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By Arne Zeschel

How do audio system differ proven styles of language use and adapt them to novel contexts of software? This research offers a usage-based method of linguistic creativity: combining specific qualitative with large-scale quantitative analyses of corpus facts, it lines the emergence of partial productiveness in clusters of traditional collocations. Synthesising insights from examine on language acquisition, version and alter, it truly is argued that artistic extensions of linguistic conventions are intrinsically certain up with facets of reminiscence and repetition.

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Though explicitly concerned with semantic extension processes in construction learning, Johnson’s approach nevertheless differs from the perspective of the present study in an important respect: in Johnson’s study, what is at issue are relations between pairs of distinct constructions in which one pattern is developmentally ‘based on’ the other. For instance, the ‘What’s X doing Y’ construction has a number of specialised properties that set it apart from similar-looking wh-questions, thus calling for its recognition as an independent (meso-)construction with its own formal and semantic/pragmatic constraints that must be mastered by the learner at some point.

Hilpert (2008) offers a large-scale application of such analyses to the study of the diachronic development of future constructions in German, English, Danish, Swedish and Dutch. The studies by Israel and Hilpert share many of the guiding assumptions and analytical aims of the present investigation, but apply them from an explicitly diachronic perspective: their focus is on how associations between a construction and its lexical fillers change between two or more points in time. This contrasts with the synchronic perspective developed in chapter 6 below, where the focus is on how currently attested variants of the investigated constructions are semantically related at one specific point in time: now.

From the perspective of usage-based construction grammar with its emphasis on formmeaning pairings, it seems most natural to expect that children’s early schematisations take both formal and semantic properties into account: assuming that children start out from sets of item-specific ‘verb islands’ (Tomasello 1992) or ‘mini-grammars’ (Morris et al. g. kick and hit) that are only later connected to ever less similar items (know) until they have arrived at a fully schematic, adult-like construction (Goldberg 1999; Tomasello 2000b; cf.

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