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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: On the role of linguistic contextual factors for morphosyntactic stabilization in high-level L2 French
Author: Inge Bartning
Institution: Stockholm University
Author: Fanny Forsberg Lundell
Institution: Stockholm University
Author: Victorine Hancock
Institution: Stockholm University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to offer contextual linguistic explanations for morphosyntactic deviances (MSDs) in high-level second language (L2) French (30 nonnative speakers vs. 10 native speakers). It is hypothesized that the distribution of formulaic sequences (FSs) and the complexity of information structure will influence the occurrence of MSDs. The study reports that MSDs rarely occur within FSs, and if they do, they occur within sequences containing open slots for creative rule application. The rhematic part of the utterance attracts more MSDs due to the fact that this part is more syntactically complex than the preamble (the thematic part). An additional explanation is the mean length of the rhematic part, which is longer than the preamble and implies a higher processing load. A final explanation of MSD occurrence in the rheme is linked to the distribution of FSs in the information structure. The results are discussed in relation to the ongoing debate on the constructs of complexity, accuracy, and fluency—a promising area of study.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 34, Issue 2.

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