Construction Grammar (Center for the Study of Language and Information - Lecture Notes)

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9781575864624: Construction Grammar (Center for the Study of Language and Information - Lecture Notes)

The renowned Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure conceived of language as a system of signs, invoking conventional associations of form and meaning. Modern work on grammatical theory has taken a very different approach, focusing instead on the hierarchical relations that constitute sentence structures: in this approach, sentences have meanings, but the linguistic patterns that create them do not. The theory described in this book marks a return to the sign-based model, taking grammatical constructions--including idioms and formulas--as the fundamental units from which sentences and their meanings are built.

The nine chapters here establish the motivations and formal mechanisms of Construction Grammar, describing the ways in which constructions combine to license nominal and verbal syntax, argument structure, long-distance dependencies, complementation, and idioms. While this work makes an original contribution to syntactic theory, it is accessible enough to serve as an introductory syntax text and holds findings of interest to all scholars of language.

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