Article

The syntax-lexicon continuum

Cristiano Broccias

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of English

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199922765
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199922765.013.0061

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 The syntax-lexicon continuum

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Lexicography

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The lexicon is traditionally viewed as distinct from the syntax of a language. Standard accounts of the history of the English language have separate chapters on syntax and vocabulary. The underlying assumption is that the two are considered either implicitly or explicitly as separate linguistic components. However, various strands of cognitive linguistics such as Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar and Croft’s Radical Construction Grammar have argued that there are no clear-cut boundaries between what are traditionally called lexicon, syntax and morphology but, rather, that they form a continuum. This chapter first examines some of the synchronic arguments in favor of this proposal before offering some diachronic arguments. It also briefly discusses three cases studies (the way construction, the adjectival resultative construction and –ingly adverbs) which support a continuum.

Keywords: lexicon; syntax; continuum; cognitive linguistics; way construction; resultative construction; -ingly adverbs; English; linguistics

Article.  5054 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Lexicography

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