Publication details [#9493]

Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, Francisco José and Ricardo Mairal Usón. 2008. Levels of description and constraining factors in meaning construction: An introduction to the Lexical Constructional Model. O Eixo e a Roda 42 (2) : 355–400. 46 pp.


This paper presents an outline of the LEXICAL CONSTRUCTIONAL MODEL, a meaning construction model that integrates insights from functional models of language (especially, Role and Reference Grammar) and Cognitive Linguistics (especially, Goldberg's Construction Grammar and Lakoff's Cognitive Semantics). The initial claim is that a theory of semantic interpretation should be constructed on the basis of two representational mechanisms, lexical and constructional templates, and two basic cognitive operations, subsumption and conceptual cueing, that specify in what ways meaning representations from different levels may interact. It is further shown that both lexical-constructional subsumption and purely constructional subsumption -at any stage of the meaning construction process- is regulated by an inventory of both internal and external constraints. Internal constraints involve the semantic units encoded in a lexical or a constructional template, while external constraints result from the possibility or impossibility of performing high-level metaphoric and/or metonymic operations on the items involved in the subsumption or cueing processes. (Francisco Ruiz de Mendoza and Ricardo Mairal Usón)