Vol. 71 No. 2 (2023): NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics

Argument-Structure Constructions with Organization Names in the English Eurolect: The Case of [ORG + V + that + SC]

Fernando Sánchez Rodas
University of Malaga
Gloria Corpas Pastor
University of Malaga

Published 2023-06-08 — Updated on 2023-07-10


  • argument-structure constructions,
  • Construction Grammar,
  • Eurolect,
  • intermodal corpora,
  • organization names,
  • Named Entity Recognition
  • ...More


Construction Grammar (Hoffmann & Trousdale 2013) has received very little attention in onomastics, let alone corpus-based approaches, as corpora are just starting to be applied to the empirical study of names (Motschenbacher 2020). This study employs Named Entity Recognition plus verbal pattern extraction in an intermodal corpus (Bernardini 2016) of EU discourse, or Eurolect (Sandrelli 2018). The methodological aim is to mine English argument-structure constructions (Goldberg 1995) with subordinate clauses introduced by that and organization names in the subject slot ([ORG + V + that + SC]). First, the personification recognition method of Dorst, Mulder, and Steen (2011) is applied to quantitatively prove the strong relationship between the extracted argument-structure constructions and personification metaphors in EU discourse. Second, the constructions and their form-meaning pairings are described, both per subcorpus and globally. Results show that, at a macro- and meso-level of schematicity, the [ORG + V + that + SC] construction transversally symbolizes personification as an understanding scheme for institutional relations, constructing organization names with semantically human verbs of belief, speech, and thought. At a microscopic level, however, some constructions occur exclusively in one of the four subcorpora (non-translated, translated, non-interpreted, and interpreted English), meaning that they could be covering specific mediating functions through their name-verb slot choices.


