Research Article Open Access

Register-Specific Collocational Constructions in English and Spanish: A Usage-Based Approach

Gloria Corpas Pastor1
  • 1 University of Malaga, Spain


Constructions are usage-based, conventionalised pairings of form and function within a cline of complexity and schematisation. Most research within Construction Grammar has focused on the monolingual description of schematic constructions: Mainly in English, but to a lesser extent in other languages as well. By contrast, very little constructional analyses have been carried out across languages. In this study we will focus on a type of partially substantive construction from the point of view of contrastive analysis and translation which, to the best of our knowledge, is one of the first studies of this kind. The first half of the article lays down the theoretical foundations of the study and introduces Construction Grammar as well as other formalisms used in literature in order to provide a construal account of collocations, a pervasive phenomenon in language. The experimental part describes the case study of V NP collocations with disease/enfermedad in comparable corpora in English and Spanish, both in the general domain and in the specialised medical domain. It is provided a comparative analysis of these constructions across domains and languages in terms of token-type ratio (constructional restriction-rate), lexical function, type of determiner, frequency ranking of the verbal collocate and domain specificity of collocates, among others. New measures to assess construal bondness will be put forward (lexical filledness rate and individual productivity rate) and special attention will be paid to register-dependent equivalent semantic-functional counterparts in English and Spanish and mismatches.

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 11 No. 3, 2015, 139-151


Submitted On: 2 May 2015 Published On: 13 July 2015

How to Cite: Pastor, G. C. (2015). Register-Specific Collocational Constructions in English and Spanish: A Usage-Based Approach. Journal of Social Sciences, 11(3), 139-151.

  • 11 Citations



  • Construction Grammar
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Phraseology
  • Collocations
  • Translation