By Hans C. Boas
The papers during this quantity supply a contrastive software of development Grammar. through referencing a well-described constructional phenomenon in English, every one paper offers a high-quality starting place for describing and reading its constructional counterpart in one other language. This strategy indicates that the semantic description (including discourse-pragmatic and useful components) of an English building will be considered as a primary step in the direction of a "tertium comparationis" that may be hired for evaluating and contrasting the formal homes of constructional opposite numbers in different languages. therefore, the which means pole of buildings could be considered as the first foundation for comparisons of buildings throughout languages – the shape pole is simply secondary. This quantity exhibits that buildings are plausible descriptive and analytical instruments for cross-linguistic comparisons that give the chance to trap either language-specific (idiosyncratic) homes in addition to cross-linguistic generalizations
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Extra info for Contrastive Studies in Construction Grammar
Like English, Swedish maintains several case distinctions in pronouns that are lost in nominal morphology (Teleman et al. 1999). As in English, it is possible to use either nominative or accusative case in examples such as (6). (6) a. Bob is taller than I/me. b. Bob är längre än jag / mig. ’ What then is the cross-linguistic difference here? Inspection of corpus data reveals that the two languages display inverse preferences for the choices that are shown in Example (6) – Swedish shows a tendency towards pronouns in the nominative case, whereas English prefers the objective case.
For instance, Mondorf (2003: 262) shows that a to-infinitive complement following the comparative adjective correlates with increased usage of the periphrastic variant. Leech and Culpeper (1997) contrast attributive and predicative uses of comparative constructions, showing that attributive usage correlates with a bias towards the morphological comparative. Conversely, predicative usage is demonstrated to correlate with increased formation of the periphrastic comparative (1997: 366). Both Leech and Culpeper (1997: 367) and Lindquist (1998: 127) find that premodification affects the choice between the morphological and the periphrastic comparative.
In general, however, greater word length correlates with greater usage of the periphrastic comparative in both languages. 2 A final lateral in monosyllabic adjectives As was shown in the previous section, English monosyllabic adjectives overwhelmingly form the morphological comparative. In cases in which they do not, there is usually a conditioning factor that is responsible for the deviation. One such factor is a word-final lateral. Most monosyllabic adjectives ending in /l/ form the periphrastic variant more often than expected.