Encontro 54º


8 de Outubro de 2009, Quinta-feira, às 17:00 h.


On a scholarly basis: an analysis of an adverbializing construction in contemporary English


Lachlan Mackenzie (VUA, Netherlands & ILTEC, Portugal)


This talk will provide a corpus-based analysis of a hitherto undescribed frame-and-slot construction in English of the form on a(n) ___ basis. It will be shown that the fillers of the slot are for the most part drawn from a limited number of semantic fields, principally – in descending order of frequency – reiteration at equal intervals, work contracts, geographical notions and business-to-business relations. Syntactically speaking, the filler can never be a phrase: alongside simple and modified adjectives, nouns and noun-preposition-noun constructs, we also find a range of multi-word formulae. The filler is typically not understood as a modifier of basis but as qualifying some other, possibly unmentioned, entity. On this basis, it will be argued that the construction functions as an adverbializer, creating adjuncts from various inputs. Some evidence will be tentatively adduced for incipient grammaticalization of the construction. Finally, an initial examination of the relative frequencies of the construction in subcorpora suggests that the construction is encountered above all in academic and business/legal registers.


Lachlan Mackenzie é Catedrático Honorário na área da Linguística Funcional na Universidade Livre de Amesterdão. Trabalha como consultor de línguas e linguística e como investigador no ILTEC. O livro Functional Discourse Grammar, que escreveu juntamente com Kees Hengeveld, foi recentemente publicado (2008) pela Oxford University Press.