Construction grammar and the corpus-based analysis of discourses: the case of the WAY IN WHICH construction

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Construction grammar (CxG) initially arose as a usage-based alternative to nativist theoretical accounts of language, and remains to this day strongly associated with cognitive linguistic theory and research. In this paper, however, I argue that CxG can be seen as offering an equally viable general framework for socially-oriented linguists whose work focuses on the corpus-based analysis of discourses (CBADs). The paper begins with brief reviews of CxG and CBADs as distinctive research traditions, before going on to identify synergies (both potential and actual) between them. I then offer a more detailed case study example, focusing on a usage-based analysis of a newly identified construction, the WAY IN WHICH construction, as it occurs in corpora representing six different academic discourses. The paper concludes by rebutting some anticipated objections to the approach advocated here, and by proposing a new conceptual model for constructionist approaches to CBADs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-323
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2019


  • Construction Grammar
  • Discourse analysis
  • Discourses
  • Phraseology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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