bit.ly/befok-AGW2021

When a word is

befok

The case for diasystematic constructionalisation networks

Gerhard B van Huyssteen

Centre for Text Technology (CTexT)

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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.

be·fok

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

Why?

Towards an encyclopaedic constructicon of Afrikaans swearing, called

Vloekepedia

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
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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

Acknowledgements

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

  • Blackmore, Susan. 1999. The Meme Machine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Boas, Hans C., and Steffen Höder. 2021. "Widening the scope: Recent trends in Constructional Contact Linguistics." In Constructions in Contact 2: Language Change, Multilingual Practices, and Additional Language Acquisition, edited by Hans C. Boas and Steffen Höder, 2-13. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Dawkins, Richard. 1976. The Selfish Gene. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dawkins, Richard. 1982. The Extended Phenotype. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • He, Ziran. 2008. "On Memes and Memetics in Language." The 10th International Conference , Pragmatics Society of Japan, Kaitakusha, Japan.
  • Höder, Steffen. 2018. "Grammar is community-specific. Background and basic concepts of Diasystematic Construction Grammar." In Constructions in Contact: Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages, edited by Hans C. Boas and Steffen Höder, 37–70. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Jurafsky, Daniel. 1992. "An on-line computational model of human sentence interpretation: A theory of the representation and use of linguistic knowledge." PhD, Computer Science department, University of California at Berkeley.
  • Traugott, Elizabeth Closs, and Graeme Trousdale. 2013. Constructionalization and constructional changes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Van de Velde, Freek. 2014. "Degeneracy: The maintenance of constructional networks." In Extending the Scope of Construction Grammar, edited by Ronny Boogaart, Timothy Colleman and Gijsbert Rutten, 141-179. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
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