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Title: Investigating the lexico-grammatical resources of a non-native user of English: The case of can and could in email requests
Authors: Hall, Christopher J.
Joyce, Jack
Robson, Chris
Keywords: Usage-based linguistics
Plurilithic Englishes
Second language acquisition (SLA)
English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)
Idiolect
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © De Gruyter
Citation: HALL, C.J., JOYCE, J. and ROBSON, C., 2017. Investigating the lexico-grammatical resources of a non-native user of English: The case of can and could in email requests. Applied Linguistics Review, 8(1), pp. 35-59.
Abstract: Individual users of English as a first or second language are assumed to possess or aspire to a monolithic grammar, an internally consistent set of rules which represents the idealized norms or conventions of native speakers. This position reflects a deficit view of L2 learning and usage, and is at odds with usage-based approaches to language development and research findings on idiolectal variation. This study problematizes the assumption of monolithic ontologies of grammar for TESOL by exploring a fragment of genre-specific lexicorammatical knowledge (the can you/could you V construction alternation in requests) in a single non-native user of English, post-instruction. A corpus sample of the individual’s output was compared with the input he was exposed to and broader norms for the genre. The analysis confirms findings in usage-based linguistics which demonstrate that an individual’s lexico-grammatical knowledge constitutes an inventory of constructions shaped in large part by distributional patterns in the input. But it also provides evidence for idiosyncratic preferences resulting from exemplar-based inertia in production, suggesting that input is not the sole factor. Results are discussed in the context of a “plurilithic” ontology of grammar and the challenges this represents for pedagogy and teacher development.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Applied Linguistics Review and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1001
Version: Published version
DOI: 10.1515/applirev-2016-1001
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/24745
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-1001
ISSN: 1868-6303
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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