Journal of Social Sciences

‘Someone to Open Each and Every Door’: Construction Grammar as a Learner Grammar: The Case of English Indefinite Pronouns

Randal Holme

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2015.352.362

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 3

Pages 352-362

Abstract

This paper sets out an applied model of Cognitive Construction Grammar along three dimensions: Compositionality, form as a vehicle for promoting the emergence of grammatical meaning from lexical meaning and construal. The model of Cognitive Construction Grammar put forward here implies that the Applied Linguist may have to collect and explain a wider repertoire of grammatical forms than were considered previously. This extended repertoire may have the advantage of giving the learner a deeper understanding of semantic constraints on how we use a particular construction. It also means that forms once considered idiomatic are now being studied as productive and hence grammatical on some sense. The disadvantage is that we have to deal with a larger number of forms and have no clear principle as to where grammar learning ends and lexical or idiom learning begins. This paper discusses the question of what to include under the rubric of grammatical description and how to include it in relation to the SOME-and-ANY-SERIES (somebody/anyone, etc.) indefinite pronouns. It asks how this applied model of construction grammar affects what we present to learners by looking first at the formal attributes of the English SOME- and ANY-SERIES indefinite pronouns themselves and then at some of the types of clause in which the SOME-SERIES appears.

Copyright

© 2015 Randal Holme. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.