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Diachrony and Synchrony in English Corpus Linguistics


Alejandro Alcaraz Sintes and Salvador Valera Hernández

The volume brings together a selection of invited articles and papers presented at the 4th International CILC Conference held in Jaén, Spain, in March 2012. The chapters describe English using a range of corpora and other resources. There are two parts, one dealing with diachronic research and the other with synchronic research. Both parts investigate several aspects of the English language from various perspectives and illustrate the use of corpora in current research. The structure of the volume allows for the same linguistic aspect to be discussed both from the diachronic and the synchronic point of view. The chapters are also useful examples of corpus use as well as of use of other resources as corpus, specifically dictionaries. They investigate a broad array of issues, mainly using corpora of English as a native language, with a focus on corpus tools and corpus description.
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‘Adjective + whether/if-clause’ constructions in English. An exploratory corpus-based study: Juan Santana-Lario



‘Adjective + whether/if-clause’ constructions in English. An exploratory corpus-based study1


This paper presents an exploratory corpus-based study of the syntactic constructions associated with the ‘adjective + whether/if-clause’ pattern in English including some lexico-grammatical associations of the pattern such as the lexical sets of adjectives most frequently attracted by it, the negative or non-assertive contexts in which it occurs and the explicit or implicit expression of polarity and alternatives. The aim is two-fold: the first aim is to document the uses of whether/if-clauses in construction with adjectives, which have received comparatively less attention than their use in verbal complementation or as conditional adverbials. The second aim is to portray the ‘adjective + whether/if-clause’ pattern as an illustration of “lexical grammar” (Sinclair 2000), that is, of the inseparability of lexis and grammar. It is suggested that some of the notions developed within current corpus-oriented approaches to account for the lexis-grammar interface (“semantic colligation” (Gabriellatos 2007), ‘collostructional analysis’ (Stefanowitsch/Gries 2003)) should take a step forward in order to accommodate the intricate interactions of grammatical structures, such as the ‘adjective + whether/if-clause’ constructions, with complex combinations of specific lexical classes and more abstract categories such as polarity or negation.


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