Embodied Construction Grammar

Jerome Feldman, Ellen Dodge and John Bryant

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Embodied Construction Grammar

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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Recent developments in neuroscience and behavioural sciences suggest approaching language as a cornerstone of Unified Cognitive Science. One such integrative effort is the Neural Theory of Language (NTL) project, which studies language learning and use as an embodied neural system using a wide range of analytical, experimental, and modelling techniques. The grammar formalism of NTL is called Embodied Construction Grammar (ECG), and is notation for describing language that is being used in a wide range of theoretical and applied products. This chapter focuses on three related features of ECG: deep semantics, compositionality, and best-fit. Its core is a detailed analysis of a set of related constructions covering purposeful action, with an emphasis on compositionality. Examples illustrate the notation and central ideas of ECG formalism, and convey the underlying motivations of NTL deep semantics and conceptual composition.

Keywords: Unified Cognitive Science; NTL; language learning; Embodied Construction Grammar; semantics; compositionality; best-fit

Article.  9829 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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