Vol. 168:2 (2017) ► pp. 248–277
Incidental acquisition of collocations in L2
Effects of adjacency and prior vocabulary knowledge
As collocations are very numerous, at least a part of them has to be learned incidentally when acquiring a second language. There is now an increasing body of evidence showing that incidental learning of collocations seems to be possible. The present study sets out to investigate whether collocations can be learned incidentally if encountered in their nonadjacent form (with words intervening between collocates). It also looks at the role of prior vocabulary knowledge in incidental acquisition of adjacent and nonadjacent collocations. The results show that nonadjacent collocations can be learned equally well as adjacent ones, at least to the recognition level of knowledge. Also, larger prior vocabulary knowledge seems to lead to better chances of learning both adjacent and nonadjacent collocations incidentally.