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The Processing of Formulaic Sequences by Second Language Speakers


Modern Language Journal Volume 91, Number 3, ISSN 0026-7902


A number of researchers have suggested that formulaic sequences are stored and processed holistically (Altenberg, 1998; Raupach, 1984; Schmitt & Carter, 2004; Spottl & McCarthy, 2004). However, the evidence for this hypothesis has not been conclusive. The present study examined the representation and processing of formulaic sequences in two online grammaticality judgment experiments. English as a second language speakers and native English speakers were tested with formulaic and nonformulaic phrases matched for word length and frequency. The results showed that both native and nonnative speakers responded to the formulaic sequences significantly faster and with fewer errors than they did to nonformulaic sequences. The findings provide prevailing evidence in support of the holistic nature of formula representation and processing in second language speakers.


Jiang, N. & Nekrasova, T.M. (2007). The Processing of Formulaic Sequences by Second Language Speakers. Modern Language Journal, 91(3), 433-445. Retrieved May 7, 2021 from .

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