New Books (2) Functional Linguistics: Torres Cacoullos; Fawcett

Paul Peranteau paul at BENJAMINS.COM
Thu Nov 30 16:03:16 UTC 2000

John Benjamins Publishing announces these two new works:

A Theory of Syntax for Systemic Functional Linguistics.
Robin FAWCETT (Cardiff University)
Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 206
US & Canada: 1 55619 732 2 / USD 85.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world: 90 272 3713 1 / NLG 170.00 (Hardcover)

This book describes and evaluates alternative approaches within Systemic
Functional Linguistics (SFL) to representing the structure of language at
the level of form. It assumes no prior knowledge of SFL, and can therefore
be read as an introduction to current issues within the theory. It will
interest any linguist who takes a functional approach to understanding

Part 1 summarizes the major developments in the forty years of SFL's
history, including alternative approaches within Halliday's own writings
and the emergence of the "Cardiff Grammar" as an alternative to the
"Sydney Grammar". It questions the theoretical status of the 'multiple
structure' representations in Halliday's influential Introduction to
Functional Grammar (1994), demonstrating that Halliday's model
additionally needs an integrating syntax such as that described in Part 2.

Part 2 specifies and discusses the set of 'categories' and 'relationships'
that are needed in a theory of syntax for a modern, computer-implementable
systemic functional grammar. The theoretical concepts are exemplified at
every point, usually from English but occasionally from other languages.
The book is both a critique of Halliday's current theory of syntax and the
presentation of an alternative version of SFL that is equally systemic and
equally functional.


Grammaticization, Synchronic Variation, and Language Contact.
A study of Spanish progressive -ndo constructions.
Rena TORRES CACOULLOS (University of Florida)
Studies in Language Companion Series 52
US & Canada:1 55619 938 4 / USD 79.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world: 90 272 3055 2 / NLG 158.00 (Hardcover)

This study of Old Spanish and present-day Mexico and New Mexico data
develops a grammaticization account of variation in progressive
constructions. Diachronic changes in cooccurrence patterns show that
grammaticization involves reductive change driven by frequency increases.

Formal reduction results in the emergence of auxilliary-plus-gerund
sequences as fused units. Semantically, the constructions originate as
spatial expressions; their grammaticization involves gradual loss of
locative features of meaning. Semantic generalization among parallel
evolutionary paths results in the competition among different
constructions in the domain of progressive aspect. Patterns of synchronic
variation follow from both the retention of meaning differences and the
routinization of frequent collocations, as well as sociolinguistic
factors. Register considerations turn out to be crucial in evaluating the
effects of language contact. Purported changes in Spanish - English
bilingual varieties are largely a feature of oral, informal language
rather than a manifestation of convergence.

                                John Benjamins Publishing Co.
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