Workshop on Functional Discourse Grammar

The Workshop | Registration | Programme | Accommodation

The Lexicon in Functional Discourse Grammar

University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 5-6 September 2013

The fourth International Workshop on Functional Discourse Grammar (IW-FDG-2013), will take place at the University of Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 September 2013. As on previous occasions, the workshops will be devoted to a specific aspect of the theory – in this case the lexicon – and serves two major aims: (i) the development and improvement of theory of FDG (Hengeveld & Mackenzie 2008), in particular the position and internal structure of the lexicon, (ii) the publication of an edited volume on the lexicon in FDG consisting of the papers discussed during the workshop. To realize these aims, a special procedure is followed in the preparation and organization of the workshop.

Procedure and deadlines:

1 January 2013: deadline for submission of extended abstract (max. 800 words). Abstracts have to be directly related to the topic of the workshop (see below). Only one abstract will be accepted per author (with the exception of co-authored abstracts). Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by the members of the organizing committee.
1 February 2013: authors will be informed of the outcome of the selection procedure. Authors of selected abstract will be added to a closed discussion list, to provide a platform for sharing and exchanging ideas, suggestions, data, etc.
1 April 2013: complete first drafts due. Each draft will be reviewed by three other participants of the workshop.
15 May 2013: internal reviews due. Comments will be collected/summarized by the editors and be sent to the authors.
15 August 2013: revised articles due. These will be sent to all participants of the workshop, who will read and reflect upon them in preparation of the workshop.
5-6 September 2013: each paper will be discussed in detail during the workshop in number of chaired sessions.

The topic

In the FDG model, long-term linguistic knowledge is represented in the form of sets of (language-specific) primitives that speakers can draw upon in the production of utterances. Lexemes form part of the set of primitives used during the operation of Formulation, together with frames (defining the possible combinations of elements at the Interpersonal and Representational Levels) and operators (symbolizing the grammatical distinctions required in the language under analysis). During Formulation, these primitives are combined: first the appropriate frames are selected, then lexemes are inserted into these frames, after which operators are applied. Subsequently, the complete interpersonal and representational configurations are fed into the Morphosyntactic Level and the Phonological Level, each of which has access to their own set of primitives (Hengeveld & Mackenzie 2008: 19-22).

Although certain aspects of the lexicon have been addressed and worked out in some detail either by Hengeveld & Mackenzie (e.g. the distinction between lexemes functioning at the Interpersonal Level and those functioning at the Representational level, the distinction between lexical and synthetic compounding) or by other authors (e.g. García Velasco 2007, 2009; Honselaar & Keizer 2009, Keizer & Honselaar 2009, Butler 2012), there are still a great many questions that have not yet, or not yet sufficiently, been answered or even addressed. The contributions to the workshop are meant to fill in at least some of the gaps.


Although any contributions dealing with the lexicon in FDG are welcome, the following list of topics and subject may serve of an indication of the kind of issues that could be addressed:
• Which types and subtypes of lexemes can (or rather need to be) distinguished (interpersonal versus representational, basic vs. derived, simplex vs. complex, etc.)?
• What kind of information should be included in a lexical entry? What is the division of labour in this respect between the different types of primitives (lexemes, frames, operators)?
• How, and at which stage, does interaction between lexemes and the various levels of representation take place (when are which primitives accessible)?
• How are the various types of word formation (compounding, derivation, conversion) dealt with in FDG; which processes can be qualified as derivational and which as synthetic?
• How can FDG deal with instances of lexicalization (as opposed to grammaticalization) and semi-fixed constructions?
• How does FDG deal with gradience, i.e. with elements or expression that are on the boundary between lexical and grammatical (lexemes vs. operators, the cline from frame to idiom to lexeme).

The abstract

Anyone interested in participating in the workshop is kindly requested to let us know as soon as possible (at, so that we know at an early stage how many participants we may expect. Extended abstracts (max. 800 words) on any of the aforementioned or related topics need to be submitted by 1 January 2013 to

Please note that by sending in an abstract you express your willingness to take part not only in the workshop, but also in the various preparatory stages specified above.

The workshop

During the workshops, each paper will be discussed in great detail during a number of chaired sessions. Contributors will be asked to give a brief introduction (approx. 10 minutes), after which other participants can ask questions and make suggestions. The aim of this procedure is two-fold: it will help to improve the final versions of the papers and it will allow us create a unified set of papers, which will enhance the chances of publication as a special issue or a thematic volume.


We are at the moment applying for funds in order to provide some financial support for participants in the workshop. Although we are hopeful that we will be able to obtain some funding, we recommend that participants apply for funding from their own university.

Programme Committee

The programme committee will consist of:
• Daniel García Velasco (University of Oviedo, Spain)
• Inge Genee (University of Lethbridge, Canada)
• Evelien Keizer (University of Vienna, Austria)

How you can reach us

The e-mail address for all matters related to the workshop is


Butler, Chris 2012. An ontological approach to the representational lexicon in Functional Discourse Grammar. Language Sciences 34 (5): 619-634
García Velasco, Daniel 2007. Lexical competence and Functional Discourse Grammar. Alfa - Revista de Lingüística 51 (2): 165–187.
García Velasco, Daniel 2009. Conversion in English and its implications for Functional Discourse Grammar. Lingua 19: 1164-1185.
Hengeveld, K. and Mackenzie, J. L. 2008. Functional Discourse Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Honselaar,W. & Keizer, M.E. (2009). Lexicon and frames in FDG: A treatment of Dutch bekend zijn ‘to be familiar, well known’, behandelen ‘to treat’ and trouwen ‘to marry’. Lingua 119(8): 1212-1241.
Keizer M.E. & W. Honselaar, (2009). A Functional Discourse Grammar account of set nouns in Dutch and its implications for lexicography. International Journal of Lexicography 22(4): 361-397.