Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Newman, John

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2013: 0.833
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.188
Rank 55 out of 169 in category Linguistics in the 2013 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 0.718
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 1.356

ERIH category 2011: INT1

VolumeIssuePage

Issues

Corpus evidence of the viability of statistical preemption

1Princeton University

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics. Volume 22, Issue 1, Pages 131–153, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: 10.1515/cogl.2011.006, May 2011

Publication History

Received:
2010-05-21
Revised:
2010-07-27
Published Online:
2011-05-17

Abstract

The present paper argues that there is ample corpus evidence of statistical preemption for learners to make use of. In the case of argument structure constructions, a verbi is preempted from appearing in a construction A, CxA, if and only if the following probability is high: P(CxB|context that would be suitable for CxA and verbi). For example, the probability of hearing a preemptive construction, given a context that would otherwise be well-suited for the ditransitive is high for verbs like explain that overwhelmingly appear in the dative, and low for verbs like tell that readily appear in the ditransitive. Strength of statistical preemption is determined both by this probability, and by the frequency (ln (F)) of a verb in a preemptive construction when the context is at least as well suited to the preempted construction. The critiques of preemption by Stefanowitsch (Cognitive Linguistics 19: 513–531, 2008, this volume) are countered by arguing that the relevant probabilities were not considered. Moreover, we find evidence that constructions are somewhat less constrained when yoked to non-alternating verbs, as Stefanowitsch (cf. this volume) suggests should be the case.

Keywords:: construction learning; dative; ditransitive; statistical preemption

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.