Functional Grammar is a model of grammar motivated by functions. The model was originally developed by Simon C. Dik at the University of Amsterdam in the 1970s, and has undergone several revisions ever since. The latest standard version under the original name is laid out in the two-volume 1997 edition, published shortly after Dik's death. The latest incarnation features the expansion of the model with a pragmatic/interpersonal module by Kees Hengeveld and Lachlan Mackenzie[2. This has led to a renaming of the theory to "Functional Discourse Grammar". This type of grammar is quite distinct from systemic functional grammar as developed by Michael Halliday and many other linguists since the 1970s.
The notion of "function" in FG generalizes the standard distinction of grammatical functions such as subject and object. Constituents (parts of speech) of a linguistic utterance are assigned three types or levels of functions:
- Semantic function (Agent, Patient, Recipient, etc.), describing the role of participants in states of affairs or actions expressed
- Syntactic functions (Subject and Object), defining different perspectives in the presentation of a linguistic expression
- Pragmatic functions (Theme and Tail, Topic and Focus), defining the informational status of constituents, determined by the pragmatic context of the verbal interaction