The book blends insights from three prominent modern schools of grammatical thought (functionalism, structuralism, and generativism) using functionalism as the philosophical and organizational motif. The book focuses on the representational function of language, encouraging students to use their knowledge of the way the world works in order to understand how language works. The approach taken is hybrid: It assumes that form matters, and in this sense it is structural. It also assumes that forms follows function, and in this sense it is functional.
As its subtitle suggests, the book is concerned with the argument structure of clauses, the boundary markers of clause combinations, and the syntactic and experiential resources that permit language users to supply the content of empty categories, which are the missing elements.
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