NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ911775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 98
ISSN: ISSN-1461-0213
Making Sense of Phrasal Verbs: A Cognitive Linguistic Account of L2 Learning
Gonzalez, Rafael Alejo
AILA Review, v23 n1 p50-71 2010
Phrasal verbs (PVs) have recently been the object of interest by linguists given their status as phraseological units whose meaning is non-compositional and opaque. They constitute a perfect case for theories of language processing and language acquisition to be tested. Cognitive linguists have participated in this debate and shown a certain interest for PVs, although their research on this topic stems in most of the cases from their central interest on prepositions and the language of spatiality. In this paper, I aim to make a comprehensive and critical summary of the cognitive linguistics (CL) literature on PVs with particular attention to its connection with usage-based approaches, especially in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and to the concept of (meaning) motivation, which has proven to be useful in teaching. I will also present a CL analysis of the "out"-PVs (i.e., those containing the particle "out") used by 3 groups of non-native speakers of English whose L1 respectively belongs to a Germanic satellite-framed (S-) language (Swedish and Dutch), a non-Germanic S-language (Russian and Bulgarian) and a verb-framed (V-) language (Spanish and Italian). The results obtained from this analysis show: (1) that both Germanic and Non-Germanic S-language learners use a greater number of "out"-PVs than V-language learners, not only when these verbs have a motional meaning but also when they express other meanings; and (2) that S-language learners also use a greater elaboration of path (Slobin 1996) when non-motional "out"-PV meanings are involved. These findings suggest that "the thinking for speaking hypothesis" (Slobin 1996, 1997; Cadierno 2004), which has been shown to work for the domain of manner and path of motion, may in part be extended to the acquisition of PVs by L2 learners. (Contains 5 tables, 7 figures, and 3 notes.)
John Benjamins Publishing Company. Klaprozenweg 105 Postbus 36224, NL-1020 ME Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel: +31-20-6304747; Fax: +31-20-6739773; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A