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Review article

Petar Vuković; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Summary

In Prague functionalism the concept of ’sentence pattern’ refers to abstract syntactic models according to which actual sentences in a language are constructed. After it had been first used by Vilém Mathesius, the concept gained central importance in the sentence pattern syntax model (or two–level valency syntax), the syntactic theory and the methodology of syntactic description developed in the second half of the 20th century by a group of linguists around František Daneš. In their work it underwent further elaboration and was finally defined as a specific complex of formal and semantic distinctive features. In this paper the application of the said concept in the syntactic descriptions of the Czech language is related to the Mathesius’ principle ’from function to form’, i.e. his conviction that communicative functions should be the starting point of linguistic description and that formal means by which these functions are performed should be its aim. This principle profoundly marked Prague functionalism and new syntactic descriptions of the Czech language are now approaching its realization. The paper is concluded by emphasising the advantages of the syntactic model developed on these foundations, especially in the field of contrastive syntax and stylistics, but some possible weaknesses resulting from the theory being based on semantic categories are also pointed at.

 

Keywords

functionalism; syntactic models; function; the Prague school; sentence pattern

 

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