Challenging Construction Grammar: New insights from morphology


  • Elena Smirnova (Université de Neuchâtel)
  • Martin Hilpert (Université de Neuchâtel)
  • Jenny Audring (Universiteit Leiden)

Plenary Speakers

  • Muriel Norde (HU Berlin)
  • Francesca Masini (Università di Bologna)
  • Livio Gaeta (Università di Torino)
  • Kristel Van Goethem (UCLouvain)
  • Steffen Höder (Universität Kiel)

Workshops on statistical methods

  • Stefan Hartmann (Universität Düsseldorf)
  • Bodo Winter (University of Birmingham)

Short Description

The workshop will critically address the assumptions and research practices of Construction Grammar (Hoffmann and Trousdale 2013), a theory of language that has become one of the major theoretical frameworks in linguistics. Recent years have seen an increasing interest in constructionist approaches to morphological issues, both from a synchronic (e.g. Booij 2010, Jackendoff & Audring 2020) and a diachronic point of view (Hartmann 2019, Van Goethem & Norde 2020, Norde forth.).

As construction morphology is still a very recent branch of research within the framework of Construction Grammar, the coverage of morphological phenomena and the theoretical issues they raise is far from complete. A fundamental question is what special challenges morphology brings to the table, and whether the framework – originally developed for syntax, but with the explicit aim to account for language as a whole – requires adjustments or extensions to account for morphological patterns. 

Research questions of this workshop include, but are by no means limited to the following:

  • What challenges do morphological phenomena present to the constructionist framework and how can the theory be refined in response to them?
  • How can construction grammar account for phenomena that straddle the boundary between morphology and syntax?
  • How do connections between constructions differ between morphology and syntax?
  • How do morphological and syntactic constructions differ in the way they form constructional networks?
  • How can we capture morphology-specific distinctions, such as for example the distinction between inflection and derivation, in constructionist terms?
  • In what ways does productivity differ across morphology and syntax?
  • Does (non-)compositionality apply in the same way to morphology and to syntax?
  • How can morphological change be modelled in the constructional framework?