Original scientific article
Page 269 - 293

A new look at word classes in Cognitive Grammar

Cristiano Broccias
E-mail: c.broccias@unige.it
University of Genoa

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Abstract: Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar aims to offer a conceptual characterization of word classes. Pivotal to this endeavor is the distinction between a “thing” and a “relation” as well as the claim that relations can be scanned either sequentially or summarily. The difference between the two scanning modes is essential to separate, for example, enter as a finite verb from the dynamic preposition into. In this paper, the debate on the status and relevance of the two scanning modes is revisited and the very notion of relation is subjected to close scrutiny, thus revealing its potentially problematic nature. A new way of looking at word classes based on the notions of evolving vs. non-evolving categorization sequences, extrinsicality vs. intrinsicality, and anchorability is developed, which constitutes a radical departure from Cognitive Grammar despite being compatible with its fundamental assumptions.
word classes, Cognitive Grammar, summary scanning, sequential scanning, relation,
Article data in other languages: German