ArticlePDF Available

A framework for descriptive grammars

Authors:
ACTES
DU
XV*
CONGRES
INTERNATIONAL
DES LINGUISTES
QUEBEC, UNIVERSITE
LAVAL
9-14 ΑΟΰΤ 1992
Les
langues
menacees
PROCEEDINGS
OF THE XVTH
INTERNATIONAL
CONGRESS
OF LINGUISTS
QUEBEC, UNIVERSITE
LAVAL
9-14 AUGUST 1992
LES
PRESSES
DE L'UNIVERSITE
LAVAL
Sainte-Foy,
1993
Andre
Crochetiere,
Jean-Qaude
Boulanger
et Conrad
Ouellon
Endangered Languages
VOLUME
I
TABLE
DES
MATURES
/
CONTENTS
SEANCE
D'OUVERTURE
/ OPENING SESSION
Pages
Auteurs / Authors Titre /
Title
XV
Comito national / National Committee
XVII
Comito international / International Committee
XVIII
Reprosentants
ä
Tassemblee
genorale
/
Representatives
at the General Assembly
XIX
Programme
scientifique / Scientific Program
XXI
Presentation
XXIII
Introduction
XXV
Auger P.,
President
du
XVe
Congres
(CIL92)
/
President
of
XVth
Congress
(ICL92))
XXIX
Gervais Μ.,
Recteur
de l'Universito Laval / Rector of University
Laval
XXXIII
Robins R.H.,
Prdsident
du Comito international
permanent
des
linguistes (CIPL)
/President
of
Permanent
International
Committee of Linguists (PICL)
SfeANCES PLENlfcRES /
PLENARY
SESSIONS
3 Uhlenbeck E.M.
Secretaire
general
/ General
Secretary
(CIPL)
Ouvertüre
des
seances
plenieres
/ Opening plenary
sessions
5
Dorian
N.
Working
with
Endangered
Languages
: Privileges
and Perils
17 Hale K.
On
the Human Value of Local
Languages
33
Craig
C.
Fieldwork
on
Endangered
Languages:
A Forward
Look
at Ethical
Issues
43
Krauss
M. The
Language
Extinction
Catastrophe
just
ahead:
Should Linguists
Care?
47
Hirtle
W. The Word - WHY ?
59
Hajicova
E.
A
Challenge for Universal Grammar : Valency
and Tree" Order in Underlying Structure
71
Storiade
D.
Segments,
Contours and
Clusters
83
Partee
B.
Naturalizing
Formal
Semantics
95 Mackenzie J.L. What is Functional
Grammar?
107
Hagege
C. Towards a Socio-operative Conception of
Linguistics
119
Aoun
J. The
Search
for
Facts
VIII
TABLES
RONDES /
PANEL
DISCUSSIONS
TITRE
:
PHONOLOGIE
D£CLARATIVE
TITLE
:
DECLARATIVE
PHONOLOGY
133
134
138
142
Scobbie J.M.
Bird
S.
Coleman J.
142 Pierrehumbert J.
Introduction
Constraint
Conflict
Feature-Changing Harmony
A
Declarative Approach to the Phonology of the
Lexicon
Declarative Phonology, Generative Phonology, and
Laboratory Phonology
TITRE
:
LANGAGE
ET
PRJ&HISTOIRE
TITLE
:
LANGUAGE
IN PREHISTORY
147
Ratliff
M.
The Wider
Affiliations
of
Chinese
Sino-Tibetan,
Sino-Caucasian,and Sino-Austronesian
150 Manaster Ramer A. Language in Prehistory: Western Eurasia and
North
America
153 Salmons J. Theory and Practice of Global Etymologies
TITRE
:
CADRE
MfeTHODOLOGIQUE
POUR
UNE
GRAMMMAIRE
DESCRIPTIVE
TITLE
: A
FRAMEWORK
FOR
DESCRIPTIVE
GRAMMARS
159 Comrie B./
Croft
W./ Lehmann C./ Zaefferer D.
Rapport
synthase
/ Summary of the Panel
TITRE
:
MfeTAPHORE
ET
ICONICITfi
TITLE
:
METAPHOR
AND
ICONICITY
173 Hiraga
M.K.
