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A lesson from associative learning: asymmetry and productivity in multiple-slot constructions

  • Guillaume Desagulier EMAIL logo

Abstract

Non-redundant taxonomic models of construction grammar posit that only fully productive patterns qualify as constructions because they license an infinity of expressions. Redundant models claim that, despite subregularities and exceptions, partially productive patterns also count as constructions, providing the overall meanings of such patterns are not the strict sums of their parts. Because productivity is a major bone of contention between redundant and non-redundant construction grammar taxonomies, I examine the productivity of A as NP which, according to Kay (2013), is not a “construction” but merely a “pattern of coining” due to its limited type productivity. Expanding on Gries (2013), this paper explores how a combination of symmetric and asymmetric association measures can contribute to the study of the “Productivity Complex” described in Zeldes (2012). Although the productivity of A as NP is admittedly limited at its most schematic level, some partially filled subschemas such as white/black as NP or A as hell/death are arguably productive.

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Published Online: 2015-10-10
Published in Print: 2016-10-1

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