Croft (Radical Construction Grammar) (1.6. Radical Construction Grammar:…
Croft (Radical Construction Grammar)
1.3. Constructions and Construction Grammar
1.3.1. Arguments for construction grammar
componential model( LINKING RULES )
its sound structure, its syntax and its meaning—are represented in separate components
he only constructs which contain information cutting across the components are words
Construction grammar arose out of a concern to analyze a problematic phenomenon for the componential model, namely idioms
Idioms are linguistic expressions that are syntactically and/or semantically idiosyncratic in various ways
all of a sudden/ in point of fact
The X-er, the Y-er
constructions are like lexical items in the componential model: they link together idiosyncratic or arbitrary phonological, syntactic, and semantic information.
are substantive and ATOMIC (that is, minimal syntactic units)
partially schematic and COMPLEX (consisting of more than one syntactic element)
The logical consequence of accommodating idioms in syntactic theory has been to provide a uniform representation of all types of grammatical structures from words to syntactic and semantic rules.
However, the arguments in favor of Radical Construction Grammar do not presuppose construction grammar.
1.3.2. Syntactic and semantic structure: the anatomy of a construction
see the pictures
1.3.3. The organization of constructions in a construction grammar
Each construction is simply an INSTANCE of the more SCHEMATIC construction(s) in the chain [kick the bucket]—[kick OBJ]—[VERB OBJ].
One school of thought argues that information should not be redundantly represented in taxonomy.
patterns of frequency of use determine the level of representation of grammatical knowledge in a speaker's mind.
the productivity of the Past Tense schema [VERB-ed] . this schema is highly entrenched in an English speaker's mind
1.5. Distributional Analysis and the Representation of Particular Language Grammars
1.5.1. Problems in using distributional analysis in particular languages
220.127.116.11. Mismatch in distribution between constructions
the more constructions that one uses to define categories, the larger the number of distinct categories that would be observed, and the smaller each of those categories would be
In a very large grammar of French developed by Maurice Gross and colleagues, containing 600 rules covering 12,000 lexical items, no two lexical items had exactly the same distribution, and no two rules had exactly the same domain of application
18.104.22.168. Subclasses and multiple class membership
Some cases of distributional mismatches have been analyzed as instances of syntactic subclasses rather than as distinct syntactic classes.
What this means is that there may in some cases be considerable arbitrariness in the identification of two open word classes as distinct parts of speech rather than subclasses of a single part of speech
there is no a priori basis for deciding which constructions are only necessary conditions for word class membership
22.214.171.124. Lack of exclusive partitioning of lexical items
Down: many cases of criss-crossing multiple class membership, without any clear picture of how many classes to posit
1.5.2. Language-internal methodological opportunism and its problems
selects a subset of language-specific criteria to define a category when the criteria do not all match. (That subset of criteria, or possibly just one criterion, defines the category in question. Mismatching distributions are ignored, or are used to define subclasses or multiple class membership.)
not a rigorous scientific method for discovering the properties of the grammar of a language
Yet language-internal methodological opportunism is a widely used form of argumentation in the analysis of particular language grammars.
1.5.3. An alternative view: there are no atomic grammatical primitives
GLOBAL categories and relations
similarities among these construction-specific categories and relations
functional, cognitive, and semantic explanations for these similarities
categories and relations defined by particular constructions
categories and relations in a cross-constructional sense
In this view, the fact that categories across constructions are similar, not identical, is due to construction-specific peculiarities that do not affect the overall architecture of the language's grammar.
The real problem is in a logical inconsistency in the way the distributional method is used, given the fact of distributional mismatches among constructions.
1.4. Distributional Analysis and Cross-linguistic Universals
1.4.1. Problems in using distributional analysis across languages
126.96.36.199. Nonuniversality of constructions
Vietnamese lacks all morphological inflection.
Wardaman lacks infinitival complements and “Conjunction Reduction” coordination
188.8.131.52. Wildly different distributions across languages
Makah has inflections for Agreement, Aspect, and Mood, which are used as criteria(Agreement of the Verb) for the category Verb in English and other European languages.
每個語言定義 Person-Aspect-Mood inflection的category都不同，不能用同樣的distributional method
1.4.2. Cross-linguistic methodological opportunism and its problems
cross-linguistic methodological opportunism is not a rigorous scientific method for discovering the properties of Universal Grammar. Yet it is a very widely used form of cross-linguistic argumentation
CROSS-LINGUISTIC METHODOLOGICAL OPPORTUNISM
uses language-specific criteria when the general criteria do not exist in the language, or when the general criteria give the “wrong” results according to one's theory
But cross-linguistic methodological opportunism is just that: opportunistic. It suffers from two interrelated and fatal problems.
there is no a priori way to decide which criteria (if any) are relevant to deciding that a particular category is an instantiation of a universal category like Noun or Subject across languages.
the choice of criteria looks suspiciously like serving a priori theoretical assumptions.