  1. Ainiala, Terhi and Jan-Ola Östman, eds. 2017. Socio-Onomastics: The Pragmatics of Names. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  2. Bernardini, Silvia. 2016. “Intermodal Corpora: A Novel Resource for Descriptive and Applied Translation Studies”. Corpus-Based Approaches to Translation and Interpreting: From Theory to Applications. Edited by Gloria Corpas Pastor and Miriam Seghiri. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 129–48. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3726/b10354
  3. Baker, Mona. 1993. “Corpus Linguistics and Translation Studies: Implications and Applications”. Text and Technology: In Honour of John Sinclair. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 9–24. Accessed November 11, 2022.
  4. http://corpus.bfsu.edu.cn/Baker_1993_Corpus_Linguistics_Translation_Studies.pdf
  5. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2015. “Register-Specific Collocational Constructions in English and Spanish: A Usage-Based Approach”. Journal of Social Sciences 11, no. 3: 139–51. Accessed July 23, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2015.139.151
  6. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2017. “Collocational Constructions in Translated Spanish: What Corpora Reveal”. Europhras 2017, 29–40. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69805-2
  7. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2020. “Language Technology for Interpreters: The VIP Project”. Proceedings of 42th Conference Translating and the Computer (TC42). Edited by David Chambers, João Esteves-Ferreira, Juliet Margaret Macan, Ruslan Mitkov, and Olaf-Michael Stefanov. Geneva: Tradulex, 36–48. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://www.asling.org/tc42/wp-content/uploads/TC42-OnTheWeb-proceedings.pdf
  8. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2021a. “Constructional Idioms of ‘Insanity’ in English and Spanish: A Corpus-Based Study”. Lingua 254. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2020.103013
  9. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2021b. “Technology Solutions for Interpreters: The VIP System”. Hermēneus. Revista de Traducción e Interpretación 23: 91–123. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.24197/her.23.2021.91-123
  10. Corpas Pastor, Gloria. 2022. “You Are Driving Me up the Wall! A Corpus-Based Study of a Special Class of Resultative Constructions”. Lexis 19. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.4000/lexis.6343
  11. Corpas Pastor, Gloria, and Fernando Sánchez Rodas. 2022. “NLP-Enhanced Shift Analysis of Named Entities in an English<>Spanish Intermodal Corpus of European Petitions”. Mediated Discourse at the European Parliament: Empirical Investigations. Edited by Marta Kajzer-Wietrzny, Adriano Ferraresi, Ilmari Ivaska, and Silvia Bernardini. Berlin: Language Science Press, 219–251. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/343
  12. Corpas Pastor, Gloria and Fernando Sánchez Rodas. In press. EU Phraseological Verbal Patterns in the PETIMOD 2.0 Corpus: A NER-Enhanced Approach”. Handbook of Legal Terminology. Edited by Łucja Biel and Hendrik J. Kockaert. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  13. De Man, Paul. 1986. The Resistance to Theory. Minneapolis: University of Minessota Press.
  14. Devlin, Jacob, Ming-Wei Chang, Kenton Lee, and Kristina Toutanova. 2018. “BERT: Pre-Training of Deep Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding”. arXiv. Accessed November 11, 2022. http://arxiv.org/abs/1810.04805
  15. Dorst, Aletta. 2011. “Personification in Discourse: Linguistic Forms, Conceptual Structures and Communicative Functions”. Language and Literature 20, no. 2: 113–35. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947010395522
  16. Dorst, Aletta, Gerben Mulder, and Gerard J. Steen. 2011. “Recognition of Personifications in Fiction by Non-Expert Readers”. Metaphor and the Social World 1, no. 2:174–200. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1075/msw.1.2.04dor
  17. European Parliament. 2018. Guidelines: Committee on Petitions. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/138889/1145997EN.pdf
  18. Evans, Vyvyan and Melanie Green. 2006. Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction. Mahwah/Edinburgh: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  19. Faber Benitez, Pamela. 2012. “Terminological Corpus Analysis”. V Congreso de Traducción e Interpretación CITI5, Traduciendo Culturas: Más Que Un Desafío. Edited by Kora Evangelina Basich Peralta, Sonia Acosta Domínguez, Ana Gabriela Guajardo Martínez Sotomayor, Miguel Ángel Lemus Cárdenas, and Ana Gabriela Rubio Moreno. Mexicali. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://www.academia.edu/2694765/TERMINOLOGICAL_CORPUS_ANALYSIS
  20. Fumagalli, Daniela. 1999. “Alla Ricerca Dell’interpretese. Uno Studio Sull’interpretazione Consecutiva Attraverso La Corpus Linguistics”. Unpublished thesis. Trieste: Advanced School for Translators and Interpreters (SSLMIT).
  21. Goldberg, Adele. 1995. Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  22. Goldberg, Adele. 2006. Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. New York: Oxford University Press.
  23. Hoffmann, Thomas. 2017. “From Constructions to Construction Grammars”. The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics. Edited by Barbara Dancygier. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 284–309. Accessed November 11, 2022.
  24. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326126097_From_constructions_to_Construction_Grammar
  25. Hoffmann, Thomas and Graeme Trousdale, eds. 2013. The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar. New York: Oxford University Press.
  26. ICOS. 2022. Onomastic Terminology. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://icosweb.net/publications/onomastic-terminology/
  27. Jacquet, Guillaume, Maud Ehrmann, Jakub Piskorski, Hristo Tanev, and Ralf Steinberger. 2019. “Cross-Lingual Linking of Multi-Word Entities and Language-Dependent Learning of Multi-Word Entity Patterns”. Representation and Parsing of Multiword Expressions: Current Trends. Edited by Yannick Parmentier and Jakub Waszczuk. Berlin: Language Science Press, 269–297. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2579017
