Chapter published in:Recent Developments in Functional Discourse Grammar
Edited by Evelien Keizer and Hella Olbertz
[Studies in Language Companion Series 205] 2018
► pp. 48–88
Interpersonal adverbs in FDG
The case of frankly
The aim of this chapter is to present an FDG analysis of interpersonal adverbs like frankly, fortunately and briefly. Although the literature on these adverbs (also referred to as parenthetical, disjunctive, or comment adverbs) is extensive, and their discourse-pragmatic functions and semantic properties, as well as their formal (syntactic, prosodic) behaviour, have been described in considerable detail, no unified, theoretically framed account has been proposed that captures all these different features, and the interaction between them, in a single model. Concentrating on the adverb frankly, and using data from a variety of English corpora (COCA, BYU-BNC and NOW), this chapter argues that the theory of FDG, with its distinction between an interpersonal (speaker-bound) and a representational (non-speaker-bound) level, offers the means to provide such an account. Its layered organization provides the means to distinguish between adverbs of different scope, while the distinction between adverbs functioning as modifiers within a Discourse Act and those that functioning as separate Discourse Acts makes it possible to distinguish between interpersonal adverbs that are prosodically integrated in the linear realization of the utterance and those that are prosodically independent. Moreover, in accordance with the dynamic, top-down approach of the model, the syntactic behaviour and prosodic realization of adverbs is shown to follow systematically from their functional (discourse-pragmatic and semantic) features.
Published online: 22 November 2018
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