Lexical Functional Grammar as a Construction Grammar



Lexical Functional Grammar, Construction Grammar, Lexical Integrity, meta-theory


Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) is a lexicalist, constraint-based grammatical theory that shares a lot of the basic assumptions of Construction Grammar (CxG), such as a commitment to surface-oriented descriptions (no transformations), and the simultaneous representation of form, meaning, and other grammatical information (no derivations). Nevertheless, LFG is not standardly viewed as a kind of CxG, in particular since its adherence to the principle of Lexical Integrity means that it insists on a strict morphology-syntax distinction where CxG canonically rejects such a divide. However, such a distinction is in fact entirely compatible with CxG assumptions; the actual problem with viewing LFG as a CxG is the difficulty it has in describing the more substantive end of the schematic-substantive spectrum of constructions. I suggest that by replacing the limited context-free grammar base of LFG responsible for this shortcoming with a more expressive formalism (in this case a description-based tree-adjoining grammar), we can obtain a fully constructional LFG, suitable as a formal framework for CxG.



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How to Cite

Findlay, J. Y. (2023). Lexical Functional Grammar as a Construction Grammar. Journal of Language Modelling, 11(2), 197–266. https://doi.org/10.15398/jlm.v11i2.338



Special Issue on Constructional Approaches in Formal Grammar