Functional Discourse Grammar (FDG) is a typologically-based theory of language structure. The major presentation of the theory is Functional Discourse Grammar (Oxford University Press, 2008), by Kees Hengeveld and J. Lachlan Mackenzie. 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.