From syntactic coordination to conceptual modification
The case of the nice and Adj construction
The present article investigates a construction that displays a “mismatch” between form and content/function, instantiated by expressions like nice and comfy/clean/warm. This nice and Adj pattern has a “literal” transparent meaning, which corresponds to its coordinative syntax, but it is on its way to becoming a full-fledged construction with unpredictable formal and conceptual attributes, where nice (and) functions as a conceptual-pragmatic modifier. This pattern is thus an emergent construction. We argue that an adequate treatment of the nice and Adj construction requires the integration of inferential mechanisms, such as implicature and invited inference, into the descriptive apparatus of construction grammar.
Cited by 8 other publications
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