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Families of constructions in German

A corpus-based study of constructional phrasemes with the pattern [XNP attribute]

From the book Productive Patterns in Phraseology and Construction Grammar

  • Fabio Mollica and Sören Stumpf


This paper focuses on morphosyntactically and semanticallypragmatically similar constructional phrasemes (Dobrovolʼskij 2011) that can be described as a family of constructions within the framework of Construction Grammar. These are constructional phrasemes in which a lexically open noun phrase is specified by a lexically fixed postponed attribute. The constructions have the syntactic pattern [XNP attribute] and share more or less the same semantics and pragmatics. As an example, three members of the family are characterized by their formal structure and their semantic-pragmatic properties ([XNP pur], [XNP par excellence], [XNP wie er/sie/es im Buche steht]). The aim is to describe these similar constructions with regard to their network-like relationships. The article aims to determine usage restrictions and preferred fillers on the basis of the German Reference Corpus (DeReKo) and with the help of the tool Lexical Pattern Analyzer (lexpan), which permits an automatic quantification of the lexical fillers.

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