Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words Onscreen

By Naomi S. Baron

Words Onscreen "explores how technology is reshaping our understanding of what it means to read."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Communication Accommodation Theory

Edited by Howard Giles

Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: There is no such thing as a free combination: a usage-based study of specific construals in adverb–adjective combinations
Author: Britt Erman
Institution: Stockholm University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Linguistic Theories; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The study is aimed at revealing collocational adverb–adjective patterns in the British National Corpus (BNC). The adverbs selected for the study include the maximizers absolutely, completely, entirely, fully, perfectly, totally, utterly, wholly. The study involves searches on both the selected adverbs and the adjectives they modify in a bi-directional fashion. It is claimed that only a cognitive and usage-based approach in terms of underlying conceptual structures can provide an accurate description of collocational patterns. The results show that a large proportion of the adjectives have strong bonds with particular maximizers. This is explained through the basic conceptual structure of Boundedness/Scalarity, i.e. the degree to which the adjective lends itself to a bounded or a scalar construal and the adverb is biased towards a totality construal (which is the kind of construal to be expected from maximizers). The results support the hypothesis that a substantial part of the adverb–adjective combinations investigated are (semi)-prefabricated units, presumably easily accessed by native speakers because the combinations are the result of specific construals and their members have close associative and conceptual links in the mental lexicon.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 18, Issue 1.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page