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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The English Change Network Add Dissertation
Author: Cristiano Broccias Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Università degli Studi di Pavia, Center of Social Philosophy
Completed in: 2001
Linguistic Subfield(s): Semantics; Syntax;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Michele Prandi
Maria Pavesi
Davide Ricca

Abstract: This monograph studies the instantiations of the syntactic structure NP V (NP) XP, where XP stands for a dynamically construable predicate, to be called CHANGE PHRASE. Indeed, the change phrase represents the common core of many (CHANGE) CONSTRUCTIONS that contain a non-verbal phrase predicated of some entity (not necessarily expressed in the syntax) which undergoes a change of either state or position. Among the constructions amenable to a unified treatment are not only Levin's (1993) resultative construction and van der Leek's (1996) conative construction, but also largely ignored types such as intransitive and transitive sublexical change constructions (e.g. "John was weeping into his arms"; "He buttoned his coat to the top"), transitive subject-oriented change constructions (e.g. "East Timor may beat Britain into the Eurozone"), conceptualiser-oriented change constructions (e.g. "Harry drove the sword to the hilt into the roof of the serprent's mouth"), like-change constructions (e.g. "They were cowed into submission"), force-spatial change constructions (e.g. "The bullet tore into his leg"), creation constructions (e.g. "They cut a bench into the corner"), mildly causative structures (e.g. "The butler bowed the guests in"), and 'asymmetric' resultatives (e.g. "Sally kissed the anxiety away from Chris"). Further, this work develops an innovative representational system for the various change constructions based on the postulation of schemas (akin to those of Cognitive Grammar) which account for the flexibility of compositional processes.

Change constructions are studied according to five dimensions of variation: causality between V and XP, selection of the change phrase, orientation of the change phrase, transitivity, and temporal dependency.

The existence of a common core for various change constructions implies that they define a CHANGE NETWORK (comprising what are called the Force Change Schema, the Event Change Schema, the Event Force Change Schema, the Alllative Schema, and the Allative/Ablative Schema). Such a claim fits in the cognitive view of linguistic items not as independent units but as interconnected elements within a system. In particular, by subscribing to the theoretical underpinnings of Cognitive Grammar, this work aims to shed light on the nature of the change system. The change network is argued to revolve around the dual categorisation of events in terms of either forces (as in the Force Change Schema) or paths (as in the Event Change Schema) or both (as in the Event Force Change Schema). Force categorisation coincides with the activation of a very basic cognitive model, Langacker's billiard-ball model, as a means of linguistic symbolisation. Path categorisation by default structures those events which are not regarded as involving a (causal) unidirectional energy flow. Both force and path categorisation can involve the integration of two subevents, whose richness in compositional possibilities is thoroughly explored. Complexity, however, does not only pertain to the multi-faceted instantiations of a given schema but also involves the interaction between schemas. Some structures can be described adequately only as instantiations of schemas (such as the Force Event Change Schema and the Allative/Ablative Schema) which share features with both the opposite poles of the imaginary schematic continuum.