Article published in:The Wealth and Breadth of Construction-Based Research
Edited by Timothy Colleman, Frank Brisard, Astrid De Wit, Renata Enghels, Nikos Koutsoukos, Tanja Mortelmans and María Sol Sansiñena
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 34] 2020
► pp. 345–356
Assessing speakers’ perceptions of imaginative constructional patterns
While the concept of extravagance, used to describe speakers’ use of imaginative and noticeable language, has seen a surge in popularity in recent constructionist work, researchers have not yet converged on a set of common criteria for identifying extravagant expressions. In this paper, we discuss a variety of existing definitions and combine them into five main characteristics of extravagant language. We then present the results of a small-scale pilot rating study in which speakers judged extravagant sentences and their non-extravagant paraphrases. Our findings suggest that different constructions vary in their degree of perceived extravagance, and that certain features (e.g. stylistic salience) apply to most extravagant examples while the role of other factors (e.g. the speaker’s emotional involvement) may be restricted to a subset of extravagant patterns. We conclude with some open questions concerning the further demarcation and operationalisation of the concept of extravagance.
Keywords: extravagance, construction grammar, defining features, rating study
Published online: 28 May 2021
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