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(How) is formulaic language universal? Insights from Korean, German and English

Buerki, Andreas ORCID: 2020. (How) is formulaic language universal? Insights from Korean, German and English. Piirainen, Elisabeth, Filatkina, Natalia, Stumpf, Sören and Pfeiffer, Christian, eds. Formulaic Language and New Data: Theoretical and Methodological Implications, Formulaic Language, vol. 2. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 103-134. (10.1515/9783110669824-005)

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The existence of common expressions, also referred to as formulaic language or phraseological units, has been evidenced in a very large number of languages. However, the extent to which languages feature such formulaic material, how formulaicity may be understood across typologically different languages and whether indeed there is a concept of formulaic language that applies across languages, are questions that have been less commonly discussed. Using a novel data set consisting of topically matched corpora in three typologically different languages (Korean, German and English), this study proposes an empirically founded universal concept for formulaic language and discusses what the shape of this concept suggests for the theoretical understanding of formulaic language going forward. In particular, it is argued that the nexus of the concept of formulaic language cannot be fixed at any particular structural level (such as the phrase or the level of polylexicality) and incorporates elements specified at varying levels of abstraction (or schematicity). This means that a cross-linguistic concept of formulaic language fits in well with a constructionist view of linguistic structure.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Additional Information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISBN: 9783110666519
Funders: Swiss National Science Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 January 2020
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 13:37

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