/ Radwanska-Williams J.
Metaphorical
Iconicity
in Language
176 Zaitseva V. 'Distance* and 'Discourse Situation' as
Metaphorically
Interrelated Prototypes
179
Sweetser
E. Metaphor,
Mythology
and Everyday Language
182 Ponterotto D. On Mapping
IX
TITRE
:
TERMINOLOGIE,
DISCOURS
ET
TEXTES
SP6CIALIS£S
TITLE
:
TERMINOLOGY,
DISCOURSE
AND
SPECIALIZED
TEXTS
187 Kocourek R. La table-ronde terminologique
187 Kocourek R. Les textes spocialisos et la terminologie en tant
qu'objet de Tanalyse linguistique
190 Auger P. / L'Homme M.-C.
La
terminologie selon unc approche textuelle :
Une
repr£sentation
plus
adoquate
du
lexique
dans
les
langues
spocialisoes (LSPs)
Les apports de la semiostylistique ä Tanalyse de
la
description scientifique
Relations Between Phraseology and
Terminology
in
Specialized Language
Identifying
the Phraseology of Languages for
Special
Purposes
Implications
mothodologiques de la socio-
terminologie
Contribution
de l'experience frangaise ä une
methodologie de Tamonagement terminologique
Remarques
sur le Centre de terminologie et de
neologie
Loubier
C. /
Rousseau
L.-J.
Lacte de langage,
source
et
fin
de la
terminologie
Rousseau
L.-J. Conclusions
TITRE
:
HISTOIRE
DE
L'feTUDE
DES
LANGUES
AUTOCHTONES
DU
CANADA
TITLE
: THE
HISTORY
OF THE
STUDY
OF
THE
NATIVE
LANGUAGES
OF
CANADA
193 Bonhomme M.
195 Glaser R
197 Roberts R.P.
200 Gambier Y.
202
205
208
210
Depecker L.
Humbley
J.
216 Darnell R.
216 Faribault M.
217 Hewson J.
217 Mackenzie M.
218 Rath J.
The Inseparability of the Bosnian Text-Based
Grammars and Ethnographic Descriptions in the
History
of Native Canadian Linguistics
Les oeuvres linguistiques des missionnaires de la
Nouvelle
France
(XVIIe
et
XVHIe
siScles)
An
Early 18th-Century Grammar of Micmac :
Father Pierre-Simon
Maillard
(Published 1864)
The "Project for the Amerindianization of the
Schools" :
Bringing
Linguistics into
Aboriginal
Classrooms in Quobec
On
the Signifiance and Deficiencies
of
Traditional
Fieldwork
on Western
American
Indian
Languages
in
Canada
: Notes on Boas-Hunt's
North
Wakashan Text Materials
χ
TITRE
:
LA
METAPHORE
ET
LA
STRUCTURE
DANS
LE
TEXTE
POÜTIQUE
TITLE
:
METAPHOR
AND
THE STRUCTURE
OF THE POETIC
TEXT
221 Freeman D.C.
"Catch{ing}
the
Nearest
Way":
Path and Container
Metaphors in "Macbeth"
224 Freeman
M.H.
Metaphor
Making
Meaning:
Dickson's Conceptual
Universe
227 Tsiapera M. Metaphor in Seferis' Cyprus
Poems
230
Barcelona-Sanchez
A. Discussion
TITRE
:
LA
PRAGMATIQUE
FONCTIONNELLE
TITLE
:
FUNCTIONAL
PRAGMATICS
235
MeyJJL
Wokshop Foundational Questions in Pragmatics
237
Bickhard
M.H.
Foundations of Language Studies
241
Yngve
V.H.
Epistemology or
Science
243
Sgall
P.
A
Remark on the Interactivity of Language and
on
the Meaning of
Sentence
245
Janney
R.W.
