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

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

By Peter Mark Roget

This book "supplies a vocabulary of English words and idiomatic phrases 'arranged … according to the ideas which they express'. The thesaurus, continually expanded and updated, has always remained in print, but this reissued first edition shows the impressive breadth of Roget's own knowledge and interests."


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The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

By Franco Montanari

Coming soon: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek by Franco Montanari is the most comprehensive dictionary for Ancient Greek to English for the 21st Century. Order your copy now!


Academic Paper


Title: Formulaic language
Author: Alison Wray
Institution: Cardiff University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Abstract: Creating a timeline for formulaic language is far from simple, because several partially independent lines of research have contributed to the emerging picture. Each exhibits cycles of innovation and consolidation over time: domains take a leading role in developing new knowledge and then fall back, while another area comes to the fore. Thus, some of the first observations about formulaic language, back in the nineteenth century, were in the clinical domain of aphasia studies. By the early to mid twentieth century it was theories of language structure that had most to say, until eclipsed by the Chomskian model, which saw little significance in lexicalised units larger than the word (an issue discussed by Jackendoff ; see table entry). Meanwhile, changes in language teaching methodology in the mid to late twentieth century increasingly urged teachers to ask how adult learners could best master multiword strings to improve fluency and idiomaticity – a question still asked today. By the end of the twentieth century, new technological advances revealed frequency in usage as a probable agent of formulaicity, and these chimed with new models of lexical knowledge based on neural pathways and networks that could be strengthened by repeated exposure. Drawing on these models, we have seen, as we move into the twenty-first century, the development of new approaches to modelling language as a system – emergent grammars, including Construction Grammar – that are more accommodating of large, internally complex units. And finally, as we gradually understand more about how the brain accesses and retrieves linguistic material, we are seeing a resurgence of interest in formulaic language in neurological and clinical contexts.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Teaching Vol. 46, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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