Levels of description and explanation in meaning construction

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This article proposes the Lexical Constructional Model (LCM) as an explanatorily adequate model for the investigation of meaning construction at all levels of linguistic description, including pragmatics and discourse. The LCM has an argument structure module or level 1 module consisting of elements of syntactically relevant semantic interpretation. Then it has three basically idiomatic modules dealing with cognitively entrenched meaning implications deriving from the application of low-level and high-level inferential schemas (levels 2 and 3 respectively) and with discourse aspects of meaning, especially cohesion and coherence phenomena (level 4). Each level is either subsumed into a higher-level constructional configuration or acts as a cue for the activation of a relevant conceptual structure that yields an implicit meaning derivation. Interaction between lexical and constructional configurations (at whatever description level) is regulated by a number of constraints that are either internal or external to the process.


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