Construal Operations of the English Progressive Construction
Authors: Kim Ebensgaard Jensen
Abstract: The progressive construction has a tripartite symbolic structure in which the auxiliary verb symbolically links up with the meaning component of TENSE, the main verb with the expressed SITUATION, and the present participial realization of the main verb with the aspectual category of IMPERFECTIVITY. The present paper focuses on each of these symbolic links and their interplay, and investigates the meaning construction processes involved in the symbolic structure of the progressive construction. Drawing on Croft & Wood’s (2000) model of construal operations—revised in Croft & Cruse (2004: 40–73)—the present paper provides an overview of construal operations that are likely to be at play in the construction of the aspectual and actional meaning components of the progressive construction. The discussion also involves instances of the progressive construction, which display low semantic compatibility, as the ensuing semantic coercion involves a number of construal operations that are revelatory to the meaning construction of the progressive in general.