The functions of formulaic speech in the L2 class

Marie Girard

Abstract

This study deals with Formulaic Speech (FS) usage in the context of the partial L2 immersion class. It tries to define and classify FS according to its functions. The fact that learners resort to FS shows that second language production is not only based on the construction of sentences from scratch but also on the integration of formulaic sequences in discourse. But what is the use of FS? What are the possible functions it performs? We attempt to show that FS makes up for a lack of structural knowledge and might therefore be used as a learning strategy in the acquisition of structure. Then we consider the psycholinguistic function of FS and try to demonstrate that it might be a pre-planning strategy and a way for the learner to economize effort on processing and thus focus on his or her learning of the language. Finally, the paper analyzes the communicative function of FS and its role in the relation between speaker and hearer, and suggests that it might play a part in the development of pragmatic competence.

Keywords:
Quick links
A browser-friendly version of this article is not yet available. View PDF
Aijmer, K
(1998) Conversational Routines in English. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Altenberg, B
(1994) On the phraseology of spoken English: The evidence of recurrent word combinations. In Cowie (ed.), 1994.Phraseology: Theory, Analysis and Applications, Google Scholar
Arends, J., P. Muysken
N. Smith (eds.) Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction Amsterdam John Benjamins Crossref
Baigent, M
(1996) Speaking in Chunks: An investigation into the use of multi-word phrases in spoken language by advanced learners of English. MSc Thesis in Teaching English, Aston University. http://​www​.les​.aston​.ac​.uk​/lsu​/diss​/m​.baigent​.html
Bohn, O
(1986) Formulas, frame structures, and stereotypes in early syntactic development: Some new evidence from L2 acquisition. Linguistics 24: 185-202. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Brown, R
(1973) A First Language. Cambridge: Harvard Press CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Clark, R
(1974) Performing without competence. Journal of Child Language 1: 1-10. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Cook, V
. et al. (1993) Linguistics and Second Language acquisition. London: Macmillan.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Cowie, A
(ed.) (1994) Phraseology: Theory, Analysis and Applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Dechert, H., D. Möhle, and M. Raupach
(eds.) (1984) Second Language Productions. Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar
Ellis, R
(1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Girard, M., & C. Sionis
(2003) Formulaic Speech in the L2 Class: An Attempt at identification and Classification. Pragmatics 13.2: 231-251.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Givón, T
(1979) From Discourse to Syntax. Grammar as a processing strategy. In T. Givón (ed.), Discourse and syntax (Syntax and Semantics 12) New York: Academic Press, pp. 81-111.Google Scholar
Hakuta, K
(1974) Prefabricated patterns and the emergence of structure in second language acquisition. Language Learning 24: 287-97. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hamers, J.F., and M. Blanc
(1989) Bilinguality and Bilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Hatch, E.M
(1972) Some Studies In Language Learning. UCLA Workpapers on Teaching English as a Second Language 6: 29-36.Google Scholar
(1983) Psycholinguistics. A second language perspective. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.Google Scholar
Kecskes, I
(2000) A cognitive-pragmatic approach to situation-bound utterances. Journal of Pragmatics. 32.6: 605-625. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Klein, W
(1986) Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge Cambrige University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Krashen, S
, and R. Scarcella (1978) On routines and patterns in second language acquisition and performance. Language Learning 28: 283-300. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Krashen, S., M. Long, and R. Scarcella
(1979) Age, rate and eventual attainment in second language acquisition. TESOL Quarterly 13: 573-82. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Larsen-Freeman, D., and M.H. Long
(1991) An introduction to second language acquisition research. London: Longman.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Lehtonen, J
(1985) Foreign Language Acquisition and the Development of Automaticity. In H. Dechert (ed.), 1990. Current Trends in European Second Language Acquisition Research. Clevendon, Avon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Manuel, J
(1990) Ecole Active Bilingue: Teacher’s guide. Paris R.E.M.I. Nathan.
Nattinger, J., and J. De Carrico
(1992) Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Peters, A.M
(1976) Language learning strategies: Does the whole equal the sum of the parts? Language 53: 560-73. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(1983) The units of Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Pierce, A
(1992) A comparative analysis of French and English Child Grammar. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
Porto, M
(1998) Lexical phrases and language teaching. Forum 36.3: 22. http://​exchanges​.state​.gov​/forum​/vols​/vol36​/no3​/p22​.htm
Radford, A
(1997) Syntactic theory & the structure of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(1998) Syntactic Theory and the Acquisition of English Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Raupach, M
(1984) Formulae in second language production. In H. Dechert et al.. (eds.), Second Language Productions. Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar
Rescorla, L., and S. Okuda
(1987) Modular patterns in second language acquisition. Applied Psycholinguistics 8: 281-308. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, R.W
(1983) Interaction, acculturation, and the acquisition of communicative competence: A case study of an adult. In N. Wolfson and E. Judd (eds.), Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition. Rowley, MA.: Newbury House, pp. 137-74.Google Scholar
Singh, I
(2000) Pidgins and Creoles, an Introduction. London: Arnold.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Skehan, P
(1998) A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Taylor, J.R
(1989) Lexical Categorization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Wagner-Gough, J
(1975) Comparative Studies in second language learning. CAL ERIC/CLL Series on Languages and Linguistics 26.
Wong-Fillmore, L
(1976) The second time around: Cognitive and social strategies in SLA. Language Learning 32: 53-68.Google Scholar
Wray, A
(2000) Formulaic sequences in second language teaching: Principle and practice. Applied Linguistics 21.4: 463-489. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(2002) Formulaic Language and the Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar