Word Grammar

Richard Hudson

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Word Grammar

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



Word grammar is a theory of language which touches on almost all aspects of synchronic linguistics and unifies them all through a single very general claim. According to the Network Postulate, language is a conceptual network. This claim is hardly contentious in cognitive linguistics, where it is often taken for granted that language as a whole is a network in contrast with the more traditional view of language as a grammar plus a dictionary—a list of rules or principles and a list of lexical items. However, it is particularly central to word grammar, in which each of the main traditional areas of language is a subnetwork within the total network of language. Most obviously, “the lexicon” is a network of forms, meanings, and lexemes. This article also explores the so-called isa link, default inheritance, and prototypes, as well as the Best Fit Principle, classified relations, labels and uniqueness, lexicon and grammar, constructions, morphology, syntax, lexical semantics, compositional semantics, sociolinguistics, processing, and learning.

Keywords: Network Postulate; word grammar; cognitive linguistics; Best Fit Principle; classified relations; lexicon; morphology; syntax; semantics; sociolinguistics

Article.  10955 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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