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ERIC Number: EJ857803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 61
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
The Family of Object-Related Depictives in English and Spanish: Towards a Usage-Based Constructionist Analysis
Gonzalvez-Garcia, Francisco
Language Sciences, v31 n5 p663-723 Sep 2009
Drawing on naturally-occurring data extracted from the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Corpus de Referencia del Espanol Actual (CREA) in conjunction with data elicited from native speakers by means of questionnaires, this paper provides a bottom-up, usage-based analysis of instances of depictive secondary predicates involving mainly verba cogitandi (e.g. "considerar"/"consider", "encontrar"/"find", etc.) in English and Spanish. Building on Gonzalvez-Garcia [Gonzalvez-Garcia, F., 2006a. "Passives without Actives: Evidence from Verbless Complement Constructions in Spanish." "Constructions" SV1-5/2006; Gonzalvez-Garcia, F., 2003. "Reconstructing object complements in English and Spanish." In: Martinez Vazquez, M. (Eds.), "Gramatica de Construcciones (Contrastes entre el Ingles y el Espanol)." Grupo de Gramatica Contrastiva, Huelva, pp. 17-58], these configurations are argued to be constructions in their own right, viz. the "subjective-transitive" construction. The main focus of this paper is on the investigation of the most salient semantico-pragmatic hallmarks of four lower-level configurations of the "subjective-transitive" construction in the light of coercion [Michaelis, L.A., 2003a. "Word meaning, sentence meaning, and syntactic meaning." In: Cuyckens, H., Dirven, R., Taylor, J., (Eds.), "Cognitive Approaches to Lexical Semantics." Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin and New York, pp. 163-209; Michaelis, L.A., 2003b. "Headless constructions and coercion by construction." In: Francis, E., Michaelis, L.A., (Eds.), "Mismatch: Form-Function Incongruity and the Architecture of Grammar." CSLI, Stanford, pp. 259-310; Michaelis, L.A., 2004a. "Type shifting in construction grammar: an integrated approach to aspectual coercion." "Cognitive Linguistics" 15 (1), 1-67; Michaelis, L.A., 2004b. "Why we believe that syntax is construction-based." Unpublished plenary delivered at the Third International Conference on Construction Grammar(s), Universite de Provence, Marseille, July 9, 2004.] via (i) obligatory reflexive pronouns in the object slot, (ii) a progressive verb form with an inherently stative situation/state of affairs, (iii) an imperative verb with a prima facie non-controllable situation/state of affairs, and (iv) an imperfect tense with a counterfactual interpretation. It is shown that while the first three types of coercion are observable in both English and Spanish, type (iv) points to an interesting asymmetry between these two languages, thus lending further credence to the assumption that argument structure is construction-specific as well as language-specific. Moreover, it is demonstrated that these configurations can be aptly regarded as a family of constructions and that a non-monotonic, default inheritance system of the type invoked in the cognitively-influenced strand of Construction Grammar [Goldberg, A.E., 1995. "Constructions. A Construction Approach to Argument Structure." University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London; Goldberg, A.E., 2006. "Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language." Oxford University Press, New York] can capture the commonalities and the idiosyncratic particulars of these conventional extensions in the "construct-i-con". (Contains 6 figures and 10 tables.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
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