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Preliminary Recommendations


Grammatical function

The general goal of current approaches to grammatical relations and relation changing (henceforth GRs and GR-changing) has been to establish a systematic link between the syntactic realisation of arguments and their encoding in lexical structure. In most cases, this enterprise has relied on the assumption that there is a strong correlation between the lexical properties of predicates (e.g. selectional restrictions) and the ways in which argument selection and selection changing proceed. This correlation has been captured by generalising argument types across predicates in terms of thematic relations. From a theoretical perspective, a considerable amount of effort has been devoted to relating generalisations about argument selection and selection changing to specific grammar frameworks. Three main orientations have emerged according to whether grammatical functions are:

  1. Reduced to constituency relations between phrase markers;
  2. Defined as primitive elements of the grammar; or
  3. Derived from the semantic constituency of predicates.