Tenets in Constructionist Approach to Grammar

Found this while revisiting Goldberg (1995), a classic work in CL.

“Tenet 1. All levels of description are understood to involve pairings of form with semantic or discourse function, including morphemes or words, idioms, partially lexically filled and fully abstract phrasal patterns.

Tenet 2. An emphasis is placed on subtle aspects of the way we conceive of events and states of affairs.

Tenet 3. A ‘what you see is what you get’ approach to syntactic form is adopted: no underlying levels of syntax or any phonologically empty elements are posited.

Tenet 4. Constructions are understood to be learned on the basis of the input and general cognitive mechanisms (they are constructed), and are expected to vary crosslinguistically.

Tenet 5. Cross-linguistic generalizations are explained by appeal to general cognitive constraints together with the functions of the constructions involved.

Tenet 6. Language-specific generalizations across constructions are captured via inheritance networks much like those that have long been posited to capture our non-linguistic knowledge.

Tenet 7. The totality of our knowledge of language is captured by a network of constructions: a ‘construct-i-con.’” (p. 219)

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