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.
2004. From Data to Theory: the Over‐Representation of Linguistic Knowledge in SLA. Transactions of the Philological Society 102:2 ► pp. 139 ff.
2014. Learning a generative syntax from transparent syntactic atoms in the linguistic input. Journal of Child Language 41:6 ► pp. 1249 ff.
2018. Learning to produce complement predicates with shared semantic subjects. First Language 38:4 ► pp. 399 ff.
Robinson, Peter J.
1989. Procedural vocabulary and language learning. Journal of Pragmatics 13:4 ► pp. 523 ff.
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