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Radical Construction GrammarSyntactic Theory in Typological Perspective$
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William Croft

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299554

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299554.001.0001

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Dependency, Constituency, and Linear Order

Dependency, Constituency, and Linear Order

(p.175) 5 Dependency, Constituency, and Linear Order
Radical Construction Grammar

William Croft (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Syntactic structures or constructions are assumed to contain units belonging to syntactic categories and syntactic relations linking the units together. These syntactic relations are justified on the basis of a variety of linguistic evidence. This chapter and the following one critically analyse the linguistic evidence used to support syntactic relations. Following Nunberg et al. on idioms, it argues that idiomatic combinations and collocations provide evidence of semantic relations between the denotations of syntactic units, not syntactic relations. This leaves evidence of constituency, linear order, and dependencies coded by case marking and agreement, inter alia. The rest of the chapter demonstrates that various tests for constituency are either not crosslinguistically valid, or do not match; that head-marking and dependent-marking are better analysed in terms of functional differences; and that the putative syntactic relations implied by dependencies such as agreement or case marking do not match those implied by formal grouping.

Keywords:   idioms, collocations, syntactic relations, semantic relations, constructions

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