• Special Issue "35 Years of Constructions" (Editors: Lotte Sommerer & Stefan Hartmann)

    A language can associate semantic information with structures larger than elementary lexical items and can associate semantic interpretation principles with syntactic configurations larger and more complex than those definable by means of single phrase structure rules.

    (Fillmore, Kay & O’Connor 1988: 534)´


    The well-known conceptual metaphor ‘THEORIES ARE BUILDUNGS’ (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) suggests that theories are developed, rather than born. As such, it is impossible to pinpoint an exact point in time when a particular theory came to life. Nevertheless, the publication of Lakoff’s  There - study (1987) or Fillmore, Kay & O’Connor’s Let alone - paper (1988)  can be seen as two of the key starting points of Construction Grammar, which has since grown into a broad and diverse field of research (e.g. Hoffmann & Trousdale 2013; Boas 2021). The papers just mentioned already established a number of central ideas that were later spelled out in more detail in Goldberg’s (1995) seminal monograph, which arguably consolidated the field and helped establish it as a major linguistic framework in its own right.

    We want to use the 35th anniversary of Fillmore et al.’s paper as an opportunity to discuss the current state-of-the-art in Construction Grammar by engaging with constructional Classics (papers and monographs) that have shaped the framework over the last decades (e.g. Michaelis and Lambrecht 1996; Israel 1996; Jackendoff 1997; Croft 2001; Tomasello 2003; Cappelle 2006; among many others). We therefore invite authors to submit empirical studies as well as non-empirical think-pieces which take a cue or concept from these early influential papers and discuss to what extent the ideas hold up in more recent approaches, especially in the light of new empirical evidence. The idea is that the original arguments and ideas are briefly summarized after which the authors present their own research (critically) reflecting on the concept(s) highlighted and proposed in the key papers. It is also up to the contributors to freely choose a  ‘younger’ key paper for discussion and explain why they consider their choice seminal. 

  • Vol. 13 (2020-2021)
    Vol 13 (2021)
  • Vol. 11 (2016-2018)
    Vol 11 (2018)
  • Vol. 9 (2014): Special Issue on Swedish, edited by Benjamin Lyngfelt & Camilla Wide
    Vol 9 (2014)

    This special issue of Constructions on Swedish illustrates the versatility and wide applicability of constructionist approaches. In their introduction to the volume, Lyngelt and Wide first relate how construction grammar was introduced and established in Swedish linguistics. Then they provide a brief introduction to construction grammar as such. By way of Swedish examples, they illustrate some of the central ideas in construction grammar, such as multigrain generalizations and intermingling of linguistic levels. Finally, they present the contributions to the volume: Jan Anward deals with recycling in conversation; Sheila Dooley accounts for the comparative correlative ju … desto construction; Björn Hammarberg treats comparative constructions from the viewpoint of acquisition; Jan Lindström and Anne-Marie Londen provide an interactional account of concessive constructions; Nina Martola addresses the relation between lexicon and grammar in the realization of passives; and Joel Olofsson discusses productivity in motion constructions.