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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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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.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 34, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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