Observations about particular linguistic constructions have shaped our understanding of both particular languages and the nature of language itself. But only recently has a new theoretical approach emerged that allows observations about constructions to be stated directly, providing long-standing traditions with a framework that allows both broad generalizations and more limited patterns to be analysed and accounted for fully. Many linguists with varying backgrounds have converged on several key insights that have given rise to a family of approaches, here referred to as constructionist approaches. This chapter provides a concise overview of the main topic of the book: the nature of generalization in language.
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