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A radical construction grammar perspective on the modal particle-discourse particle distinction

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Abstract

In this paper, we suggest to approach issues of definitions of discourse and modal particles by taking a construction grammatical perspective and thus to study the formal and functional properties of these items as form-meaning pairings, i.e. as constructions. We furthermore propose to distinguish between the contributions of lexical and grammatical constructions. In accordance with Croft’s (2001) Radical Construction Grammar approach, cross-linguistic comparison is then carried out on the basis of the conceptual space, which comprises the language specific sets of functions discourse and modal particles fulfill cross-linguistically. We illustrate the model proposed on a contrastive analysis of German also and Swedish alltså, which function both as discourse and modal particles.

References

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