Book chapter 862 views
Knowledge of Grammatical Use / Jeanine Treffers-Daller; Vivienne Rogers
Dimensions of Vocabulary Knowledge, Pages: 106 - 122
Swansea University Author: Vivienne, Rogers
The patterns in which a word occurs form an integral part of what we know about a particular word, and it is not surprising that an important part of learning a language therefore involves learning about the patterns in that language. As has been known for a long time, children often use chunks such...
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The patterns in which a word occurs form an integral part of what we know about a particular word, and it is not surprising that an important part of learning a language therefore involves learning about the patterns in that language. As has been known for a long time, children often use chunks such as What do you want? before being able to use grammatical structures which allow for the productive use of wh-questions (Nelson 1973, cited in Foster-Cohen 1999: 130). In L2 acquisition, learning of unanalysed chunks is a common strategy of learners too in that learners use the memory-based chunks to develop productive structures at a later stage (Skehan 2003; Wray 2002). L2 learners also transfer lexical patterns, such as subcategorisation frames, from their L1 to their L2 (Adjémian 1983). Learners often assume that the patterns associated with a particular word from their L1 can be transferred to their second language, but this is clearly not always possible. Learners of French with English as their first language often assume, for example, that it is possible to say entrer la pièce “to enter the room”, instead of entrer dans la pièce, because in English a prepositional phrase is not part of the subcategorisation frame of enter. In standard French, however, entrer needs to be accompanied by the preposition dans “in” (see also Treffers-Daller and Tidballin press). Thus, part of the learning burden of a word, that is “the amount of effort required to learn a word” (Nation 2001: 7), is to discover in which patterns it can be used and how these patterns differ from the patterns associated with the translation equivalent in L1. The focus in the current chapter will be on a particular kind of patterns, namely grammatical use patterns. We will not deal with lexical collocations, as these are examined in Chapter 9. For the purposes of the current chapter we will use the term GRAMMATICAL USE PATTERNS as a cover term for different types of grammatical knowledge that are associated with words.
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