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Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory

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

Guillaume Desagulier
  • Corresponding author
  • MoDyCo – Université Paris 8, CNRS, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, UMR 7114, 200 avenue de la République, Nanterre 92001, France
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Published Online: 2015-10-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2015-0012


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.

Keywords: asymmetry; association measures; ΔΡ (delta P); collostructional analysis; construction grammar; adjectives; intensification; productivity


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-10-10

Published in Print: 2016-10-01

Citation Information: Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 173–219, ISSN (Online) 1613-7035, ISSN (Print) 1613-7027, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2015-0012.

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