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Genre and constructional analysis

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Abstract

Constructional approaches to genre model genre knowledge in terms of genre-based constructions. Like all constructions, these represent conventionalized pairings of meaning and form, of varying degrees of length and schematicity, whose pragmatic specifications include their association with a particular socio-cultural context. In this state-of-the-art article I review genre-related constructional work, discussing grammatical patterns that are licensed only in particular contexts, including conversational genres, as well as expressions that qualify as constructions simply on the basis of socio-cultural currency. The appropriateness of constructional analysis for the language of genre derives from the definitional incorporation of discourse-pragmatic information in constructional descriptions and the possibility of relating genre-bound, idiosyncratic patterns to the rest of the constructions in a language through relations of inheritance. I further highlight the compatibility of Frame Semantics with the notion of genre and critically discuss the concept of conventionality as it applies to genre language.

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Keywords: Construction Grammar; conventionality; frame semantics; functional motivation; genre; genre-based (sensitive) constructions; grammatical constructions; register

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2018

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