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.
Cognitive Linguistics presents a forum for linguistic research of all kinds on the interaction between language and cognition. The journal focuses on language as an instrument for organizing, processing and conveying information. It is devoted to high-quality research on topics such as the structural characteristics of natural language categorization and the functional principles of linguistic organization.