The place of sociopragmatics in construction grammars: review and prospects

Desagulier Guillaume
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2011.1149
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Under the influence of cognitive linguistics, construction grammars make no principled distinction between semantics and pragmatics. Most construction grammars claim that meaning does not derive from abstract principles and cannot be apprehended outside a specific context. In fact, meaning is part of a network of representations that are both culturally situated and structured by experience. In construction grammars, semantics is thus very close to traditional pragmatics. Even if construction-grammar supporters have good reasons to reject the semantics/pragmatics distinction, they have done so at the expense of pragmatics. This is problematic because pragmatics has a lot to offer when it comes to explaining the use of constructions in terms of context, interaction, and communities of practice. Most construction grammars are only too willing to explain sociopragmatic phenomena by means of semantics, with the result that key constructional features are lost. This may be because in many construction-grammar architectures, the pragmatic level is too narrow.

Pour citer cet article :

Desagulier Guillaume (2011/2). The place of sociopragmatics in construction grammars: review and prospects. In Guignard Jean-Baptiste (Eds), Cognitive Linguistics: A Critical Exploration, Intellectica, 56, (pp.99-124), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2011.1149.