Construction Grammar

William Croft

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Construction Grammar

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Construction grammar presents a general theory of syntactic representation for cognitive linguistics. The fundamental principle behind construction grammar is that the basic form of a syntactic structure is a construction—a pairing of a complex grammatical structure with its meaning—and that constructions are organized in a network. The notion of a construction has been generalized so that it is a uniform model for the representation of all grammatical knowledge—syntax, morphology, and lexicon. This article examines the model of syntactic representation against which construction grammarians have reacted, describes the componential model, and discusses the arguments for a construction-based approach to syntax, morphology, and lexicon. It also describes the commonalities among the different models of construction grammar in cognitive linguistics, the structure of constructions, the organization of constructions in a grammar, and the major variants of construction grammar in cognitive linguistics. Finally, the article considers the relationship between construction grammar and the usage-based model, language acquisition, and language change.

Keywords: construction grammar; cognitive linguistics; syntax; morphology; lexicon; syntactic representation; constructions; language acquisition; language change

Article.  18657 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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