Article published in:Corpus Methods for Semantics: Quantitative studies in polysemy and synonymy
Edited by Dylan Glynn and Justyna A. Robinson
[Human Cognitive Processing 43] 2014
► pp. 61–85
Rethinking constructional polysemy
The case of the English conative construction
This chapter examines the conative construction, e.g., I kicked at the ball, using collexeme analysis. Previous studies report that strong collexemes of a construction provide an indication of its central meaning, from which polysemic extensions are derived. However, the conative construction does not seem to attract a particular kind of verb that could be used to characterize its central meaning. To address this problem, a variant of collexeme analysis is suggested that consists in splitting the verbal distribution into semantic classes and consider “verb-class-specific” constructions independently. For the three classes tested, the most significant collexemes are found to be verbs whose inherent meaning contains the semantic contribution of the construction in that class. Hence, the most attracted collexemes do provide an indication of the constructional meaning, albeit specific to each verb class.
Keywords: collexeme analysis, semantic classes, verb-class-specific constructions
Published online: 06 November 2014
Fillmore, C., & Kay, P.
MS). Construction Grammar (course reader) . University of California, Berkeley.
Goldberg, A., Casenhiser, D., & Sethuraman, N.
Stefanowitsch, A., & Gries, St. Th
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