Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The present contribution summarizes findings on the understudied area of Italian valency coercion – i. e. the interaction of verbs and argument structure constructions in novel and creative ways – from four different studies. It highlights their innovative character, theoretical significance, and crosslinguistic implications for Construction Grammar. The paper suggests that valency coercion resolution involve different phenomena, such as distributional properties of constructions and compatibility between verb and construction. Sociolinguistic factors such as age and diatopic variables are also suggested to be relevant.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Barak, Libby , and Adele Goldberg
    2017 “Modeling the Partial Productivity of Constructions.” InProceedings of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Symposium on Computational Construction Grammar and Natural Language Understanding: Technical Report SS-17-02,131–138. Stanford: AAAI.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barðdal, Johanna
    2008Productivity: Evidence from Case and Argument Structure in Icelandic. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cal.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cal.8 [Google Scholar]
  3. Boas, Hans C.
    2011 “Coercion and Leaking Argument Structures in Construction Grammar.” Linguistics49 (6): 1271–1303. 10.1515/ling.2011.036
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2011.036 [Google Scholar]
  4. Boas, Hans C. , and Francisco Gonzálvez-García
    (eds.) 2014Romance Perspectives on Construction Grammar. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cal.15
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cal.15 [Google Scholar]
  5. Buchstaller, Isabelle
    2006 “Diagnostics of Age-graded Linguistic Behaviour: The Case of the Quotative System.” Journal of Sociolinguistics10 (1): 3–30. 10.1111/j.1360‑6441.2006.00315.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-6441.2006.00315.x [Google Scholar]
  6. Busso, Lucia , Alessandro Lenci , and Florent Perek
    2020 “Valency Coercion in Italian.” Constructions and Frames12 (2): 171–205. 10.1075/cf.00039.bus
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cf.00039.bus [Google Scholar]
  7. Busso, Lucia , Ludovica Pannitto , and Alessandro Lenci
    2018 “Modelling Italian Construction Flexibility with Distributional Semantics: Are Constructions Enough?” InProceedings of the Fifth Italian Conference on Computational Linguistics (CLiC-it 2018), ed. by Elena Cabrio , Alessandro Mazzei , and Fabio Tamburini , 68–74. CEUR-WS Team. 10.4000/books.aaccademia.3106
    https://doi.org/10.4000/books.aaccademia.3106 [Google Scholar]
  8. Busso, Lucia , Florent Perek , and Alessandro Lenci
    . In press. “Constructional Associations Trump Lexical Associations in Processing Valency Coercion.” Cognitive Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Busso, Lucia , and Domenica Romagno
    . Forthcoming. “Caused Motion Constructions between standard and substandard: entrare, uscire, scendere, salire in contemporary Italian.” Italian Journal of Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Bybee, Joan
    2010Language, Usage and Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511750526
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511750526 [Google Scholar]
  11. Cerruti, Massimo
    2011 “Regional Varieties of Italian in the Linguistic Repertoire.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language210: 9–28. 10.1515/ijsl.2011.028
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.2011.028 [Google Scholar]
  12. de Swart, Henriette
    1998 “Aspect Shift and Coercion.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory16: 347–385. 10.1023/A:1005916004600
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005916004600 [Google Scholar]
  13. Eckert, Penelope
    2017 “Age as a Sociolinguistic Variable.” InThe Handbook of Sociolinguistics, ed. by Florian Coulmas , 151–167. New York: Wiley. 10.1002/9781405166256.ch9
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405166256.ch9 [Google Scholar]
  14. Ellis, Nick
    2019 “Essentials of a Theory of Language Cognition.” The Modern Language Journal103 (1): 39–60. 10.1111/modl.12532
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12532 [Google Scholar]
  15. Fried, Mirjam , and Jan-Ola Östman
    2004 “Construction Grammar: A Thumbnail Sketch.” InConstruction Grammar in a Cross-language Perspective, ed. by Mirjam Fried , and Jan-Ola Östman , 11–86. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cal.2.02fri
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cal.2.02fri [Google Scholar]
  16. Goldberg, Adele
    1995Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2006Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. 2019Explain Me This. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Kuznetsova, Alexandra , Per B. Brockhoff , and Rune H. B. Christensen
    2017 “lmerTest Package: Tests in Linear Mixed Effects Models.” Journal of Statistical Software82 (13): 1–26. 10.18637/jss.v082.i13
    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v082.i13 [Google Scholar]
  20. Hilpert, Martin
    2015 “From Hand-carved to Computerbased: Noun-participle Compounding and the Upward Strengthening Hypothesis.” Cognitive Linguistics26 (1): 113–147. 10.1515/cog‑2014‑0001
