Set within the larger context of research on computer-assisted language learning, the study concentrates on the development of a pragmatically oriented method of teaching article usage in English. Departing from Simon Dik's
The Theory of Functional Grammar (1989), Part I presents the development of a functional theory of referencial processes. It results in the redefinition of the underlaying clause structure and the identification of a number of semantic operators, which serve to explain the reference of any particular noun phrase. On this basis, Part II presents the development and trial of a computer-based self-teaching programme on article usage in English.