Constructions at Work: The nature of generalization in language

Paperback | December 31, 2005

byAdele Goldberg

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This book investigates the nature of generalization in language and examines how language is known by adults and acquired by children. It looks at how and why constructions are learned, the relation between their forms and functions, and how cross-linguistic and language-internalgeneralizations about them can be explained. Constructions at Work is divided into three parts: in the first Professor Goldberg provides an overview of constructionist approaches, including the constructionist approach to argument structure, and argues for a usage-based model of grammar. In Part II she addresses issues concerning howgeneralizations are constrained and constructional generalizations are learned. In Part III the author shows that a combination of function and processing accounts for a wide range of language-internal and cross-linguistic generalizations. She then considers the degree to which the function ofconstructions explains their distribution and examines cross-linguistic tendencies in argument realization. She demonstrates that pragmatic and cognitive processes account for the data without appeal to stipulations that are language-specific.This book is an important contribution to the study of how language operates in the mind and in the world and how these operations relate. It is of central interest for scholars and graduate-level students in all branches of theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics. It will also appeal tocognitive scientists and philosophers concerned with language and its acquisition.

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This book investigates the nature of generalization in language and examines how language is known by adults and acquired by children. It looks at how and why constructions are learned, the relation between their forms and functions, and how cross-linguistic and language-internalgeneralizations about them can be explained. Constructio...

Adele E. Goldberg is Professor of Linguistics at Princeton University. She is author of Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure (University of Chicago Press, 1995), which won the 1996 Gustave O. Arlt Book Award in the Humanities.

other books by Adele Goldberg

Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.63 inPublished:December 31, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199268525

ISBN - 13:9780199268528

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Table of Contents

Part One: Constructions1. Overview2. Surface Generalizations3. Item Specific Knowledge and GeneralizationsPart Two: Learning Generalizations4. How Generalizations are Learned5. How Generalizations are Constrained6. Why Generalizations are LearnedPart Three: Explaining Generalizations7. Island Constraints and Scope8. Grammatical Categorization: Subject Auxiliary Inversion9. Cross-linguistic Generalizations in Argument Realization10. Variations on a Constructionist Theme11. ConclusionReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`In Adele Goldberg's new book, Construction Grammar comes of age. Goldberg combines traditional linguistic argumentation with all the tools of cognitive science: statistical and corpus-based analysis, data from experiments on processing and language acquisition (many carried out by the authorherself), and evidence from broader-based phenomena in cognition. The vision of language embodied in Constructions at Work emerges as a robust alternative to mainstream thought in linguistics, one that maintains high aspirations to explanation in psychological as well as crosslinguistic terms.'Ray Jackendoff, Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University