Complementary alternation discourse constructions in English: A preliminary study

  • Aneider Iza Erviti University of La Rioja
Keywords: complementary alternation, discourse, constructions, LCM, cognitive operation


This paper examines the essential features of a group of constructions that belong to the family of complementary alternation discourse constructions in English. In this group of constructions, X and Y are two situations such that Y is less likely (or more likely) to happen than X. Each member of this group (X Let Alone Y, X Much Less Y, X Never Mind Y, X Not To Mention Y, Not X Nor Y, X Still Less Y, Not X Not Even Y, and X To Say Nothing of Y) introduces subtle changes in focal structure, resulting in changes on the overall coherence of the text. Based on these theoretical explanations, the paper specifies the conditions for the use of one connector with preference over the others. Finally, the paper argues that in these constructions we find two types of cognitive operations at work: simple cognitive operations (negative addition and/or re-association) and operation amalgams, which combine different cognitive operations.

Author Biography

Aneider Iza Erviti, University of La Rioja

Aneider Iza Erviti graduated in Teacher Training with a specialization in Foreign Language Teaching at the Public University of Navarra, (Spain) in 2005, having spent the last year of her degree as an Erasmus student at Saint Martin’s College (Lake District, UK). She worked as a foreign language teacher in primary school for the Spanish Department of Education for 4 years as a civil servant. In 2008 she was a visiting teacher in Mater Academy in Miami, Florida. She then graduated in English Studies at the University of La Rioja, (Spain) in 2011. After finishing her M.A. in Linguistic Studies in June 2012, in September 2012 she started her doctoral studies at the University of La Rioja where she is currently the beneficiary of a scholarship funded by the University (FPI-UR-12/72692212E) and a teacher in the Spanish Studies degree.

At the moment she is working in her Ph.D dissertation, entitled Discursive constructions in English: meaning, form and hierarchies. A study from the point of view of Lexical Constructional Model. This year she participates in an educational innovation and research project for the same university entitled Mobile learning in the teaching and learning of theoretical concepts of cognitive linguistics. She has also been a member of the Editorial Board of the Bibliography of Metaphor and Metonymy (John Benjamins Publishing Company) for the last 3 years and Assistant Editor of the Review of Cognitive Linguistics Journal since 2013.

Her present research interests include aspects of cognitive and functional semantics and the relationship between syntax and semantics in both functional and constructional approaches to language. Other interests include Knowledge Engineering and Artificial Intelligence.

How to Cite
Iza Erviti, A. (2015). Complementary alternation discourse constructions in English: A preliminary study. International Journal of English Studies, 15(1), 71-96.