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Academic Paper

Title: 'Too female to be ruthless' and 'too pregnant to argue': Semantic conflict and resolution in the [too ADJ to V]-construction
Paper URL:
Author: Kim Ebensgaard Jensen
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Aalborg University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Taking usage-based construction grammar and Talmy's five-strategy model of semantic conflict resolution as its theoretical framework, this paper addresses the interplay between construal operations (Croft & Wood 2000) and semantic conflict resolution in anomalous instances of the relatively unexplored English [too ADJ to V]-construction. The anomaly in question stems from construction-lexeme incompatibility and constrution-lexeme repulsion. Drawing on a questionnaire analysis in which native-speaker respondents offer their readings of anomalous instances of the construction, the paper discusses strategies of semantic construction-lexeme conflict resolution with a view to inferring construal operations involved therein. The findings suggest 1) the sense selection should be added as a sixth strategy in Talmy's model, and 2) that metonymy may be a particularly "popular" shift subtype.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Suvremena Lingvistika, 40(77), pp. 1-26.

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