The monograph investigates the relationship between form and meaning in different domains and centers on a group of methods referred to as “linguistic profiles” that have been developed recently by researchers at the University of Tromsø. These methods are based on the observation that there is a strong correlation between semantic and distributional properties of linguistic units. This book discusses grammatical, semantic, constructional, collostructional and diachronic profiles. Linguistic profiles as a group of methods are based on recent developments in the area of cognitive and functional linguistics: 1) form in language always has a relation to meaning, 2) a categorical approach to language is replaced with an understanding of language as a gradient phenomenon, which is investigated via statistics, 3) grammar is seen as a usage-based phenomenon. Throughout the book we see that each of the profiles determines a correlation between certain forms and certain meanings. By studying the distribution of different forms we can uncover the semantic restrictions standing behind them.
Julia Kuznetsova, Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.