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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 10, 2012

Constructions are catenae: Construction Grammar meets Dependency Grammar

  • Timothy Osborne, EMAIL logo and Thomas Gross,
From the journal Cognitive Linguistics


The paper demonstrates that dependency-based syntax is in a strong position to produce principled and economical accounts of the syntax of constructs. The difficulty that constituency-based syntax has in this regard is that very many constructs fail to qualify as constituents. The point is evident with the box diagrams and attribute value matrices (AVMs) that some construction grammars (CxGs) use to formalize constructions; these schemata often represent fragments rather than constituents. In dependency-based syntax in contrast, constructions are catenae, whereby a catena is a chain of words linked together by dependencies. The catena is a novel but well-defined unit of syntax associated with dependency grammar (DG). The constructs of CxGs are more amenable to analyses in terms of the catenae of dependency-based syntax than to analyses in terms of the constituents of constituency-based syntax.

Received: 2010-12-06
Accepted: 2011-08-05
Published Online: 2012-02-10
Published in Print: 2012-February

© 2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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