Schematicity and formulaicity in discourse patterns
Bracha Nir | Department of communication sciences and disorders, University of Haifa
The present study joins recent endeavors within Construction Grammar to recognize constructions that are beyond clauses and sentences and function as schematic frames for the organization of discourse. Specifically, it deals with two particular instances of what is termed a discourse pattern, the conventionalized combination of genre and text-type: a personal experience narrative and an expository discussion of a personal opinion on an abstract topic. The paper discusses findings from various studies that characterize usage of lexical and clause-level constructions in the course of producing texts based on the two discourse patterns, and contrasts these findings with quantitative and qualitative analyses of clause combining in the same texts. The study relies on a corpus of 40 texts collected from Hebrew speaker-writers, who each produced a narrative and an expository text following a semi-structured elicitation controlling for the components of field, tenor, and mode. The distributional and functional findings of the study suggest that discourse patterns, like other constructions, occupy a cline of idiomacity/schematicity. In its conclusion, the study considers the tangential and intersecting points between Construction Grammar, on the one hand, and discourse analysis, on the other.
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