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embodied construction grammar (ECG)

Embodied construction grammar (ECG) is a recent theory of construction grammar developed by Benjamin Bergen and Nancy Chang together with various collaborators.

In this model, the emphasis is on language processing, particularly language comprehension or understanding.

While other construction grammars place the emphasis on modeling linguistic knowledge rather than on on-line processing, the ECG model takes it for granted that constructions form the basis of linguistic knowledge, and focuses instead on exploring how constructions are processed in on-line or dynamic language comprehension. Moreover, ECG is centrally concerned with describing how the constructions of a given language relate to embodied cognition in the process of language understanding, and how the constructions of a language give rise to simulation.

Therefore much of the research to date in ECG has been focused on developing a formal ‘language’ to describe the constructions of a language like English; this formal language also needs to be able to describe the embodied concepts that these constructions give rise to in dynamic language comprehension.

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