Publication details [#19629046]

Noël, Dirk. 2023. Culture in a radically usage-based model of language change, with special reference to constructional attrition. Review of Cognitive Linguistics 22 (1) : 100–123.


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.