1.4.3. An alternative view: there is no universal inventory of atomic primitives
solution to the problems: functionalist approaches to syntax
Dryer suggests that the following four things might be proposed to exist in the domain of grammar
functional, cognitive and semantic explanations for these similarities
Categories and relations in particular languages
categories and relations in a cross-linguistic sense
UNIVERSAL categories and relations
similarities among these language-particular categories and relations
the fact that categories across languages are similar, not identical
But in fact there is a wide range of cross-linguistic variation in syntactic categories and roles and other basic syntactic phenomena
Dryer argues that a functionalist syntactician should accept the uniqueness of language- particular grammatical relations, namely accept (23a) and reject (23d). the functionalist offers functional, cognitive, and semantic explanations for these similarities, (23c).
However~~~Formalist linguists face the same methodological problems with distributional analysis, and the same facts of cross-linguistic variation, as functionalist linguists do. If the formalist explanation is largely internal to a language, which is essentially correct, then there are no criteria for identifying categories as the same across languages.
The alternative view
avoids the inconsistencies of cross-linguistic methodological opportunism
allows each language to be itself: it respects the grammatical diversity of languages, and the uniqueness of each language's grammar
‘no logical scheme of the parts of speech—their number, nature and necessary confines—is of the slightest interest to the linguist. Each language has its own scheme’ (Sapir 1921: 119)
1.6. Radical Construction Grammar: Frequently Asked Questions
1.6.2. Can't these facts be captured by a feature-based approach to
categories, or by a categorial grammar approach?
The use of features instead of categories may or may not be in the spirit of Radical Construction Grammar.
Although categorial grammar is another way of modeling Radical Construction Grammar, it has the drawback that all combinations must be represented as binary, whereas many constructions have more than two elements
1.6.3. Doesn't RCG create a hopeless proliferation of categories? How do you
label them all?
mnemonic labeling of categories and constructions
1.6.4. If categories are dened relative to constructions, how do you identify constructions?
1.6.5. How do you capture generalizations for categories across constructions in RCG?
1.6.6. How can a child acquire a grammar without atomic primitive categories?
evidence implies a very gradual inductive process, beginning with very specific constructions and very gradually inducing more schematic constructions and producing novel utterances with those schemas.
1.6.7. How does RCG relate to other versions of construction grammar?
1.6.8. How can I use RCG for grammatical description if all categories are construction-specific and constructions are language-specific?
Constructions are language-specific in their morphosyntactic properties, but their function in structuring and communicating information is not.
1.6.9. If categories are construction-specific and constructions are language-specific, does this mean that there is no Universal Grammar, and no language universals?
There are universals of language, but not in syntactic structure taken by itself. The universals of language are found in semantic structure and in symbolic structure, that is, the mapping between linguistic function and linguistic form.
1.6.1. How can you have a syntactic theory without atomic primitive units?
The fundamental thesis of Radical Construction Grammar, that constructions and not categories are the primitive units of syntactic representation, is an idea that is difficult to grasp because the opposite view is so deeply entrenched in linguistic theory
primitives of syntactic theory must be atomic.
1.2 Methodology and Theory in Syntax
1.2.2. Distributional analysis: the basic method of syntactic argumentation
Information Question (What did you see?) or the Passive (The bride was greeted by the guests)
The bride fills the Subject role in the Passive construction.
distribution pattern(DISTRIBUTION or the BEHAVIOR of the word)
cold and happy have the same distribution, and contrast with dance and sing, which share a different distribution pattern.
the words with the same pattern of occurrence/nonoccurrence are put in a single row. ( Adjective and Verb)
Which is the use of one or more constructions to justify the existence of a particular category in the grammar of a language
the more arguments for a syntactic category that can be offered, the better (the more constructions that appear to include a particular category as a role, the stronger the evidence for that category in the language is)
construction-based syntactic theories
distributional method reveals problems that can only be resolved by taking constructions—complex syntactic structures and their meanings—rather than categories as the basic units of grammatical representation.
1.2.1. The basic question of syntactic analysis
form–function (syntax–semantics) mapping is ARBITRARY
a set of self-contained principles governing syntactic structure that make no reference to semantic or discourse principles
principles that govern syntactic structure are not self-contained, that is, they involve semantic and/or discourse principles.
atomic grammatical primitives
‘noun’, ‘verb’, ‘subject’, and ‘object’
universals of human language are not necessarily an innate genetic endowment. In the broad sense, Universal Grammar consists of those aspects or properties of grammatical structure which form the makeup of the grammars of all human languages.
if a language has +α then it has +β, +γ
set of categories and relations are available to all speakers, but speakers of some language do not avail themselves of all of the categories and relations available to them( Aux was a part of Universal Grammar, but not every language had a category Aux.)
What is the BASIC UNITS OF SYNTACTIC THEORY？