Making do: constructing phraseological chunks as complex form-meaning mappings

Journal article by Hana Gustafsson in Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 17(2), 2019.

Journal cover


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 ( and ) in a community of L2 English learners ( = 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.

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Published Feb. 20, 2020 1:43 PM - Last modified Feb. 20, 2020 1:43 PM