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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses what a constructional approach to language can reveal about English grammar. Construction Grammar adopts a perspective that has been characterized as ‘the view from the periphery’, which pays particular attention to structures that are irregular and idiosyncratic with regard to form and meaning. A substantial body of work on such structures indicates that speakers’ knowledge of grammar contains a large number of small-scale generalizations. The constructional view openly questions whether grammar can be conceived of as a well-defined set of morpho-syntactic rules. The wider implication of a constructional view is that a clean separation of grammar on the one hand and the lexicon on the other is not a realistic representation of linguistic knowledge.

Keywords: construction, idiosyncrasy, form, meaning, knowledge of language, morpho-syntax, generalization

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