A
View
from
Pragmatics
TITRE
:
L'AMfcNAGEMENT
LINGUISTIQUE
POUR
LES
LANGUES
MINORITAIRES
EN
CHINE
TITLE
:
LANGUAGE
PLANNING
FOR
MINORITY
LANGUAGES
IN
CHINA
251 Cuirong Y.
Bilingualism
Among the Buyei
254 Dob The Use and Development of Mongolian as a
Minority
Language, in China
257 Shixing A. On the Relationship Between the Tibetan
Written
Language and Tibetan Dialects in China
260 Shixuan X.
Multiple
Written
Forms of
Some
Languages
in
China
262 Yaowen Z. The
Linguistic
and
Social
Bases
of
Using
Dialectal
Writing
System by the Ethnic Groups in South
China
265
Yifei
R./
Xing
H. The Language
Status
Planning and Corpus
Planning of China
XI
TITRE
: RfcCENTS
DßVELOPPEMENTS
DANS LA
GRAMMAIRE
FONCTIONNELLE
(DEPUIS CIL 1987)
TITLE
: RECENT
DEVELOPMENTS
IN
FUNCTIONAL
GRAMMAR
(SINCE ICL 1987)
271 Mackenzie J.L.
274
Rijkhoff
J.N.M.
277 Bolkestein
M.A.
280 Siewierska A.
Nominalization
and Layering
"Number"
Disagreement
Anaphoric
Subjects
and Discourse Structure in
Latin
Pragmatic
Functions and the
Pragmatics
of
Word
Order in FG : The
Case
of Polish
TITRE
: GENRE
GRAMMATICAL
ET ACCORD
TITLE
:
GRAMMATICAL
GENDER
AND
AGREEMENT
285
287 Corbett G.G.
Morris
L.
290 Surridge M.
Gender
Resolution
Gender
"Variability"
in English: What Can it
Teach Us?
Semantic
and Grammatical
Gender:
The Overlap
in
French
TITRE
:
GRAMMAIRES
"CONSTRUCTIONNELLES"
TITLE
: CONSTRUCTION
GRAMMARS
295 Goldberg
A.E.
Capturing Relations Among Constructions
299 Koenig J.-P.
Shared
Structures
vs.
Constructional Autonomy in
CG
303 Lambrecht Κ. The
Post-Focal
'comme-N' Construction in Spoken
French
308
Manaster-Ramer
A. Ever
since
Bloomfield
TITRE
:
LINGUISTIQUE
"INT^GRATIONNELLE"
TITLE
:
INTEGRATIONS
LINGUISTICS
313
321
324
327
330
333
Wolf
G./Love N.
Harris R.
Baron N.S.
Joseph
J.E.
Love
N.
Integrational Linguistics: An Introduction Survey
Integrational Linguistics
What's Wrong
with
this
Picture?
The Impact of
Dictionaries on Notions of Meaning
Integrational Linguistics and the Law
Integrationalism and Linguistic Theory
Discussion
XII
TITRE
: LA SEMANTIQUE
GRAMMATICALE
TITLE
:
GRAMMATICAL
SEMANTICS
339 Guimier C. On the
Semantic
Unity of the Word TO' in
English
TITRE
: PHRASEOLOGIE ET
IDIOMATICITE
TITLE
: PHRASEOLOGY
AND
IDIOMATICITY
345
347
351
355
Makkai
A.
Lamb S.M.
Akimoto
M,
Maynard S.K.
Summary
of the First Symposium on Idioms
Idioms,
Lexemes
and
Syntax
Idiomatization
Interactional
Functions
of Formulaicity : A
Case
of
Utterance-Final
Forms
in
Japanese
358
Casagrande
J. / Sullivan W.J.
TITRE
: TRENTE ANS DE
GRAMMAIRE
GfeNiRATIVE :
CIL
1962 CIL 1992
TITLE
:
THIRTY
YEARS OF GENERATIVE
GRAMMAR
:
FROM
ICL 1962 TO ICL 1992
THE
LOGICAL
BASIS OF
LINGUISTIC
THEORY
367 Anderson S.R./ Chung S./ McCloskey J./ Newmeyer F.J.
TITRE
: POUR FAIRE DE LA LINGUISTIQUE UNE SCIENCE
TITLE
: ON
MOVING
LINGUISTICS INTO SCIENCE
383 Yngve
V.H./
Sullivan W.J./ Hofmann T.R.
On Moving Linguistics Into
Science
Rapport
synthase
/
Summary
of the
Panel'
361
Makkai
A.
