Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

E-mail this page

Conference Information

Full Title: Constructionist Approaches to Language Pedagogy

Short Title: CALP2013
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Start Date: 08-Nov-2013 - 09-Nov-2013
Contact: Sabine De Knop
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: International Conference: Constructionist Approaches to Language Pedagogy (CALP 2013)
8-9 November 2013
Universite Saint-Louis
Brussels, Belgium

Aims and Scope:

The notion of Construction Grammar (CxG) covers a wide range of grammatical theoretical models, all of them sharing the central tenet that constructions are the basic units of language. The interest for constructionist approaches of language started with Fillmore, Kay & O’Connor’s (1988) seminal paper on ‘let alone’ and received its first book-length treatment in Goldberg’s (1995) ‘Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure’. In this book, Goldberg describes constructions as conventionalized form-meaning pairs characterized by non-compositionality. In her later book ‘Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language’ (2006) the property of non-compositionality no longer constitutes a necessary condition to speak of constructions, as long as these structures are entrenched, i.e. characterized by frequency.

In the last few years CxG has gradually grown into a powerful descriptive and processing model which is now well-accepted in the scientific world, as attested by the organization of several scientific meetings focussing on different issues related to CxG, as well as the publication of collective volumes describing the new insights and advantages of the constructionist model (see among others Fried & Östman 2004, Östman & Fried 2005, Fischer & Stefanowitsch 2007, Stefanowitsch & Fischer 2008, Lasch & Ziem 2011, and Bouveret & Legallois 2012). Current research within the framework of CxG has mainly adopted a theoretical or descriptive approach, focussing on the principles of CxG, comparing it with other linguistic theories (e.g. valency theory, cf. Herbst & Stefanowitsch 2011 or Welke 2011), describing specific constructions (e.g. the well-known caused-motion construction or the ditransitive construction, to name just a few) or illustrating some of the CxG principles at work in constructions in different languages (e.g. Boas 2010 or De Knop, Mollica & Kuhn forthc. 2013). The applied perspective, on the other hand, that is the question of how applied areas like translation studies or language teaching or acquisition can benefit from a CxG-based approach has been largely neglected up to now. Notable exceptions include Liang (2002, quoted in Goldberg 2006), Gries & Wulff (2005, 2009) and Valenzuela Manzanares & Rojo Lopez (2008), who investigate the existence of constructions among foreign learners of English, and Wee (2007) and Holme (2010), who are interested in the use of CxG in the classroom (see also the special section of the 2009 Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics entitled ‘Constructing a Second Language’, as well as Ellis forthc. 2013 for an overview article on the links between CxG and second language acquisition). These studies have demonstrated the potential of using CxG for applied purposes and have provided interesting insights into the learning and teaching of constructions. However, they have only scratched the surface of constructionist applications, and many aspects of ‘applied construction grammar’ still remain to be explored. The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers applying CxG (and CxG-inspired approaches) to language pedagogy, which we understand here in a broad sense as covering foreign language teaching, but also foreign language learning and second language acquisition.

Keynote Speakers:

Adele Goldberg (Princeton University)
Thomas Herbst (Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Francisco Jose Ruiz de Mendoza Ibanez (Universidad de La Rioja)
Dominique Willems (Universiteit Gent)
Linguistic Subfield: Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Linguistic Theories
LL Issue: 24.3741

Calls and Conferences main page