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Grammar


William B. McGregor


Pages 242 - 245



The part-whole relation has enjoyed a prominent place in linguistics since at least the turn of the twentieth century; indeed, it has – under the label constituency – come to represent perhaps the fundamental relation in grammar. Almost all modern theories of grammar incorporate it in a prominent place, and analyse grammatical structures fundamentally in terms of this relation. Thus, Edward Sapir’s famous the farmer kills the duckling is analysed as a single whole consisting of parts, such as (according to some theories) the farmer and kills the ducking or (in other theories) the farmer, kills, and the duckling. Other more abstract analyses are adopted in other theories, which might identify parts that have no direct representation in terms of linguistic form.




1Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University



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