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Constructing a Second Language

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All the papers in this special section address issues central to cognitive linguistics research: usage-based models with their focus on frequency; multi-word units and the relationship between lexical and grammatical knowledge; and the nature of lexical meaning, especially construal or “thinking for speaking”. Cognitive Linguistics is thus clearly a useful paradigm for L2 research. The contributors also emphasise that many of the processes operating in L1 acquisition are relevant in L2A as well. In this paper, I discuss the opposite side of the coin: how cognitively-inspired L2 research can inform work on first language learning and theoretical linguistics, focussing in particular on three issues that have been extensively studied in an L2 context but neglected by the other language sciences: transfer of knowledge between constructions, the role of explicit learning, and individual differences in linguistic knowledge.
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Keywords: entrenchment; explicit learning; first language acquisition; individual differences; metalinguistic awareness; second language acquisition; transfer; usage-based models

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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