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What is an exocentric construction?

 

Definition
 

An exocentric construction is a construction that does not contain any head element that is capable of being a syntactically adequate substitution for the whole construction.

Examples (English)
 
  • Prepositional phrase

    Neither the component preposition nor the noun phrase may substitute for the whole prepositional phrase.

  • Clause

    No single element of the clause may substitute for the whole.

Generic
  An exocentric construction is a kind of
 
Sources
 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 80

 

Pei and Gaynor 1954 69

 

Crystal 1985 114

 

Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 60


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