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David Schönthal


person name Position: Postgraduate Researcher Email:
Area: Centre for Language and Communication Research

PhD Research

I am conducting research on the nature of English of-NP constructions, such as the front of the house, this idiot of a salesman, a number of people. In the past, the internal structure of these of-NPs has predominantly been examined by focussing on the notion of ‘headedness’. Various types of of-NPs have been put forward, which however only focus on core examples, disregarding more idiosyncratic ones by forcing them into a given category.

My research examines these expressions within the framework of Construction Grammar (CxG), which has always striven to account for both core and idiosyncratic instances of a phenomenon. One of the key ideas of CxG is that, like lexemes, grammatical constructions are form-meaning pairings as well, and that therefore the meaning of an expression is an amalgamation of the meanings of all lexical and syntactic constructions involved. Thus, my research analyses of-NPs in search of their different underlying grammatical constructions, and the meaning associated with them. The research takes a mixed approach, i.e. a corpus, co-textual and cognitive approach.

Supervisor: Dr Lise Fontaine, Dr Chris Heffer

Academic Background

PhD in Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University (2013-present)

MA in Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University (2011-2013) (Distinction)

BA in English and German Linguistics and Literature, Berne University, Switzerland (2007-2011) (insigni cum laude)

My academic interests lie in the fields of syntax and semantics, construction grammar, cognitive linguistics, systemic functional linguistics, discourse analysis, and the origins of language.


Postgraduate Tutor for 'Introduction to Language' and 'Introduction to Language and Society', (Cardiff University, 2014-present)

Tutor for ‘Introduction to Linguistics’, (Berne University, Switzerland, 2010)

Tutor for ‘Syntax and Semantics’, (Berne University, Switzerland, 2009-2010)