Workshop on Functional Discourse Grammar

Modification in Functional Discourse Grammar

University of Graz, Graz, Austria, 12-13 July 2021

The eighth International Workshop on Functional Discourse Grammar (IW-FDG-2021) will take place at the University of Graz, from 12 to 13 July 2021. The present plan is for participants to meet in person on location, but this may have to be modified or changed depending on the future COVID-19 situation. Following the IW-FDG tradition, this workshop will be devoted to the discussion of a specific aspect of the model – the topic this time being modification – with the purpose of (i) developing and improving the theory of FDG (Hengeveld & Mackenzie 2008, Keizer 2015) and (ii) publishing a collection of the papers discussed during the workshop. Previous workshops have all resulted in the publication of a special issue or collected volume in a respected journal or book series. To realize these aims, a special procedure is followed in the preparation and organization of the workshop.

Programme and abstracts

Daniel García Velasco, Modification and context
Riccardo Giomi, Similes are Manners, comparisons are Quantities (except when they aren’t)
Kees Hengeveld, Modifiers and operators across the Representational and Interpersonal Levels
Gunther Kaltenböck & Evelien Keizer, Insubordinate if-clauses in FDG: From modification to independence
Evelien Keizer, Non-canonical word order in the English NP: an FDG analysis of prenumeral adjectives
Lois Kemp, Evidential -ly adverbs modifying attributive and predicative adjectives
Zlatan Kojadinović, Prosodic variation of interpersonal adverbs
J. Lachlan Mackenzie, Measure phrases: modifiers or heads?
Hella Olbertz, American Spanish dizque from a Functional Discourse Grammar perspective
Carmen Portero Muñoz, It's way intriguing! The fuzzy status of emergent intensifiers: An FDG-based account
Ventura Salazar, Adverbial modification in Spanish
Elnora Ten Wolde & Thomas Schwaiger, Modification as a linguistic relationship and a diagnostic tool: A just so problem in Functional Discourse Grammar

The topic

Modification in the context of the workshop is understood in a narrow sense in that modifiers are viewed as lexical elements of different types and complexity (e.g. adjectives, adverbs, clauses, etc.) and as commenting on/scoping over a particular interpersonal or representational layer. In general, modification has become an area of renewed interest in edited volumes and monograph-length works such as McNally & Kennedy (2008), Cinque (2010), Matthews (2014), Pittner et al. (2015), Morzycki (2016) and Rießler (2016). While different aspects of modification have been specifically addressed in FDG, such as particular kinds and developments of modifiers in individual languages (e.g. García Velasco 2013; Keizer 2018; Van de Velde 2009), modification on different levels and layers (e.g. Keizer 2019; Rijkhoff 2008, 2014; Van de Velde 2007, 2012) or the typology of the modifier-argument opposition (van Rijn 2017), nonetheless, as of yet, this topic has not been addressed comprehensively in the theory and many open questions still remain. Potential questions that can be addressed as contributions for the workshop are listed below, but prospective contributions are not restricted to these questions:

1) How are modifiers represented at the Representational Level and the Interpersonal Level?
2) How does the model account for the placement and word order of modifiers at the Morphosyntactic Level?
3) At the Phonological Level, how can we account for any prosodic differences between different groups of (interpersonal) modifiers?
4) How does the theory capture scope differences, not only between modifiers belonging to different layers, but also between different types of modifiers belonging to the same layer?
5) How do modifiers develop or change over time? To what extent can the FDG model capture these developments?
6) Along which grammaticalization paths do different types of modifiers become operators or functions? Through which lexicalization processes do new (complex) modifiers come into being?

The workshop

The workshop consists of a number of chaired sessions. Each paper will be discussed in great detail during a respective chaired session. 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 twofold: it will help to improve the final versions of the papers and it will allow us to create a unified set of papers, which will enhance the chances of publication as a special issue or a thematic volume.

Programme Committee

The program committee consists of:

Daniel García Velasco (University of Oviedo)
Evelien Keizer (University of Vienna)
Thomas Schwaiger (University of Graz)
Elnora ten Wolde (University of Graz)

How to reach us

The email address for all matters related to the workshop is


- Cinque, Guglielmo. 2010. The syntax of adjectives: A comparative study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- García Velasco, Daniel. 2013. Degree words in English: A Functional Discourse Grammar account. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 67. 79–96.
- Hengeveld, Kees & Mackenzie, J. Lachlan. 2008. Functional Discourse Grammar: A typologically-based theory of language structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Keizer, Evelien. 2015. A Functional Discourse Grammar for English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Keizer, Evelien. 2018. Interpersonal adverbs in FDG: The case of frankly. In Keizer, Evelien & Olbertz, Hella (eds.), Recent developments in Functional Discourse Grammar, 47–88. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
- Keizer, Evelien. 2019. The problem of non-truth-conditional, lower-level modifiers: A Functional Discourse Grammar solution. English Language and Linguistics 24. 365–392.
- Matthews, Peter H. 2014. The positions of adjectives in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- McNally, Louise & Kennedy, Christopher (eds.). 2008. Adjectives and adverbs: Syntax, semantics, and discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Morzycki, Marcin. 2016. Modification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Pittner, Karin & Elsner, Daniela & Barteld, Fabian (eds.). 2015. Adverbs: Functional and diachronic aspects. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
- Rießler, Michael. 2016. Adjective attribution. Berlin: Language Science Press.
- Rijkhoff, Jan. 2008. Layers, levels and contexts in Functional Discourse Grammar. In García Velasco, Daniel & Rijkhoff, Jan (eds.), The noun phrase in Functional Discourse Grammar, 63–115. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Rijkhoff, Jan. 2014. Modification as a propositional act. In Gómez González, María de los Ángeles & Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco José & Gonzálvez-García, Francisco (eds.), Theory and practice in functional-cognitive space, 129–150. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
- Rijn, Marlou van. 2017. The expression of modifiers and arguments in the noun phrase and beyond: A typological study. Utrecht: LOT.
- Van de Velde, Freek. 2007. Interpersonal modification in the English noun phrase. Functions of Language 14. 203–230.
- Van de Velde, Freek. 2009. The emergence of modification patterns in the Dutch noun phrase. Linguistics 47. 1021–1049.
- Van de Velde, Freek. 2012. A structural-functional account of NP-internal mood. Lingua 122. 1–23.