Vol 1 (2014)

Special Issue guest edited by

Benjamin Lyngfelt & Camilla Wide
University of Gothenburg & University of Turku

This special issue of Constructions on Swedish illustrates the versatility and wide applicability of constructionist approaches. In their introduction to the volume, Lyngelt and Wide first relate how construction grammar was introduced and established in Swedish linguistics. Then they provide a brief introduction to construction grammar as such. By way of Swedish examples, they illustrate some of the central ideas in construction grammar, such as multigrain generalizations and intermingling of linguistic levels. Finally, they present the contributions to the volume: Jan Anward deals with recycling in conversation; Sheila Dooley accounts for the comparative correlative ju ... desto construction; Björn Hammarberg treats comparative constructions from the viewpoint of acquisition; Jan Lindström and Anne-Marie Londen provide an interactional account of concessive constructions; Nina Martola addresses the relation between lexicon and grammar in the realization of passives; and Joel Olofsson discusses productivity in motion constructions.



Special Volume 1

Special Issue guest edited by

Doris Schönefeld
University of Leipzig

The special issue of Constructions at hand owes its existence to the 3rd ICCG held in Marseille in 2004. From the contributions presented there, a number of papers has been selected for publication to inform the reader about current issues and topics of debate from the wide field of construction grammar. The smallest common denominator of the papers collected here is the employment of the notion of “construction”, which, from a terminological perspective, sounds neither completely new nor particularly problematic or provocative. However, looking at the term more closely, one might not get too clear an idea of what the common basis of these contributions is. This is mainly due to two factors: Firstly, the term has been used in descriptions of language(s) for long for the denomination of quite disparate phenomena, and, secondly, as a consequence, there is no commonly accepted definition of the term as such available to the linguistic community.

For this reason, the following text aims at a clarification of the notion of construction as it is understood both within and outside of the construction grammar framework. Mirroring the temporal sequence in the development of linguistic models, the first part is concerned with the notion employed in some models and theories preceding construction grammar, the second part elaborates on its understanding by a number of linguists working within the construction grammar framework, where the notion is given a key function in language. The former group is represented by (American) structuralism, generative grammar, and corpus linguistics, the latter draws on Fillmore’s, Langacker’s, Goldberg’s and Croft’s ideas. It goes without saying that both groupings are selective rather than representing an exhaustive analysis and discussion of the way the term construction is used and understood in the entire field of linguistics in general and construction grammar in particular. Hence, the interested reader will certainly miss references to constructions in functional grammar and to the more formalized approaches to constructions within the construction grammar framework as proposed by Fillmore & Kay and Sag, to name but a few of the potential extensions.

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