A resource sensitive reinterpretation of lexical-functional grammar

Mark Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates whether the fundamental linguistic insights and intuitions of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), which is usually presented as a "constraint-based" linguistic theory, can be reformulated in a "resource sensitive" framework using a substructural modal logic. In the approach investigated here, LFG's f-descriptions are replaced with expressions from a multi-modal propositional logic (with permutation and possibly limited contraction). In effect, the feature structure "unification" basis of LFG's f-structures is replaced with a very different resource based mechanism. It turns out that some linguistic analyses that required non-monotonic devices in LFG (such as the "constraint equations" in the Andrews (1982) analysis of Icelandic) can be straight-forwardly expressed in the framework presented here. Moreover, a Curry-Howard correspondence between proofs in this logic and λ-terms provides a semantic interpretation as a by-product of the process of showing syntactic well-formedness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-81
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Logic, Language and Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • "Unification" grammar
  • Feature-structures
  • Lexical Functional Grammar


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