Causes
of Irreversibility in Binomial Idioms: A
Case
Study in English and
French
Idiomaticity
as the
Essence
of
Language
Chomsky's
1962
Program
For Linguistics : A
Retrospective
Rapport
synthese
/
Summary
of the
Panel
XIII
TITRE
:
COLLOQUE
TERMINOLOGIQUE
DES
feTUDIANTS
DIPLOMES
TITLE
:
GRADUATE
STUDENTS'
SYMPOSIUM
ON
TERMINOLOGY
397 Lapierre L.
399
Tondji-Simen
R.
400
Aitokhuehi
E.
402 Rivas J.C.
403
Hopkins-Butlin
N.
406
Obiukwu
A.N.
407 Fontaine J.
409 Edwards H.P.
La
selection des
temps
verbaux
dans
les
textes
scientifiques : la predominance et la valeur du
present
Pour le griffage des mots non
marqu£s
La
tension
entre
l'emprunt
lexical
et la neologie
de
souche
frangaise
Mddecine et informatique : l'emprunt
Autour
des papillons: la description scientifique
et la description littoraire
Dans
quel
sens
peut-on dire qu'un terme
technique est monosemique ?
Le
langage
SGML
et ses applications en
terminologie
Mikhail
Bakhtine : l'imaginaire dialogique / le
dialogue imaginaire
TITRE
:
GfcOLINGUISTIQUE
ET
LA
MORTALITY
DES
LANGUES
(RENCONTRE
ENTRE
LINGUISTES
ET
GiOGRAPHES)
TITLE
:
GEOLINGUISTICS
AND
THE
LIFE-EXPECTANCY
OF
LANGUAGES
(Α
MEETING
OF
LINGUISTS
AND
GEOGRAPHERS)
415 Mackey
W.F.
Geolinguistique et mortalite des
langues
419 Index general / General Index
160
to
the linear format of a printed text (although
there
is considerable hierarchical
structure as an
organizing
principle
of the
framework);
while
this essential
linearity
can to
some
extent be overcome by
cross-references,
extensive use of
cross-
references
makes
use of the framework (or of
a
grammar
written
according to the
framework)
cumbersome. Second,
also
following
from
the nature of a book, the
framework is
immutable:
it
cannot take
advantage
of
advances
in
our understanding
of
various
phenomena,
other than by
printing
a new version of the questionnaire
(and of
each
grammar
written
according to the framework).
Third,
there
is a
conceptual
flaw
in this early
version,
quite independent of
its
implementation as a
book, namely
a
failure
to
delimit
carefully
form
(morphology-syntax) and function
(semantics-pragmatics). For instance,
§1.1.2
deals
with
subordination, and
includes a subsection,
§1.1.2.4.2.1,
on time
clauses;
however, it is by no
means
universally
true
cross-linguistically
that
time
clauses
are subordinate. This could be
avoided by more carefully distinguishing such
formal
categories
as subordination
from
such functional
categories
as temporal reference. Despite
these
disadvantages,
the framework of
Comrie
& Smith (1977), to our knowledge the
first
attempt at a
comprehensive descriptive framework of this
kind,
has inspired a substantial
volume
of
descriptive
work,
in
particular about
twenty
descriptive grammars
in
the
series
Croom
Helm
Descriptive
Grammars
(formerly
Lingua
Descriptive
Studies).
We
are
currently
working
on a
longterm
project to devise a better framework
for
descriptive grammars; this new framework differs
from
the earlier version in
being
computer
implemented,
and
in
clearly
delineating
form
and
function.
Computer implementation
means
that this new framework
will
avoid the
problems of
linearity
and
immutability.
At
present,
we are
working
within
the
environment of
HyperCard
(for the
Macintosh).
This environment
enables
new
insights
into
language
to be incorporated
readily
into the
overall
framework, and
allows
existing
descriptions
within
the
framework
to be updated to take account
of
such
changes.
Essentially, the
basic
framework
will
be centrally controlled, to
ensure
continuing
comparability of descriptions. We are anxious to avoid certain
possible misconceptions of
this
approach
to
implementing
descriptive grammars. A
grammar
written
according to this framework can be regarded as a grammar
with
loose
pages,
so that one can easily go
from
one to the other
without
being tied to
any
fixed
linear
order.
