The Use of Psycholinguistic Formulaic Language in the Speech of Higher Level Japanese Speakers of English
Stephen F. Cutler
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A recent study by Cordier (2013) suggests that psycholinguistic formulaic
sequences (multiword units that present a processing advantage
to the individual speaker) may be more prevalent in L2 speakers than
previously thought. The current study adopts the same identification
process to explore the use of psycholinguistic formulaic sequences in
the speech of Japanese Speakers of English (JSE).
Eight adult JSE at intermediate or advanced levels of English each performed
two speaking tasks: a structured interview and a narration task.
Formulaic sequences were identified on the basis of hierarchical conditions
applied in strict order. The first condition was fluency and the second
condition checked for holisticity (using given diagnostic criteria).
For each sample, two measures of formulaicity were calculated: FS%
(the percentage of syllables that were part of a formulaic sequence) and
ANR (the average number of formulaic syllables per run).
The mean formulaicity of the samples (FS%=34.6%, ANR=1.64) suggests
that psycholinguistic formulaic sequences, as defined and identified here,
may be a significant feature in the speech of intermediate/advanced JSE.
The study also confirms the sensitivity of the results to task, with significantly
more formulaic sequences used in the interview task than in the
narration. Overall, the identification process was found to be a useful and
systematic way of identifying formulaic sequences, but some further refinements
of the diagnostic criteria and measures used are also suggested.
Cutler, S. F. (2017). The Use of Psycholinguistic Formulaic Language in the Speech of Higher Level Japanese Speakers of English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (1), 48–60. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.1.Cutler