Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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Utterance interpretation involves semantically specified codes and context-based pragmatic inferences, which complement each other. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the very complex relation between a subset of codes, Goldbergian constructions, specifically ones centering around ‘alternativity’, and pragmatic inferences. I analyze a variety of constructions and sub-constructions, emphasizing not only the role of coded constructions on the one hand, and of inferences, on the other hand, but also of cues, namely, linguistic forms that bias towards a specific interpretation, although they do not encode that interpretation. The synchronic variability with respect to the relative contribution of code, inference and cue reflects a grammaticization cycle whereby codes (here constructions) are routinely enriched by inferences, often supported by cues, which in turn may evolve into new codes (here sub-constructions).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): code; construction; cue; inference; or; sub-construction
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