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Language and Cognition


Cambridge University Press


Long-Distance Dependencies Without Filler-Gaps: A Cognitive-Functional Alternative in Fluid Construction Grammar


Long-distance dependencies are notoriously diffi cult to analyze in a formally explicit way because they involve constituents that seem to have been extracted from their canonical position in an utterance. The most widespread solution is to identify a GAP at an EXTRACTION SITE and to communicate information about that gap to its FILLER, as in What_FILLER did you see_GAP? This paper rejects the filler?gap solution and proposes a cognitive-functional alternative in which long-distance dependencies spontaneously emerge as a side eff ect of how grammatical constructions interact with each other for expressing diff erent conceptualizations. The proposal is supported by a computational implementation in Fluid Construction Grammar that works for both parsing and production.