pp. 22 & 23, which I've visualized in the first image below.
Unfortunately, there's no clear overview of all the functions. I've tried to bring them together in the following graphic. As usual, if you see anything wrong or missing, please let me know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice idea for a diagram, though I am unable to comment on the fine detail.

Last year I started blogging a series about the CGEL verb paradigm etc, but after I'd published just two installments real life got in the way and I had to postpone the rest indefinitely. I have all the best intentions to get back to it, but I don't see myself doing so in the foreseeable future.