New publication: Constructions in Contact

Constructions in Contact. Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages (edited by Hans Boas and myself) is available as an e-book; the print version is expected in December 2018. This edited volume brings together contributions from scholars working on different language contact situations that involve Germanic languages. It also contains a new theoretical article on Diasystematic Construction Grammar.

Boas, Hans & Steffen Höder (Hgg.). 2018. Constructions in contact. Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages (Constructional Approaches to Language 24). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.


The last three decades have seen the emergence of Construction Grammar as a major research paradigm in linguistics. At the same time, very few researchers have taken a constructionist perspective on language contact phenomena. This volume brings together, for the first time, a broad range of original contributions providing insights into language contact phenomena from a constructionist perspective. Focusing primarily on Germanic languages, the papers in this volume demonstrate how the notion of construction can be fruitfully applied to investigate how a range of different language contact phenomena can be systematically analyzed from the perspectives of both form and meaning.

Part I. Constructions in contact

Construction Grammar and language contact: An introduction (Hans C. Boas & Steffen Höder)

Grammar is community-specific: Background and basic concepts of Diasystematic Construction Grammar (Steffen Höder)

Part II. Constructional variation and change in contact

Towards a constructional analysis of the progressive aspect in Texas German (Margaret Blevins)

Tense and aspect marking in (Low) German perfect constructions based on variety contact (Kathrin Weber)

Distributional assimilation in constructional semantics: On contact-related semantic shifts in Afrikaans three-argument constructions (Timothy Colleman)

Part III. Item-based patterns and constructional generalizations in contact

Constructions as cross-linguistic generalizations over instances: Passive patterns in contact (Jan-Ola Östman)

Texas German and English word order constructions in contact (Ryan Dux)

Part IV. Semantic frames in contact

A constructional account of the modal particle ‘ja’ in Texas German (Hans C. Boas)

Frames change in language contact environments: A case study of schleichen (‘to sneak’) and kommen (‘to come’) (David Hünlich)