Co-varying verbs and adjectives of it-extraposed constructions with to-infinitive clauses in academic discourse: a quantitative corpus-driven study
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This paper employs the background assumptions of usage-based Construction Grammar (Goldberg 1995, 2006, 2013), Frame Semantics (Fillmore 1982), and a quantitative corpus-driven method for investigating the reciprocal interaction between lexical items occurring in two different slots of a grammatical construction. The method, referred to as co-varying collexeme analysis (Stefanowitsch and Gries 2005; Stefanowitsch 2013; Hilpert 2014), is applied to the determination of strongly attracted and repelled pairs of adjectives and verbs occurring in the extraposition construction with to-infinitive clauses in American English. Using the data extracted from the academic sub-corpus of COCA, the author seeks to indicate that some pairs of adjectives and verbs co-occur significantly more frequently than expected in the it is ADJ to V-construction. Furthermore, the results of the analysis of the co-variation of collexemes in two different slots of the same construction seem to suggest that such strong correlations between these slots can be determined by frame-semantic knowledge and/or discourse-functional properties of the construction under study.
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