Article published In:Review of Cognitive Linguistics: Online-First Articles
Culture in a radically usage-based model of language change, with special reference to constructional attrition
This article offers theoretical and programmatic reflection on how the impact of culture on language change should be accounted for from a radically usage-based diachronic construction grammatical perspective, with a focus on how cultural change can cause constructions to disappear from a language. It approaches this question through an assessment of how culture is incorporated in Schmid’s (2020) Entrenchment-and-Conventionalization model of ‘the dynamics of the linguistic system’. Against the backdrop of various proposals on the effect of ‘democratization’ in Anglo-Saxon culture on subtractive historical developments in the modal domain of English, and based on a study of interpersonal variation in the intrapersonal longitudinal development of a declining modal construction, the paper argues that the influence of culture on language change is mediated by entrenchment and that culture has a more extensive impact on entrenchment than the EC-model currently allows for.
Keywords: diachronic construction grammar, usage-based model, Entrenchment-and-Conventionalization model, individual differences, constructional attrition
- 2.Constructional attrition and culture in the EC-model
- 2.1A summary of the EC-model
- 2.2Constructional attrition in the EC-model
- 2.3Culture in the EC-model
- 3.Democratization and the attrition of modal constructions
- 3.1Attrition in the English modal domain
- 3.2Democratization as an (independent) cultural factor
- 4.In favour of a bigger role for culture in the entrenchment component of the EC-model
- 4.1Individual differences in the decline of the Deontic nci construction
- 4.2Culture as a force on entrenchment
Published online: 10 May 2023
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