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Constructions in Applied Linguistics: Innovation and Application of Corpus-based Construction Grammar

Sun, March 25, 8:00 to 11:15am, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Colorado Room

Session Submission Type: Colloquium


This colloquium presents corpus-based research into constructions, and argues for the application of this research to language acquisition, language teaching, and discourse analysis. The colloquium demonstrates the relevance of Construction Grammar to Applied Linguistics, specifically studies of SLA, reference resources for language teaching, and the analysis of academic discourse.


The concept of constructions, taken from Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. Goldberg 2005), offers huge potential to Applied Linguistics. At the same time, research from Applied Linguistics is already revising the construction research agenda. This colloquium will demonstrate this bi-directional influence and will highlight significant questions for future research. The colloquium presents research focusing on Second Language Acquisition (paper 1) and the analysis of discipline-led phraseology in academic discourse (paper 2), and offers ways into providing novel kinds of resources for language teaching (paper 3). In addition, the colloquium challenges previous approaches to constructions, proposing novel statistical approaches to the identification of collostructions (paper 4) and bringing into alignment research into grammar patterns that prioritises form and research into semantic frames that prioritises meaning (paper 3).
The contributors to the colloquium use corpus-based methodologies and share an interest in the patterning of language and the interface between lexis and grammar. They investigate constructions from a variety of perspectives. Some find that the notion of construction offers a valuable metalanguage for re-theorising and extending previous research into phraseology (papers 1 and 2); others use resources from corpus linguistics to re-evaluate constructions themselves (papers 3 and 4). Papers 1 and 3 focus on constructions comprising verbs and their complementation patterns; paper 2 considers constructions that are more akin to lexical bundles; paper 4 deals with constructions at several levels of specificity. All the papers present exciting new research by both established and more junior academics.
The colloquium comprises four papers, each allocated a 35-minute slot including a generous time allowance (10 minutes) for audience questions and discussion. At the end of the colloquium, following a contribution from the discussant (20 minutes), there will be a further opportunity for audience debate (20 minutes).
Goldberg, A. 2005. Constructions at Work. Oxford University Press.



Colloquium Papers

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