Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG) is a typologically-based theory of language structure. The major presentations of the theory are Functional Discourse Grammar (Oxford University Press, 2008), by Kees Hengeveld and J. Lachlan Mackenzie and A Functional Discourse Grammar for English (Oxford University Press 2015), by Evelien Keizer. FDG is understood as the grammatical component of an overall functional theory of verbal interaction.

The Purpose of this Website

The aim of this site is to provide you with a first introduction to FDG, to give you access to various helpful electronic resources, and to keep you up to date with the latest news about FDG. More specifically, the site allows you to access:

A quick introduction to FDG

FDG arose in the first decade of this century in response to intensive discussion of its predecessor theory, Functional Grammar (FG). What these theories share is the belief that most formal properties of languages can best be understood if they are brought into correspondence with semantic and pragmatic categories that are rooted in human thought and in communication.

In the debate between formal and functional theories in linguistics, FDG adopts a middle position, believing that the forms and structures of languages should be properly described but also that these should be linked through the theory to the uses to which these forms are put.

An important principle of FDG is that it should be ‘typologically adequate’, by which is meant that it is equally applicable to languages of all types. FDG is accordingly much used in typological and language-comparative work, although it can also be applied in the description of individual languages.

Latest News

FDG 2022 to be held in The Netherlands

FDG2022 will then be held in Schoorl, The Netherlands, from June 28-July 1, 2022.

FDG2020 will be held online, FDG 2022 to be held in The Netherlands

The FDG2020 conference, which was to take place in Schoorl, The Netherlands, from June 30 - July 3, 2020, will be held online from June 30 - July 2, 2020, due to the current health situation in the world.

Special issue of Open Linguistics on Systems of tense, aspect, modality, evidentiality and polarity in FDG

Open Linguistics 4 (2018) contains a special issue on Systems of tense, aspect, modality, evidentiality and polarity in Functional Discourse Grammar edited by Kees Hengeveld and Hella Olbertz. The special issue is the outcome of the FDG workshop on the same topic held in Amsterdam in 2017.

New edited volume on Recent developments in Functional Discourse Grammar

Evelien Keizer and Hella Olbertz edited a volume of papers using the theory of Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG) to analyse and explain a number of specific constructions or phenomena from different perspectives, language-specific, comparative and typological. The book appeared with John Benjamins in 2018 in the Studies in Language Companion Series.

Workshop on Interfaces in FDG

The seventh International Workshop on Functional Discourse Grammar (IW-FDG-2019) will take place at the University of Oviedo, Spain, on 12-13 September 2019, and will center on the role of interfaces in FDG. More information can be found on the IW-FDG2019 webpage;

Special issue of Word Structure on derivational morphology in FDG

Volume 11.1 (2018) of Word Structure, edited by Pilar Guerrero Medina and Carmen Portero Muñoz, is dedicated to Derivational Morphology in Functional Discourse Grammar and is now accessible online.


Contact Us

To contact the secretary of the International Functional Discourse Grammar Foundation, Hella Olbertz, please send an email to