CxG — SoSe 2014

Für diese zusätzliche Veranstaltung im Lehrplan der Englischen Philologie ist noch kein Kommentar im Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Sie sind herzlich eingeladen. Voraussetzung: Sie haben Spaß an der Deskription und Analyse der Struktur der (englischen) Sprache und scheuen auch den Umgang mit Computern und Zahlen nicht; d.h. es sind keine korpuslinguistischen Vorkenntnisse notwendig, nur die Bereitschaft, sich diese unter Anleitung anzueignen. Bei Fragen schicken Sie mir eine E-Mail oder kommen Sie zur ersten Sitzung.

  • Termin: Mi, 10–12
  • Beginn: 16. April
  • Raum: L 202
  • Modul: VM-6 („Structure of English“)

Construction Grammar: Argument Structure

This seminar will introduce students to the framework of Construction Grammar (CxG), a prominent member of a family of related cognitive-functional approaches to the analysis of language structure. CxG sees the construction—a conventionalised form-meaning pairing—as central to linguistic organisation.

Our discussions will focus on detailed descriptions and theoretical discussions of English argument structure constructions, e.g. ditransitives (she gave him the book), to-“datives” (they sent a letter to their relatives) or caused-motion constructions (they sprayed paint onto the wall). CxG addresses questions such as: how do verb meaning and sentence meaning interact? How is it that we interpret she crutched him the ball as an event of transfer, even though crutch is not (usually) used as a verb (let alone one of transfer)? What then, more generally, is the relationship between lexicon and syntax?

Starting from Goldberg (1995), we will look at various English argument structure constructions. This will be followed by a discussion of selected alternative theoretical approaches to the analysis of argument structures. On a methodological level, we will practice how to obtain, process and analyse (corpus) linguistic data.

Course requirements are regular attendance and weekly readings in preparation for class discussion, small corpus research tasks, a presentation and a final paper. Students are kindly asked to read the introductory chapter in Goldberg (1995) in preparation for the first session (available on BB).

References & introductory reading

Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions. A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Please try and obtain a copy.)

Hoffmann, Thomas & Graeme Trousdale (eds.). 2013. The Oxford handbook of construction grammar. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press.