Functionalism from Martinet to Dik, Croft and Danish Functional Linguistics

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To most observers, function and structure may come cross as opposites within linguistics. This article aims to show how (especially one strand of) functionalism can accommodate the valid insights of the structural tradition (without taking over its reliance on structure as the beall and end-all of linguistic description). The argument takes its point of departure in an analysis of three aspects of the concept of structure: its association with (respectively) ‘autonomy’, the opposition to ‘substance’, and ‘supra-individual’ properties. Of these, the last aspect points to features of language where function and structure overlap: Both structural and functional properties of an object of description arise in relation to features outside the element in itself. This is central to the European linguistic tradition, including present-day Danish functional linguistics. This approach is compared to other linguistic perspectives on function and structure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructuralism as one - structuralism as many : Studies in Structuralisms
EditorsLorenzo Cigana, Frans Gregersen
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherDet Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab
Publication dateJan 2023
ISBN (Print)978-87-7304-447-6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
SeriesScientia Danica, Series H, Humanistica

ID: 337116885