Graeme Trousdale at Langwidge Sandwidge

Posted on February 28, 2014 by

This Tuesday (4th March) at 1pm, Graeme Trousdale (University of Edinburgh) will be presenting his work on Issues in formal approaches to constructionalization at the Langwidge Sandwidge. The talk will be at 1pm in Samuel Alexander A202. Here’s the abstract:

Constructionalization has been characterised as the creation of (hierarchies of) signs in which both morphosyntactic form and some aspect of semantic or pragmatic meaning are new (Traugott and Trousdale 2013). Thus far, the discussion regarding constructionalization has largely been couched within a very general constructional approach to language, which approximates most closely to Cognitive Construction Grammar (Goldberg 1995, 2006; Boas 2013); some other constructional approaches to language change (e.g. Hilpert 2013) have also remained non-committal with regard to formalism, while others (e.g. Fried 2008, 2013) have espoused Berkeley Construction Grammar in an attempt to provide a more formal account of change. In this talk, I explore some of the issues regarding formal approaches to constructional change with reference to the well-studied development of a new construction in English, namely the way-construction. Having summarised the key findings of Traugott and Trousdale (2013) on the development of the way-construction (which suggests a slightly alternative history to that noted by Goldberg 1995 and Israel 1996), I consider some of the ways in which the development of the way-construction might be accounted for in Sign-Based Construction Grammar (Sag 2012). Such a treatment reveals patterns of relevance to accounts of expansion and reduction in both grammaticalization (Traugott 2010) and constructionalization.