Functional generative description

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The functional generative description (FGD, English Functional Generative Description ) is a linguistic formalism that was designed by Petr Sgall in the 1960s and further developed in the following decades. It is assigned to the area of functional grammar . In the beginning the FGD was based on Chomsky's context-free grammar, now the formalism is based on a dependency grammar . The FGD builds on the theses of the Prague School in many aspects , but at the same time takes into account the latest developments in the field of computational linguistics . The Saussure 'sche distinction signifiant / signifié reflected in the FGD in distinguishing form vs. Function down. The FGD is a Strafikationsgrammatik , there are five levels of linguistic description: phonological , morphematische , morphonological , analytical and tektogrammatische . To simplify matters, one can say that there are two types of units at each level, which are in a compositional relationship to one another, with the unit representing a function being understood as form on the level immediately above. It has long been debated whether the analytical level is necessary.

In the context of the FGD, the current sentence structure is also taken into account, which is usually different in meaning. So the following two sentences are not necessarily identical:

  1. German is spoken in Vorarlberg.
  2. German is spoken in Vorarlberg.

In order to avoid misunderstandings when assessing grammaticality and differences in meaning , the concept of strict equivalence was introduced:

  • Two linguistic expressions are strictly equivalent if they have the same meaning in all contexts .

According to this definition, the modus verbi has different meanings in German because the following two sentences are not strictly equivalent, although they are represented by the same structure on the tectogrammatic level:

  1. Max photographs Katharina.
  2. Katharina is photographed by Max.

There is at least one context in which the two sentences are not identical in meaning, and that is if one likes to insert the adverb .

On the FGD is largely the at the Charles University developed Prague Dependenzkorpus (PDT, English Prague Dependency Treebank ). The formalism and the PDT were partially used in some projects at the Saarland University .