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Constructing a Second Language

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This Special Section brings together researchers who adopt a constructional approach to Second Language Acquisition (SLA) as informed by Cognitive and Corpus Linguistics, approaches which fall under the general umbrella of Usage-based Linguistics. The articles present psycholinguistic and corpus linguistic evidence for L2 constructions and for the inseparability of lexis and grammar. They consider the psycholinguistics of language learning following general cognitive principles of category learning, with schematic constructions emerging from usage. They analyze how learning is driven by the frequency and frequency distribution of exemplars within construction, the salience of their form, the significance of their functional interpretation, the match of their meaning to the construction prototype, and the reliability of their mappings. They explore conceptual transfer and the acquisition of second language meaning. They consider the implications of these phenomena for L2 instruction.
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Keywords: associative learning; category learning; cognition; constructions; corpus linguistics; psycholinguistics; second language acquisition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • Published under the auspices of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association
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