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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the limits of Construction Grammar. It advocates the conservative view which only considers those linguistic phenomena as constructions that a speaker needs to know to "produce and understand all possible utterances of a language and no more." The chapter argues that there are many patterns which appear in language data that do not qualify as parts of a grammar, and that these patterns are neither necessary nor sufficient to produce or interpret any set of expressions of the language. The chapter highlights the need to distinguish coining from the true constructions because the failure to observe the distinction between grammatical constructions and patterns of coining can have undesirable consequences beyond grammatical theory per se, for example in comparative lexical semantics.

Keywords: Construction Grammar, linguistic phenomena, language data, coining, true constructions, grammatical theory

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