3. Constraints on syntactic alternation: Lexical-constructional subsumption in the Lexical-Constructional Model
Morphosyntactic Alternations in English - Functional and Cognitive Perspectives - Pilar Guerrero Medina
Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza
University La Rioja
Spanish National Distance-Learning University
In this chapter by Francisco Ruiz de Mendoza and Ricardo Mairal Usón, set within the framework of the Lexical-Constructional Model (LCM), the authors argue that syntactic alternation is a natural consequence of lexicalconstructional subsumption, a cognitive fusion process regulated by a number of constraints that are either internal or external to the process. The mechanism of subsumption is illustrated with an inspection of the way in which the external principles of high-level metonymy and metaphor apply in the explanation of related alternations, such as the causative/inchoative and middle, on the one hand, and the caused-motion and resultative, on the other. This account allows the authors to offer a more detailed description of the notion of constructional coercion, which is now seen “in terms of the ability of lexical structure to be construed from different perspectives that will license its integration into constructional structure” (p. 79).