We
do not deny the importance of
good
prose
descriptions
in
descriptive grammars, indeed we continue to regard the
prose
description as the
most important part of a descriptive grammar. A
linguist
compiling
a descriptive
grammar according to this method
would
still
be
free
to use this description as the
basis
for
a
conventionally published descriptive grammar (or part of a grammar);
needless
to say,
individual
grammars
compiled
within
the framework
would
remain
the
intellectual
property of
their
authors. As a
final
practical consideration, we note
that the increasing power-size ratio of computers
makes
it plausible that the
fieldworker
could
take the system
to
the
field
and
work
on the grammar there.
As
noted above, a major characteristic of the framework on
which
we are
currently
working
is the clear
delineation
of
form
and
function.
The
basic
structure
of the
framework
is elaborated
in
section 2 below.
2. FORMAL AND FUNCTIONAL FRAMEWORKS
The
minimal
unit
of
description
is a single use of
a
construction or morpheme
of the
language.
These
descriptions can be subsumed under more general
categories
of
morphemes or constructions (e.g. a description of
English
may
have
a general
category
of
Auxiliary
in
addition
to descriptions
of the
individual
modal auxiliaries
and their
uses),
A schematic description of the component
elements
of the
construction must be
provided.
Through this description,
links
can be
made
to the
descriptions of the
elements
of the construction, for example a
link
from
an
161
intransitive
clause
to a subject noun
phrase
(and conversely, the construction in
question can be linked to
still
larger constructions of which it is an element).
Constituency of the construction
will
be
represented
in the
schematic
description,
while
word order,
dependency,
and other grammatical information
will
be
described
elsewhere.
The primary organizing
principle
of the
framework
is the strict separation of
the description of
linguistic
form from
the description of
linguistic
function. Thus,
there
are two
separate
descriptive frameworks, for function and for
form.
Each
framework
is structured by a
series
of
parameters
for
which
the fieldworker may
select
values
for
each
construction. The
logical
structure of the
parameters
is the
same
as is found in "attribute-value" or "feature-value" descriptions.
These
parameters
are intended to be
used
for organizing the grammatical description, so
that it
will
be possible to examine the description in
terms
of both its formal and
functional
structure.(2) The
parameters
are
NOT
substitutes
for
a
prose
description
of the
form
and use of
a
construction. The
prose
description is
still
primary.(3)
We
will
provide a substantial number of
values
for the
parameters.
These
values
will
use
terms
that
will
be standardized in the system (on-line definitions
with
examples
will
be provided). The terms, and the definitions for them,
will
follow
de facto established
usage
from
traditional grammar, typology, and
field
description as much as possible. However, in
some
cases
we
have
had to
choose
between competing terms, resolve inconsistent definitions, or disambiguate
terms
(for
instance, we distinguish 'referential', the specific
indefinite,
from
'referentive',
usually
also
called
'referential', the
semantic
role
found
in
'talk
ABOUT
the
war').
While
the
terms
that we provide as
standard
terminology attempt to cover as
broad a
range
of
formal
and functional
categories
as possible, we cannot expect to
make
every distinction that might be found in the world's
languages.
For this
reason,
we
will
allow
the fieldworker
to
create
his/her
own
values
for
a
parameter
if
the desired
distinction
is
lacking.
However, new
parameters
cannot be
added
by the
fieldworker,
in order to retain the overall organization of the descriptive
frameworks. The system
will
not allow logically inconsistent combinations of
values, e.g.
'volitional'
and 'inanimate'. This constraint applies to the functional
framework
only,
since
a
language
may combine arbitrary grammatical
values
in a
single morpheme (e.g. 1st person subject and irrealis mood).(4)
The
parameters
are not organized hierarchically. This is
another
means
by
which
flexibility
in
the organization of the system is
provided.
If
anything,
this may
render
the system too flexible in its organization, a
response
to the
excessive
rigidity
of
previous descriptive frameworks.
In
order to counteract this,
"maps"
of
the formal and functional frameworks
will
be provided, along
with
other
navigational
aids
for
viewing
the grammatical description.
