Second Language Learners' Contiguous and Discontiguous Multi-Word Unit Use Over Time

Aziz Yuldashev, Julieta Fernandez, Steven L. Thorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Research has described the key role of formulaic language use both written and spoken communication (Schmitt, 2004; Wray, 2002), as well as relation to L2 learning (Ellis, Simpson-Vlach, & Maynard, 2008). Relatively few studies have examined related fixed and semifixed multi-word units (MWUs), which comprise fixed parts with the potential for flexible slots L2 learners' language use over time. Building upon the corpus linguistic methodology of concgramming and usage-based linguistic research on a construction-based developmental sequence language acquisition, this article describes learners' multi-word inventories through the analysis of a learner corpus of out-of-class instant messaging and blog use a U.S. high school advanced placement Spanish language course. We examined this corpus using concgram analysis of phraseological tendencies to document related MWUs used fixed and schematic fashion. Patterns student language use are described terms of meaningful permutations of constituency variation over time. Related patterns used by different learners are analyzed and discussed light of methodological considerations tracking second language use and the pedagogical implications of the concgramming approach to MWUs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalModern Language Journal
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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