Conditional constructions have long fascinated linguists, grammarians and philosophers. In this pioneering new study, Barbara Dancygier and Eve Sweetser offer a new descriptive framework for the study of conditionality, broadening the range of richly described conditional constructions. They explore theoretical issues such as the mental-space-building processes underlying conditional thinking and the form-meaning relationship involved in expressing conditionality. Using a broad range of attested English conditional constructions, the book examines inter-constructional relationships. Within the framework of Mental Spaces Theory, shared parameters of meaning are shown to be relevant to conditional constructions generally, as well as related temporal and causal constructions. This significant contribution to the field will be welcomed by a wide range of researchers in theoretical and cognitive linguistics.
Barbara Dancygier is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, University of British Columbia. Eve Sweetser is Professor, Department of Linguistics and Director, Program in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.