Embodied Construction Grammar
Embodied Construction Grammar (ECG) is a representational formalism
designed to support embodied models of language use and learning. It
- embodied, in that ECG structures parameterize active
simulations based on motor and perceptual schemas (Lakoff, Langacker,
- construction-based, in that the basic linguistic unit is a
construction, or form-meaning pairing (Fillmore and Kay,
Goldberg, Langacker, Croft);
- constraint-based, in that constraints of all kinds
(phonological, syntactic, semantic, etc.) are expressed using a
- and formal(ized), in that it has been both formally defined and
ECG is intended to serve multiple functions spanning several domains.
Introductory papers (along with a brief history)
Although the theoretical core of ideas underlying ECG are relatively
stable, the precise details of its formalization have undergone
several phases of development.
- The foundational chapter introducing ECG was published in 2005
(though it had circulated since 2001). It contains a general overview
of the formalism and its application to language understanding.
Bergen and Chang, 2005. Embodied
Construction Grammar in simulation-based language understanding.
- A subsequent workshop paper extended the ECG formalism to include
four primitives (schemas, constructions, maps and spaces) that
together capture essential ideas from cognitive linguistics.
Chang, Feldman, Porzel and Sanders, 2002. Scaling cognitive linguistics: Formalisms for
language understanding. [ref]
- An alternate introductory chapter from my dissertation describes a
version of ECG employed in modeling language acquisition. (Note that
Section 3.1 functions as a standalone short overview, and 3.1.4
provides an even more bare-bones synopsis of (one version of) the ECG
Chang 2008. Embodied Construction
Grammar. Chapter 3, Constructing grammar: A computational
model of the emergence of early constructions.
Subsequent and continuing work has extended the reach of ECG to a
broader range of phenomena at varying degrees of linguistic analysis.
An ever-shifting cadre of conspirators continues the ECG crusade; see
for the latest