Complementarity of Systemic Functional Grammar and Constructional Grammar

Xiaoyu XING, Duxin CAO


Construction Grammar (CG) as developed by Fillmore, Goldberg and others is a recent development in syntactic theory, which has become more and more influential. Its central claim is that in a language there are a large number of grammatical units, called constructions, which are the basic forms for the speakers to express their meanings. Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), put forward by Halliday, also pays great attention to how the speakers generate utterances and texts to convey their intended meanings. This paper explores the relationship between CG and SFG. It argues that the concept of constructions should be introduced in SFG and reflected in the transitivity network. It also suggests that main ideas from SFG be used in CG to describe language more adequately. The objective is to make SFG and CG better theories of language, by combining their strengths.


Construction grammar; Systemic functional frammar; Way construction; Resultative construction

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