Syntactic patterns, or constructions, are more or less ‘productive’, depending on their lexical scope and their meaning. For instance, in English the transitive construction is found with thousands of verbs, while the almost obsolete dative subject construction is restricted to only a handful of verbs, like think (Me thinks that ...) and seem (Me seems that …). The current project offers an interdisciplinary approach to the enterprise of comparing attested productivity in present-day language use as well as through history. This involves both on-line and off-line language processing, including different measures of the impact of personal variables. This is the main challenge of the present project, which otherwise aims at disentangling what language productivity really is and how it works.
This Concerted Research Action (GOA; 2019-2024) is funded by Ghent University’s Special Research Fund (BOF) and is conducted by an interdisciplinary consortium of linguists and psycholinguists.
Affiliated researchers: Kris Heylen, Torsten Leuschner, Quentin Feltgen.
Postdocs: Mark Hoff, Anna Jessen
Kick-off: first of October 2019.