  28. Knappová, Miroslava. 2017. “Chrématoymum [Chrematonym]”. Nový Encyklopedický Slovník Češtiny Online [New Online Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Czech Language]. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://www.czechency.org/slovnik/CHRÉMATONYMUM
  29. Kotze, Haidee. 2019. “Converging What and How to Find Out Why: An Outlook on Empirical Translation Studies”. New Empirical Perspectives on Translation and Interpreting. Edited by Lore Vandevoorde, Joke Daems, and Bart Defrancq. New York: Routledge, 333–71. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429030376
  30. Kövecses, Zoltán. 2002. Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.
  31. Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  32. Lücking, Andy, Armin Hoenen, and Alexander Mehler. 2016. “TGermaCorp – A (Digital) Humanities Resource for (Computational) Linguistics”. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC’16). Edited by Nicoletta Calzolari, Khalid Choukri, Thierry Decklerck, Sara Goggi, Marko Grobelnik, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani et al. Portorož: European Language Resources Association (ELRA), 4271–4277. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://aclanthology.org/L16-1677.pdf
  33. MacKay, Donald G. 1986. “Prototypicality Among Metaphors: On the Relative Frequency of Personification and Spatial Metaphors in Literature Written for Children Versus Adults”. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 1, no. 2:87–107. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms0102_1
  34. Majtán, Milan. 1989. “Klasifikácia Chrématonymie” [Classification of Chrematonymy]. Chrématonyma z Hlediska Teorie a Praxe. Sborník z 3. Celostátního Semináře „Onomastika a Škola” (Ústí Nad Labem 21. – 22. 6. 1988) [Chrematonyms from the Point of View of Theory and Practice. Proceedings of the 3rd National Seminar “Onomastics and School” (Ústí nad Labem, June 21–22, 1988)], 7–13. Brno: Onomastická komise ČSAV.
  35. Markert, Katja and Malvina Nissim. 2008. “Metonymic Proper Names: A Corpus-Based Account”. Corpus-Based Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy. Edited by Anatol Stefanowitsch and Stefan Th. Gries. New York: De Gruyter Mouton, 152-174. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199895.152
  36. Motschenbacher, Heiko. 2020. “Corpus Linguistic Onomastics: A Plea for a Corpus-Based Investigation of Names”. Names 68, no. 2:88–103. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/00277738.2020.1731240
  37. Sandrelli, Annalisa. 2018. “Observing Eurolects: The Case of English”. Observing Eurolects: Corpus Analysis of Linguistic Variation in EU Law. Edited by Laura Mori. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 63–92. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.86.04san
  38. Sjöblom, Paula, Minna Saarelma, and Terhi Ainiala. 2012. Names in Focus: An Introduction to Finnish Onomastics. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society/SKS.
  39. Stecconi, Ubaldo. 2009. “Semiotics”. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. Edited by Mona Baker and Gabriela Saldanha. London/New York: Routledge, 260–263. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://books.google.es/books?id=f3FeBwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=es#v=onepage&q&f=false
  40. Steen, Gerard J., Aletta G. Dorst, J. Berenike Herrmann, Anna Kaal, Tina Krennmayr, and Trijntje Pasma. 2010. A Method for Linguistic Metaphor Identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.14
  41. Sánchez Rodas, Fernando. 2021. “Using Named Entity Recognition to Identify Personification Constructions in an English <> Spanish Intermodal Corpus of the EP Committee on Petitions”. Proceedings of the Doctoral Symposium on Natural Language Processing from the PLN.Net Network (PLNnet-DS-2021). Edited by María Teresa Martín Valdivia, María Dolores Molina González, and Salud María Jiménez Zafra. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 60–66. Accessed November 11, 2022.
  42. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-3030/paper8.pdf
  43. Sánchez Rodas, Fernando. 2022a. “A Corpus-Based Analysis of Mediation in EU Multi-Word Organization Names”. Proceedings of the International Conference EUROPHRAS 2022 (Short Papers, Posters and MUMTTT Workshop Contributions). Edited by Gloria Corpas Pastor, Ruslan Mitkov, Maria Kunilovskaya, and Rocío Caro Quintana. Shoumen: INCOMA Ltd., 160–169. Accessed November 11, 2022. http://europhras.com/2022/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/draft-proceedings-europhras.pdf
  44. Sánchez Rodas, Fernando. 2022b. “Introducing the PETIMOD Corpus: A Resource for the Analysis of Personification in Mediated and Non-Mediated Discourse”. Proceedings of 43rd Conference Translating and the Computer (TC43). Edited by Joäo Esteves-Ferreira, Ruslan Mitkov, María Recort Ruiz, and Olaf-Michael Stefanov. Geneva: Tradulex, 128–132. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://www.asling.org/tc43/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/TC43-OnTheWeb2021.pdf
  45. Sánchez Rodas, Fernando. Submitted. “Translation and Interpreting of Organisation Names in the English and Spanish Eurolect: A Corpus-Based Study”. Romanica Olomucensia. ISSN (Print) 1803–4136. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://romanica.upol.cz/attachments/000007.pdf
  46. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 2008. “The Grammaticalization of NP of NP Patterns”. Constructions and Language Change. Edited by Alexander Bergs and Gabriele Diewald. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter Mouton, 23–46. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110211757.23
  47. Viimaranta, Johanna and Arto Mustajoki. 2020. “What Can Science, Religion, Politics, Culture and the Economy Do? A Corpus Study of Metonymical Conceptualization Combined with Personification”. Scando-Slavica 66, no. 1: 71–85. Accessed November 11, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/00806765.2020.1741025