Writing A Communicative Grammar

E. Lou Hohulin

Date of publication:

June 30, 2003


This paper describes the writing of A Communicative Grammar of Tuwali Ifugao. Tuwali Ifugao is an Austronesian, Philippine-type language spoken in southern Ifugao province. To begin the paper, the book A Communicative Grammar of English by Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik is introduced. This grammar served as the model for the Tuwali Ifugao grammar. The words 'communicative grammar' are defined, and an explanation of the analytical and descriptive methodology used as the basis for the writing of the grammar is given. Because the grammar is being written in conjunction with the contribution of a dictionary of the language and translation work, two important analytical principles are specified as underlying all of these language projects: 1) relate lexical semantics to universal-type concepts, and 2) discover the use and function of lexical units and morphosyntactic constructions in natural communication situations. The body of the paper describes the contents of each of the 11 chapters of the Tuwali Ifugao grammar. Descriptive and data excerpts are given for most of the chapters. The descriptive excerpts have been chosen to demonstrate the way a grammar is written when both lexical semantics and pragmatic principles are considered as foundational to understanding morphosyntactic constructions. The data excerpts are chosen to demonstrate the importance of studying lexical units and grammatical constructions within natural communication contexts.

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