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Title: Constructions at Work
Subtitle: The nature of generalization in language
Written By: Adele E. Goldberg

This book investigates the nature of generalization in language and
examines how language is known by adults and acquired by children. It looks
at how and why constructions are learned, the relation between their forms
and functions, and how cross-linguistic and language-internal
generalizations about them can be explained.

Constructions at Work is divided into three parts: in the first Professor
Goldberg provides an overview of constructionist approaches, including the
constructionist approach to argument structure, and argues for a
usage-based model of grammar. In Part II she addresses issues concerning
how generalizations are constrained and constructional generalizations are
learned. In Part III the author shows that a combination of function and
processing accounts for a wide range of language-internal and
cross-linguistic generalizations. She then considers the degree to which
the function of constructions explains their distribution and examines
cross-linguistic tendencies in argument realization. She demonstrates that
pragmatic and cognitive processes account for the data without appeal to
stipulations that are language-specific.

This book is an important contribution to the study of how language
operates in the mind and in the world and how these operations relate. It
is of central interest for scholars and graduate-level students in all
branches of theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics. It will also
appeal to cognitive scientists and philosophers concerned with language and
its acquisition.

Readership: Scholars and graduate-level students in all branches of
theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics; cognitive scientists and
philosophers concerned with language and its acquisition. Also designed to
serve as a senior or graduate level introduction to constructionist
approaches to language, either in psychology or linguistics.

Part One: Constructions
1. Overview
2. Surface Generalizations
3. Item Specific Knowledge and Generalizations
Part Two: Learning Generalizations
4. How Generalizations are Learned
5. How Generalizations are Constrained
6. Why Generalizations are Learned
Part Three: Explaining Generalizations
7. Island Constraints and Scope
8. Grammatical Categorization: Subject Auxiliary Inversion
9. Cross-linguistic Generalizations in Argument Realization
10. Variations on a Constructionist Theme
11. Conclusion

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199268525
ISBN-13: 9780199268528
Pages: 288
Prices: U.K. £ 17.50