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Explain Me This: Creativity, Competition, and the Partial Productivity of Constructions by [Goldberg, Adele E.]
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Explain Me This: Creativity, Competition, and the Partial Productivity of Constructions Kindle Edition


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Length: 210 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Review

“This is an engagingly written and wide-ranging approach to linguistic knowledge that combines linguistic analyses, studies of child language acquisition, and studies of adult language production and comprehension. Explain Me This is thought provoking, entertaining, and full of great observations and ideas.—Maryellen MacDonald, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Product Description

Why our use of language is highly creative yet also constrained

We use words and phrases creatively to express ourselves in ever-changing contexts, readily extending language constructions in new ways. Yet native speakers also implicitly know when a creative and easily interpretable formulation—such as “Explain me this” or “She considered to go”—doesn’t sound quite right. In this incisive book, Adele Goldberg explores how these creative but constrained language skills emerge from a combination of general cognitive mechanisms and experience.

Shedding critical light on an enduring linguistic paradox, Goldberg demonstrates how words and abstract constructions are generalized and constrained in the same ways. When learning language, we record partially abstracted tokens of language within the high-dimensional conceptual space that is used when we speak or listen. Our implicit knowledge of language includes dimensions related to form, function, and social context. At the same time, abstract memory traces of linguistic usage-events cluster together on a subset of dimensions, with overlapping aspects strengthened via repetition. In this way, dynamic categories that correspond to words and abstract constructions emerge from partially overlapping memory traces, and as a result, distinct words and constructions compete with one another each time we select them to express our intended messages.

While much of the research on this puzzle has favored semantic or functional explanations over statistical ones, Goldberg’s approach stresses that both the functional and statistical aspects of constructions emerge from the same learning mechanisms.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2489 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0691174261
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (12 February 2019)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07FY2XLGZ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #838,599 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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