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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 20, 2018

Konstruktionspatterns in der Idiomatik und ihre kognitiven Grundlagen

Construction patterns in idiomatics and their cognitive foundations

Dmitrij Dobrovol’skij and Elisabeth Piirainen
From the journal Yearbook of Phraseology


The starting point of this paper is a particular idiom category. It deals with idioms that contain determinative compounds of a special kind. The first element of the compound points to the figurative meaning of the idiom, while the second element is a part of the source concept of the metaphor and thus interacts with the literal meaning. An appropriate apparatus for describing idioms of this category is provided by the Conceptual Blending Theory. It is shown that, apart from metaphorization processes, the blending of mental spaces plays a significant part in bringing about the figurative meaning of the idioms. At the same time, the paper supports the recently discussed hypothesis that phrasemes can be constructed according to certain patterns as recurrent form-meaning pairs. Therefore, the paper contributes to Construction Grammar as well as to Blending Theory and clarifies some aspects of idiom semantics and motivation.

Published Online: 2018-1-20
Published in Print: 2017-10-26

© 2018 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston