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Belgian Journal of Linguistics

image of Belgian Journal of Linguistics
ISSN 0774-5141
E-ISSN 1569-9676

The <em>Belgian Journal of Linguistics</em> is the annual publication of the Linguistic Society of Belgium and includes selected contributions from the international meetings organized by the LSB. Its volumes are topical and address a wide range of subjects in different fields of linguistics and neighboring disciplines (e.g. translation, poetics, political discourse). The <em>BJL</em> transcends its local basis, not only through the international orientation of its active advisory board, but also by inviting international scholars, both to act as guest editors and to contribute original papers. Articles go through an external and discriminating review process with due attention to ensuring the maintenance of the journal's high-quality content.

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  • The syntax–lexicon continuum in Construction Grammar: A case study of English communication verbs
    • Author: Hans C. Boas
    • Source: Belgian Journal of Linguistics, Volume 24, Issue 1, 2010, pages: 54 –82
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    • This paper offers an alternative analysis of Goldberg’s (1995) account of communication verbs appearing in the ditransitive construction. Based on a more finely-grained frame-semantic analysis of constructional phenomena, it is shown that generalizations over specific syntactic frames are possible at different levels of semantic abstraction. This, in turn, allows us to make across-the-board generalizations that hold not only between lexical units evoking the same frame, but also between lexical units belonging to different frames at different levels of abstraction. The resulting network of constructions combines Goldberg’s proposals regarding the status of abstract-schematic constructions with item-specific knowledge regarding the specific lexical units, with various midpoints in between. This approach has the advantage that there is no need for fusing lexical entries with abstract meaningful constructions, thereby avoiding some of the problems that arise due to the separation of syntax and the lexicon in some constructional approaches.
  • Explicitness, implicitness and commitment attribution: A cognitive pragmatic approach
    • Authors: Patrick Morency, Steve Oswald, and Louis de Saussure
    • Source: Belgian Journal of Linguistics, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2008, pages: 197 –219
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    • This paper proposes a cognitive-pragmatic alternative to the traditional, speech-acttheoretic, account of the notion of commitment. The perspective adopted here questions the relevance of addressing actual commitment as a speaker category and shifts the focus of the discussion from properties of speaker commitment to processes ofcommitment attribution. Using a relevance-theoretic framework, it will be suggested that inferring commitment in ordinary, cooperative, communication is part of the processes by which hearers derive speaker meaning, and that the degree of reliability that a hearer may expect to attain in attributing commitment to a speaker correlates with the degree of certainty associated to the derivation of explicatures and implicatures from an utterance.
  • A question of commitment
    • Author: Christine Gunlogson
    • Source: Belgian Journal of Linguistics, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2008, pages: 101 –136
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    • This paper addresses certain restrictions on the use of declaratives as questions in English. Declaratives are taken to express commitment by the speaker, even in a questioning use. The analysis traces the restrictions to two distinct contextual factors: (i) a general principle requiring that a commitment have a recognized source, i.e., a discourse agent who plausibly has independent evidence supporting the content committed to; (ii) specific to a questioning interpretation, the need for the context to support the inference that the speaker’s commitment depends upon the addressee’s anticipated confirmation. Rising intonation contributes a very general element of meaning, indicating that the utterance it marks is contingent upon some discourse condition obtaining; the specific conditions required for a questioning interpretation instantiate one such type of contingency. The proposals are modeled via elaboration of standard contextual structures in a possible-worlds framework.
  • Quotation in Context
    • Authors: Bart Geurts, and Emar Maier
    • Source: Belgian Journal of Linguistics, Volume 17, Issue 1, 2003, pages: 109 –128
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    • It appears that in mixed quotations like the following, the quoted expression is used and mentioned at the same time:George says Tony is his ‘bestest friend’.Most theories seek to account for this observation by assuming that mixed quotations operate at two levels of content at once. In contradistinction to such two-dimensional theories, we propose that quotation involves just a single level of content. Quotation always produces a change in meaning of the quoted expression, and if the quotation is mixed the shift is, to a first approximation at least, from α to ‘what x calls ‘α’’, where x is a variable whose value is determined by the context. We argue that quotation is generally context dependent in various ways, and that some of these ways are presuppositional in nature; we present a detailed analysis of the presuppositions in question.
  • On the Notion "Functional Explanation"
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