Toward an integrated view of structure, processing, and discourse
Research in Cognitive Grammar divides into two broad phases. The first phase provided an integrated account of lexicon, morphology, and syntax as inherently meaningful structures; it offered a radical alternative to the generative paradigm based on modularity, constituency, and the autonomy of syntax. The current phase aims at a broader synthesis subsuming structure, processing, and discourse.Linguistic structures are never self-contained, but draw upon a substrate of indefinite extent, encompassing the speech situation, the context, background knowledge, and the ongoing discourse. The substrate includes the speaker-hearer interaction, which is part of an expression’s meaning even when left implicit. Recognition of the substrate allows a straightforward treatment of phenomena that are problematic when expressions are analyzed in isolation.