Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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In recent years, there has been considerable discussion about the nature of clausal subordination (cf., for instance, Schilperoord & Verhagen 1998, Verhagen 2001, Verhagen to appear, Diessel & Tomasello 2001, Thompson 2002). One of the foci has been the status of complement clauses of complement-taking predicates like think. Roughly speaking, the two poles of the issue are the ‘traditional’ assumption according to which the ‘main clause’ is central, and a new ‘usage-based’ picture according to which the ‘complement clause’ is central and the ‘main clause’ is more or less an appendix. From the point of view of an approach that sees structure as having a central role in an overall cognitive-functional picture, this potential polarization is at risk of separating issues that should be kept together. The aim of this paper is to show how a picture that is fully committed to maintaining the role of structural (including structural-semantic) subordination can simultaneously remain fully faithful to principles of usage-based linguistics. Ontogeny and phylogeny (acquisition and diachrony) are central elements in the picture.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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