Constructing L2 phraseological chunks as complex form-meaning mappings
This paper argues that the cognitive usage-based model enhanced by a complexity theory perspective can provide useful insights into L2 learners’ non-target-like use of L2 phraseological chunks. Firstly, L2 chunks are conceptualized here as L2 complex form-meaning mappings subject to developmental schematization and entrenchment, as well as productive cut-and-paste mechanisms. Traces of these mechanisms at community level are interpreted as emergent patterns, a complexity theory concept in line with the cognitive usage-based model. Next, learner expressions for two task-elicited notions (depositing money and donating money) in a community of L2 English learners (N = 167; L1 Dutch) are analyzed for emergent patterns at different levels of schematicity. The findings indicate that L2 phraseological chunks are not constructed from a target-like initial exemplar that becomes entrenched or schematized. The paper concludes that within the cognitive usage-based model this is a major impeding factor in L2 learners’ target-like use of L2 phraseological chunks.
Keywords: cognitive usage-based model, L2 acquisition, phraseological chunks, complexity theory, emergent patterns
Published online: 10 January 2020
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