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Constituency or Dependency in the Units of Language Acquisition?: An Approach to Describing the Learner's Analysis of Formulae

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In this article I look first at the status of the units of language acquisition in the light of evidence regarding the use of formulaic 'chunks' as unanalyzed wholes and their subsequent analysis or 'fission' by the learner. I then propose that this analysis can best be characterized by using a dependency based syntax and I contrast constituency and dependency approaches to description. Finally I apply a dependency description to a sample of acquisition data thus illustrating the process of pattern analysis underlying the learner's developing awareness of language structure.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1986

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