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What is an exocentric construction?



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.

  An exocentric construction is a kind of

Hartmann and Stork 1972 80


Pei and Gaynor 1954 69


Crystal 1985 114


Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 60

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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