2.1.
Functional
parameters
Constructing the functional
framework
is obviously quite an ambitious
task.
However, it is
made
simpler by beginning
with
the functional
parameters
required
only
for the characterization of the
standard
values
of the formal
categories,
in a
broad
sense
(see below for the relation between formal and functional categories).
While
this
leads
to a somewhat ad hoc
initial
list,
it
covers
a wide
range
of
phenomena,
and a general picture of functional organization
emerges.
A summary
of
the functional organization is given by the
following
list
of functional
parameters,
loosely organized
in
a hierarchical fashion:
I.
Speech
acts
A.
Speech
event:
speech
act participants,
respect
level,
respect
locus, social
situation
B.
Linguistic
interaction:
epistemic commitment, deontic force, attitude
162
C. Discourse structure:
topicality,
focus,
emphasis,
current
relevance,
genre
Π.
Propositional Acts
A.
Major
propositional
acts:
propositional act
B.
Minor
propositional
acts
1.
Classification: sex, animacy,
size,
evaluation
2.
Instantiation:
boundedness
(individuation), internal structure,
intentional
phase,
temporal
phase
3.
Quantification:
cardinality
4.
Specification: determination,
reference
tracking,
alternative selection
5. Situating
(in
space,
time,
quantity/scale): situating dimension, deictic-
location,
deictic-dimensional,
reference
point,
reference-present,
extendedness,
distance
6. Grounding (epistemic):
hypotheticality,
evidence
ΠΙ.
Concept
Type:
entity type,
relationality,
gradability,
permanence,
stativity
IV.
Conceptual Domains: domain
V.
Relations
A.
Relations
between
things:
inherence,
relationship (relation type)
B.
Relations
between
things and eventualities:
semantic
role type, participant
(semantic
role),
volitionality,
affectedness
C. Relations
between
eventualities: chaining type,
event
relation
Space
permits only a cursory examination of the functional organization.
There
are
five
general
realms
of functional description. The
first
two
realms
of
functional
parameters
pertain to the organization and
expression
of
information
in
discourse.
The
speech
act realm outlines conversational interaction. The
speech
event
involves the participants, their social
status
with
respect
to
each
other,
and the
type of social situation
in
which
the conversational interaction
takes
place. The latter
parameter
currently has
values
'formal' and 'familiar', but can and should be
expanded
to include any type of social situation,
such
as 'at home', 'in a
classroom', 'on the
street',
etc. The
linguistic
interaction
characterizes
what
sorts
of
acts
the interlocutors are performing, construed broadly to include epistemic,
deontic, and evaluative
speech
as
well
as the traditional illocutionary forces
(declarative—the "neutral" form—interrogative, imperative, exclamative,
all
defined
functionally).
The
discourse
structure
parameters
range
from
a global
characterization of the
genre
(which,
like
social situation, can be
used
to
make
refined
distinctions) to
a
more
local
description
of
information
status.
The realm of propositional
acts
describes
how information is structured and
presented
in
discourse.
The major propositional
acts
are
reference,
predication, and
modification.
The "minor propositional
acts"
(Croft 1990)
represent
conceptual
processes
that are applied to both
concepts
referred to
(prototypically,
objects) and
predicated
concepts
(prototypically,
actions). Classification is applied basically to
referring
expressions
(except for the positive/negative evaluation
parameter).
Instantiation includes
partition
and
aggregation—other
means
for defining units. It
is now
well
known that
boundedness
applies
both to
events
in time and
objects
in
space
(or
some
other domain defining a boundary to an object). In addition to
partitives of objects,
events
can be partitioned
into
temporal or
"intentional"
phases
(desire, intention, attempt, execution; cf.
Bybee's
(1985) "agent-oriented
modality").
Quantification is a straightforward description of the cardinality of
units.
Specification is a complex function which involves how the
concept
is
determined (e.g. unique, specific, universal, free-choice (any), or no choice
(none)); tracking
reference
across
a
discourse
through identity of
reference
or
different
reference,
or overlap; and selecting alternative
tokens
from
a set of
tokens
described by the
same
label ('the
first,
last,
best,
worst, next, previous,
same,
other