Virtual lexicogrammar

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In this chapter, a proposal is made to anchor considerations on the lexicon-grammar continuity in the notions of metonymy and virtuality. In cognitive linguistics, as discussed subsequently in the chapter, metonymy is viewed as operating at the very heart of language, i.e. within the linguistic sign. But rather than being an ultimate prime, it is shown here to derive from a more fundamental phenomenon of the virtual as real – this is linked with Ronald Langacker’s idea of the indeterminacy of grammatical coding. Following this, a view of lexicogrammar is proposed such that metonymy-qua-virtuality operates at all levels of linguistic complexity because it operates within the very network of relationships between linguistic form, conceptualization, and the real world.


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