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Academic Paper

Title: Grammatical Construction Theory and the Recontextualization of Grammar
Author: Kim Ebensgaard Jensen
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Københavns Universitet
Linguistic Field: Discipline of Linguistics; General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Semantics; Syntax
Abstract: Drawing on Geeraerts' (2003, 2004) overview of de- and recontextualization tendencies in 20th century linguistics, this paper accounts for the possibilities of doing rich and detailed language descriptions, taking into account not only so-called core-linguistic factors, but also so-called extra-linguistic ones, such as various types of contextual elements that determine the use of various (types of) constructions. The paper first summarizes Geeraerts' (2003, 2004) outline of the de- and re-contextualization of grammar in modern-day linguistics, adopting Geeraert's three époques: 'divided grammar' of 1916-1955 (associated with Saussure), 'isolated grammar' of 1955-1985 (associated with Chomsky), and 'recontextualized grammar' of 1985-present (associated with a number of new functionalist theoretical frameworks). Against this backdrop, the fundamental tenets of construction grammar are accounted for, and the discussion turns to the role of meaning in construction grammar which treats grammar in the context of semantics, encyclopaedic knowledge, and cognition. The paper also addresses language performance and its role in usage-based oriented versions of construction grammar, and discusses the potential that construction grammar has for including socio-cultural factors into the description of constructional phenomena as well. The focal points of the dicussion are captured by a number of (quasi-)philosophical principles - namely, the semiotic principle, the entrenched routine principle, the discourse principle, the principle of frames, the semantics-pragmatics principle, the principle of the syntax-lexicon contimuum, and the integrated grammar principle.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: P E O (Pre-publications of the English Department of Odense University), 134 (2004): 1-35.
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