Construction-functions versus construction-strategies
Martin Haspelmath
June 2024

This paper discusses the contrast between two modes of typological comparison of grammatical constructions, following a distinction made by Croft (2022): We may start out from (construction-)functions and consider the diverse (construction-)strategies that languages use, or we may focus on the strategies themselves (e.g. reflexive constructions, passives, copula constructions). Both kinds of comparative concepts are widely practiced, but our traditional grammatical terms are often used in different ways. Here I suggest that we can avoid confusions and arrive at clearer terminologies if we take this distinction into account, and I discuss the concrete example of the term existential construction (best regarded as a construction-function, not a kind of construction-strategy).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007897
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: to appear in "Locative and existential predication: Forms, functions and neighboring domains", ed. by Chris Lasse Däbritz, Josefina Budzisch and Rodolfo Basile (Berlin: Language Science Press)
keywords: construction, comparative concept, existential construction, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [November 2023]
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