Article published in:Asymmetric Events
Edited by Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 11] 2008
► pp. 151–172
8. Asymmetric events, subordination, and grammatical categories
The notion of asymmetric events plays a central role in many theories of subordination. Subordination has been associated with various types of event asymmetry, such as foreground-background, figure-ground, asserted vs. nonasserted information, and presence vs. absence of an autonomous cognitive profile for individual events. This paper discusses the consequences of this view for the definition of subordination as a grammatical category. It is shown that event asymmetry as such does not correspond to any consistent constructional class, either cross-linguistically or within individual languages. As a result, event asymmetry should be kept distinct from subordination as a grammatical category. Event asymmetry is a component of a number of different constructions and provides a sound basis for comparing these constructions both cross-linguistically and within individual languages. However, these constructions correspond to different grammatical categories, any of which may be arbitrarily labeled as subordination. These categories are languagespecific and construction-specific.
Keywords: assertiveness, cognitive profile, constructions, cross-linguistic comparison, embedding, figure-ground, foreground-background, grammatical categories, subordination, typology
Published online: 15 May 2008
Cited by 6 other publications
Dachkovsky, Svetlana, Rose Stamp & Wendy Sandler
Herlin, Ilona, Jyrki Kalliokoski & Laura Visapää
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