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2014-0001 [Google Scholar]
  21. Johnson, Matt A. , and Adele Goldberg
    2013 “Evidence for Automatic Accessing of Constructional Meaning: Jabberwocky Sentences Prime Associated Verbs.” Language and Cognitive Processes28 (10): 1439–1452. 10.1080/01690965.2012.717632
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690965.2012.717632 [Google Scholar]
  22. Koch, Peter
    2001Lexical Typology from a Cognitive and Linguistic Point of View. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Lauwers, Peter and Dominique Willems
    2011 “Coercion: Definition and Challenges, Current Approaches, and New Trends.” Linguistics49 (6): 1219–1235. 10.1515/ling.2011.034
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2011.034 [Google Scholar]
  24. Lebani, Gianluca , and Alessandro Lenci
    2017 “Modelling the Meaning of Argument Constructions with Distributional Semantics.” InProceedings of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Symposium on Computational Construction Grammar and Natural Language Understanding: Technical Report SS-17-02, 197–204. Stanford: AAAI.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lenci, Alessandro
    2018 “Distributional Models of Word Meaning.” Annual Review of Linguistics4: 151–171. 10.1146/annurev‑linguistics‑030514‑125254
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-030514-125254 [Google Scholar]
  26. Levin, Beth
    1993English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Loporcaro, Michele
    2013Profilo linguistico dei dialetti italiani [Linguistic Profile of Italian Dialects]. Bari: Laterza.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Masini, Francesca
    2005 “Multi-Word Expressions Between Syntax and the Lexicon: The Case of Italian Verb-particle Constructions.” SKY Journal of Linguistics18: 145–173.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Michaelis, Laura
    2004 “Type Shifting in Construction Grammar: An Integrated Approach to Aspectual Coercion.” Cognitive Linguistics15 (1): 1–67. 10.1515/cogl.2004.001
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2004.001 [Google Scholar]
  30. Perek, Florent
    2016 “Using Distributional Semantics to Study Syntactic Productivity in Diachrony: a Case Study.” Linguistics54 (1): 149–188. 10.1515/ling‑2015‑0043
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2015-0043 [Google Scholar]
  31. Perek, Florent , and Adele Goldberg
    2017 “Linguistic Generalization on the Basis of Function and Constraints on the Basis of Statistical Preemption.” Cognition168: 276–293. 10.1016/j.cognition.2017.06.019
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2017.06.019 [Google Scholar]
  32. Perek, Florent , and Martin Hilpert
    2014 “Constructional Tolerance: Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Acceptability of Non-Conventional Uses of Constructions”. Constructions and Frames6 (2): 266–304. 10.1075/cf.6.2.06per
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cf.6.2.06per [Google Scholar]
  33. Pustejovsky, James
    2011 “Coercion in a General Theory of Argument Selection.” Linguistics49 (6): 1401–1431. 10.1515/ling.2011.039
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2011.039 [Google Scholar]
  34. Ricca, Davide
    1993I verbi deittici di movimento in Europa: una ricerca interlinguistica [Deictic Movement Verbs in Europe: a Crosslinguistic Research]. Firenze: La Nuova Italia Editrice.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Singmann, Henrik , Ben Bolker , Jake Westfall , and Frederik Aust
    2020Afex: Analysis of Factorial Experiments. R package.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Suttle, Laura , and Adele Goldberg
    2011 “The Partial Productivity of Constructions as Induction.” Linguistics49 (6): 1237–1269. 10.1515/ling.2011.035
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.2011.035 [Google Scholar]
  37. Wagner, Suzanne
    2012 “Age Grading in Sociolinguistic Theory.” Language and Linguistics Compass6 (6): 371–382. 10.1002/lnc3.343
    https://doi.org/10.1002/lnc3.343 [Google Scholar]
  38. Wonnacott, Elizabeth
    2013 “Statistical Mechanisms in Language Acquisition.” InThe Language Phenomenon, ed. by Paul Binder , and Katherine Smith , 65–92. Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑642‑36086‑2_4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36086-2_4 [Google Scholar]
  39. Yoon, Soyeon
    2016 “Gradable Nature of Semantic Compatibility and Coercion: A Usage-Based Approach.” Linguistic Research33 (1): 95–134. 10.17250/khisli.33.1.201603.005
    https://doi.org/10.17250/khisli.33.1.201603.005 [Google Scholar]
  40. 2019 “Coercion and Language Change: a Usage-Based Approach.” Linguistic Research36 (1): 111–139. 10.17250/khisli.36.1.201903.005
    https://doi.org/10.17250/khisli.36.1.201903.005 [Google Scholar]
  41. Zeschel, Arne
    2012Incipient Productivity: a Construction-Based Approach to Linguistic Creativity. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110274844
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110274844 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): coercion; construction grammar; experimental linguistics; Italian
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error