Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Using the example of the alternation [to fish (det) river(s)]/[to fish prep (det) river(s)/], this paper adopts a corpus linguistics approach in order to show how it can contribute to studies in cognitive semantics, combining statistics with a more qualitative analysis. The main aim is to investigate whether these two constructions (with or without a preposition) correspond to a single meaning with alternations or to two distinct meanings. Two studies, both using the Web as corpus, were carried out to elucidate this issue. The first study compared occurrences of the two constructions on French and English websites and showed that, statistically speaking, the construction without a preposition occurs mainly in angling websites that have an emotional dimension, such as blogs. The second study, focusing solely on English websites, examined the lexical environment of the two constructions and identified certain distinct semantic classes for each construction, defining two semantic scenarios. These two semantic scenarios were found to correlate closely with the nature of the website. In light of the corpus evidence, the paper concludes in favor of two meanings, each concerned by one or the other construction (with or without a preposition). The role of the emotional dimension in the relationship between the angler and the river is crucial in determining the presence or absence of a preposition before . Such a conclusion positions this study firmly in the perspective of cognitive sociolinguistics.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anthony, L.
    (2012) AntConc (Version 3.3.2) [Computer Software]. Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Available fromwww.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baumann, K.-D.
    (2007) A communicative-cognitive approach to emotion in LSP communication. InK. Ahmad & M. Rogers (Eds.), Evidence-based LSP (pp.323–344). Bern: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bybee, J.
    (2006) From usage to grammar: The mind’s response to repetition. Language, 82 (4), 711–733. 10.1353/lan.2006.0186
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2006.0186 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bybee, J. & Hopper, P.
    (2001) Introduction. InJ. Bybee & P. Hopper (Eds), Frequency and the emergence of linguistic structure (pp.1–61). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.45
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.45 [Google Scholar]
  5. Condamines, A.
    (2013) Quand la passion autorise la transitivation d’un circonstanciel de lieu. Journal of French Language Studies, 23(3), 335–356. 10.1017/S095926951300001X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S095926951300001X [Google Scholar]
  6. (2017) The emotional dimension in terminological variation: The example of transitivization of the locative complement in fishing. InP. Drouin, A. Francoeur, J. Humbley & A. Picton (Eds.), Multiple perspectives on terminological variation (pp.11–30). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tlrp.18.01con
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tlrp.18.01con [Google Scholar]
  7. Croft, W.
    (2012) Verbs: Aspects and causal structure. Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248582.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248582.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  8. DeLancey, S.
    (1984) Transitivity in grammar and cognition. InRussell S. Tomlin (Ed.), Coherence and grounding in discourse (pp.53–69). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.11.04del
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.11.04del [Google Scholar]
  9. Fillmore, C. & Baker, C.
    (2009) A frames approach to semantic analysis. InB. Heine & H. Narrog (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of linguistic analysis (pp.313–339). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Geeraerts, D.
    (2006) A rough guide to Cognitive Linguistics. InD. Geeraerts (ed.), Cognitive linguistics: Basic readings (pp.1–28). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199901
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199901 [Google Scholar]
  11. Geeraerts, D., Kristiansen, G., & Peirsman, Y.
    (2010) Introduction. InD. Geeraerts, G. Kristiansen & Y. Peirsman (Eds.), Advances in cognitive sociolinguistics (pp.1–21). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110226461
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110226461 [Google Scholar]
  12. Goldberg, A.
    (1995) A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (1996) Jackendoff and construction-based grammar. Cognitive Linguistics, 7 (1), 3–20. 10.1515/cogl.1996.7.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.1996.7.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  14. Gries, S.
    (2015) The role of quantitative methods in Cognitive Linguistics: Corpus and experimental data on (relative) frequency and contingency of words and constructions. InJ. Daems et al. (Eds.), Change of paradigms – New paradoxes: Recontextualizing language and linguistics (pp.311–325). Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. (2013) Data in construction grammar. InG. Trousdale & T. Hoffmann (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of construction grammar (pp.93–108). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195396683.013.0006
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195396683.013.0006 [Google Scholar]
  16. Heylen, K., Tummers, J. & Geeraerts, D.
    (2008) Methodological issues in corpus-based cognitive linguistics. InG. Kristiansen and R. Dirven (Eds.), Cognitive sociolinguistics: Language variation, cultural Models, social System (pp.91–128). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199154.2.91
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199154.2.91 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hopper, P. J., & Thompson, S. A.
    (1980) Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language, 56(2), 251–299. 10.1353/lan.1980.0017
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1980.0017 [Google Scholar]
  18. Hymes, Dell H.
    (1967) Models of the interaction of language and social setting. Journal of Social Issues, 23(2), 8–38. 10.1111/j.1540‑4560.1967.tb00572.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1967.tb00572.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Johnson, M.
    (1987): The body in the mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226177847.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226177847.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  20. Jørgensen, M. W., & Phillips, L.
    (2002) Discourse analysis as theory and method. London: Sage. 10.4135/9781849208871
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849208871 [Google Scholar]
  21. Kilgarriff, A.
    (1997) Using word frequency lists to measure corpus homogeneity and similarity between corpora. Proceedings of ACL-SIGDAT Workshop on Very Large Corpora, Beijing and Hong Kong, 231–245.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kilgarriff, A., & Grefenstette, G.
    (2003) Introduction to the special issue on web as corpus. Computational Linguistics29 (3), 333–348. 10.1162/089120103322711569
    https://doi.org/10.1162/089120103322711569 [Google Scholar]
  23. Kristiansen, G., & Dirven, R.
    (2008) (Eds.). Cognitive sociolinguistics: Language variation, cultural model, social Systems. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110199154
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199154 [Google Scholar]
  24. Lazard, G.
    (1984) Actance variations and categories of the object. InF. Plank (Ed.), Objects. Towards a theory of grammatical relations (pp.269–292). London: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Levin, B., & Rappaport, M.
    (2005) Argument Realization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511610479
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511610479 [Google Scholar]
  26. Perek, F.
    (2015) Argument structure in usage-based construction grammar. Experimental and corpus-based perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cal.17
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cal.17 [Google Scholar]
  27. Pütz, M., Robinson, J. A., & Reif, M.
    (2014) Cognitive sociolinguistics: Social and cultural variation in cognition and language use. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/bct.59
    https://doi.org/10.1075/bct.59 [Google Scholar]
  28. Rayson, P., & Garside, R.
    (2000) Comparing corpora using frequency profiling. Proceedings of the Workshop on Comparing Corpora, 9, 1–6. 10.3115/1117729.1117730
    https://doi.org/10.3115/1117729.1117730 [Google Scholar]
  29. Rice, S. A.
    (1987) Towards a cognitive-model of transitivity. PhD Thesis. University of California.
  30. Stefanowitsch, A.
    (2011) Cognitive linguistics meets the corpus. InM. Brdar, M. Žic Fuchs, & S. Th. Gries (Eds.), Expanding cognitive linguistic horizons (pp.257–290). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/hcp.32.16ste
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.32.16ste [Google Scholar]
  31. Talmy, L.
    (2000) Toward a cognitive semantics. Vol.1. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

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