Grammatical functions in the (Old English) Noun Phrase

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Noun phrase grammatical functions and the internal syntax of the noun phrase more generally have taken a back seat in Lexical Functional Grammar compared to work on grammatical functions in the verbal domain, and there remains no consensus as to the number and nature of grammatical functions postulated within the nominal domain. Outstanding issues include the validity and appeal of using traditionally verbal grammatical functions within the noun phrase, the characteristics of some distinctly nominal grammatical functions, and the diagnostic criteria used to identify grammatical functions in the noun phrase. This paper explores questions surrounding the identity and characteristics of noun-phrase internal grammatical functions, using newly collected empirical data from Old English to highlight the successes and pitfalls of previous accounts. The paper also makes tentative suggestions for two grammatical functions for the Old English noun phrase: a primary unrestricted function POSS, accounting for low valency in the noun phrase and instantiated not only by possessors but also by prepositional phrases and clausal complements, and a highly marginal oblique grammatical function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-305
Number of pages21
JournalLFG Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 26th International Lexical-Functional Grammar Conference - Online, Online
Duration: 13 Jul 202116 Jul 2021
Conference number: 26


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