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The Emergence of Functions in Language$
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Zygmunt Frajzyngier and Marielle Butters

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844297.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Emergence of Functions in Language

Zygmunt Frajzyngier

Marielle Butters

Oxford University Press

The introduction states the main question of the book and sets the theoretical basis of the study; namely that every language codes a unique semantic structure in its grammatical system. This semantic structure consists of functional domains and subdomains, and each subdomain consists of a finite number of functions. The functional domains, subdomains, and functions can change over time. Even if languages have identical functional domains, the internal composition of these domains may vary. Every language contains a finite number of coding means such as lexical categories and derivational morphology, linear orders, phonological means, inflectional morphology, deployment of lexical items to code grammatical functions, including serial verb constructions, adpositions, and free grammatical morphemes. The role of the formal means is to allow for the realization of the functions from the semantic structure of the language and to assure the principle functional transparency.

Keywords:   Semantic structure, functional domain, formal means, functional transparency

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