When a word is


The case for diasystematic constructionalisation networks

Gerhard B van Huyssteen

Centre for Text Technology (CTexT)


This content was presented for the first time at the third international Afrikaans Grammar Workshop (1 October 2021, Amsterdam). Use the top right menu to navigate to the different slides. Short YouTube video’s to follow soon.


Die fok tog die kind het te veel snot gevreet en nou is hy as groot man so doos be·fok

For fuck’s sake the child has eaten too much snot and now as a grown man he is [genitalia.F VBZ·fuck.PTCP ≈ cunt fucked]

Leipzig Afrikaans Corpus 1.2


Towards an encyclopaedic constructicon of Afrikaans swearing, called


as part of

Theoretical and methodological statements

A. Constructicon
A constructicon is the mental collection of usage-based constructions (i.e. conventionalised form-meaning pairings) accessible to speakers of a particular language
B. Diasystematic constructicon
Multi-lingual speakers and/or speakers in language contact situations not only have access to the constructicons of their respective languages (i.e. idioconstructions), but also to those in the diasystematic constructicon (i.e. diaconstructions)
C. Networks
It is helpful and practical to conceptualise these constructicons metaphorically as networks of constructions
D. Language achange
Just like other memes, language is replicated and transmitted within speaker communities over time
E. Constructionalisation networks
In addition to idioconstructional and diaconstructional networks, we also need constructionalisation networks
F. Constructicography
Constructicography is the activity (i.e. craft), and principles and practices of compiling human and computer readable idioconstructional, diaconstructional and constructionalisation networks of (parts of) the mental constructicon

Idioconstructional network: fok (dictionaries)

Idioconstructional network: fok (corpora)

Idioconstructional network: fuck (OED)

Diaconstructional network: fuck and fok

OED data relevant to befok

Some relevant etymologies: befok

Constructionalisation network: befok


Data processing
Jaco du Toit | Martin Puttkammer | Corine Raath
Data quality control
Suléne Pilon
Automatic visualisation
Roald Eiselen
Kobus Kotzé | Jana Luther | Melt Sieberhagen
Adri Breed | Suléne Pilon


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