Patterns of experience in patterns of language

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

23 Scopus citations


It is often assumed that the general overall form and meaning of a sentence is determined by the main verb, because in simple cases, this does seem to be the case. Argument structure constructions are a special subclass of constructions that provide the basic means of clausal expression in a language. If it is correct that the basic syntactic frames of a language are associated directly with meanings, then what children learn when they learn the syntactic patterns of simple sentences is the particular way certain basic scenarios of human experience are paired with forms in their language. The strongest interpretation of the syntactic bootstrapping hypothesis would be that every syntactic frame in which a verb occurs directly reflects a particular component of the verb's meaning. The notion of constructional meaning can make the nature of the zoom lens more precise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe New Psychology of Language
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive and Functional Approaches to Language Structure
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351541817
ISBN (Print)9780585115191
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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