(De)Constructing sentences

Dabrowska, Ewa (2013) (De)Constructing sentences. Journal of Foreign Languages, 36 (1). pp. 2-15. ISSN 1004-5139

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Lexically specific units, i.e., formulaic frames (Where’s Daddy? What’s Mummy doing?) and frames with slots(e.g. Where’s NP? Do you want to VP?) are known to play a central role in language acquisition. Could such mechanisms also account for adult production? I argue that the types of representations and production mechanisms that constructivist language researchers have postulated for children can also explain the basic mode of adult language use, i.e. informal conversation. Viewing adult language in such terms not only captures the continuity between child and adult usage, but also helps to explain how speakers are able to produce and understand language as fast as they do: using preconstructed chunks saves processing effort. Arguably, adults also have more abstract linguistic representations. These, however, are acquired relatively late in acquisition, largely as a result of experience with written texts, and may not be acquired by all speakers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lexically specific units, formulaic language, usage-based models, spoken language, language production
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: Ewa Dabrowska
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2013 12:11
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 05:31
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/14813

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