ERIC Number: EJ855992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Constructing Another Language--Usage-Based Linguistics in Second Language Acquisition
Eskildsen, Soren W.
Applied Linguistics, v30 n3 p335-357 Sep 2009
The general aim of this article is to discuss the application of Usage-Based Linguistics (UBL) to an investigation of developmental issues in second language acquisition (SLA). Particularly, the aim is to discuss the relevance for SLA of the UBL suggestion that language learning is item-based, going from formulas via low-scope patterns to fully abstract constructions. This paper examines how well this suggested path of acquisition serves "as a default in guiding the investigation of the ways in which exemplars and their type and token frequencies determine the second language acquisition of structure" (N. Ellis 2002: 170). As such, it builds on and further discusses the findings in Bardovi-Harlig (2002) and Eskildsen and Cadierno (2007). The empirical point of departure is longitudinal oral second language classroom interaction and the focal point is the use of "can" by one student in the class in question. The data reveal the formulas, here operationalized as recurring multiword expressions, to be situated in recurring usage events, suggesting the need for a fine-tuning of the UBL theory for the purposes of SLA research towards a more locally contextualized theory of language acquisition and use. The data also suggest that semi-fixed linguistic patterns, here operationalized as utterance schemas, deserve a prominent place in L2 developmental research.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Interaction, Language Usage, Language Research, Linguistics, Oral Language, Second Language Instruction, Longitudinal Studies, Verbs, Classroom Communication, Linguistic Theory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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