Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
From language system to language use: A constructional analysis of transitional antonymy in Croatian
Interlexical relations, such as antonymy and synonymy, are traditionally defined as paradigmatic relations of the language system (Lyons 1977, Cruse 1986). However, usage-based approaches to interlexical relations show how they are structured on the syntagmatic level as well, by regular constructional patterns that enable their formation in discourse (Jones et al. 2012, Gries and Otani 2010). Thus Jones (2002) discusses transitional antonymy as one such example, represented by the from_to_ construction in English (e.g. from bad to good, from night to day). The goal of our analysis is to explore transitional antonymy in Croatian, which is represented by more than one prepositional pair (u – iz ‘into – out of’, s(a) – na ‘off of – onto’, od – do ‘from – to’). The Croatian construction thus points to more complex properties of transitional antonymy than its English equivalent. In Croatian literature these are also called “pair prepositions” (Silić and Pranjković 2007, Matas Ivanković 2006, Kovačević and Matas Ivanković 2007), thus pointing to their co-occurence in pairs in context (e.g. iz toplog u hladno ‘from hot to cold’, s konja na magarca lit. ‘from horse to arse’; ‘to trade down’). This paper discusses antonymy as a relevant relation of these prepositions and provides corpus data on the frequency, distribution and syntactic-semantic frames of these prepositional pairs. In order to describe these properties, we conducted a distributional analysis of prepositional constructions, especially with regard to the relation of prepositional constructions and verbal semantic and argument structure that they interact...
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