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Cognitive Linguistics

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Volume 19, Issue 3 (Jan 2008)


Questions with long-distance dependencies: A usage-based perspective

Ewa Dąbrowska
  • Corresponding author
  • Sheffield University, UK
Published Online: 2008-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/COGL.2008.015


Attested questions with long-distance dependencies (e.g., What do you think you're doing?) tend to be quite stereotypical: the matrix clause usually consists of a WH word, the auxiliary do or did, the pronoun you, and the verb think or say, with no other elements; and they virtually never contain more than one subordinate clause. This has lead some researchers in the usage-based framework (Dąbrowska 2004; Verhagen 2005) to hypothesise that speakers' knowledge about such constructions is best explained in terms of relatively specific, low level templates rather than general rules that apply “across the board”. The research reported here was designed to test this hypothesis and alternative hypotheses derived from rule-based theories.

Keywords:: Usage-based model; long-distance dependencies; unbounded dependencies; acceptability judgment experiment; prototype effects

About the article

E-mail: .

Received: 2007-04-11

Revised: 2007-12-18

Published Online: 2008-09-01

Published in Print: 2008-08-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/COGL.2008.015. Export Citation

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