Toward a constructional framework for research on language change
A construction grammar approach is presented to changes to language as a system that is both communicative and cognitive (Traugott and Trousdale 2013). Constructionalization is defined as the development of formnew-meaningnew pairs and constructional changes as changes to features of constructions. The approach requires focus on form and meaning equally. Constructionalization is shown to encompass and go beyond both grammaticalization and lexicalization, which are conceptualized as on a continuum. The framework favors thinking in terms of analogizing to sets and schemas as well as of gradual (micro-step) reanalyses. The ability to see how networks, schemas, and micro-constructions are created or grow and decline, as well as the ability to track the development of patterns at both substantive and schematic levels, allows the researcher to see how each micro-construction has its own history within the constraints of larger patterns, most immediately schemas, but also related network nodes.
Keywords: compositionality, constructionalization, productivity, schematicity, snow clones, grammaticalization, lexicalization, networks, word formation
Published online: 05 August 2014
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