Nick Ellis had a very productive 2014 with no fewer than four publications in top research journals. In these publications, Nick continues to explore his longstanding research interest in cognitive and usage-based approaches to language.
Usage-based cognitive linguistic theories hold that linguistic constructions represent language form, their mappings to language function or semantics, and the statistics of these mappings. This statistical knowledge underlies fluent processing and native-like idiomaticity. In a series of three publications, Nick and co-authors Matt O’Donnell and Ute Römer explore these relations in first- and second-language learners.
The first shows that fluent native speakers evidence these types of knowledge:
- Ellis, N. C., O’Donnell, M. B., & Römer, U. (2014). The Processing of Verb-Argument Constructions is Sensitive to Form, Function, Frequency, Contingency, and Prototypicality. Cognitive Linguistics, 25 (1), 55-98.
The second shows that second language learners too have acquired this knowledge from language usage:
- Ellis, N. C., O’Donnell, M. B., & Römer, U. (2014). Second Language Verb-Argument Constructions are Sensitive to Form, Function, Frequency, Contingency, and Prototypicality. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 4 (4), 405-431.
The third shows that second language knowledge of constructions is also affected by language transfer. Thus L2 constructions evidence L2 usage and L1 usage:
- Römer, U., O’Donnell, M. B., & Ellis, N. C. (2014). Second Language Learner Knowledge of Verb–Argument Constructions: Effects of Language Transfer and Typology. Modern Language Journal, 98 (4), 952-975.
Nick Ellis also recently published as part of a larger collaboration exploring the relations between cognitive and social aspects of language:
- Jan H. Hulstijn, Richard F. Young, Lourdes Ortega, Martha Bigelow, Robert DeKeyser, Nick C. Ellis, James P. Lantolf, Alison Mackey and Steven Talmy, (2014). BRIDGING THE GAP: Cognitive and Social Approaches to Research in Second Language Learning and Teaching. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36 (3), 361-