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The idiom principle revisited

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journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2021, 01:17 by Anna Siyanova, R Martinez
© 2014 Oxford University Press 2014. John Sinclair's Idiom Principle famously posited that most texts are largely composed of multi-word expressions that 'constitute single choices' in the mental lexicon. At the time that assertion was made, little actual psycholinguistic evidence existed in support of that holistic, 'single choice', view of formulaic language. In the intervening years, a number of studies have shown that multi-word expressions are indeed processed differently from novel phrases. This processing advantage, however, does not necessarily support the holistic view of formulaic language. The present review aims to bring together studies on the processing of multi-word expressions in a first and second language that have used a range of psycholinguistic techniques, and presents why such research is important. Practical implications and pathways for future research are discussed.

History

Preferred citation

Siyanova, A. & Martinez, R. (2015). The idiom principle revisited. Applied Linguistics, 36(5), 549-569. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amt054

Journal title

Applied Linguistics

Volume

36

Issue

5

Publication date

01/01/2015

Pagination

549-569

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication status

Published

Contribution type

Article

Online publication date

26/01/2014

ISSN

0142-6001

eISSN

1477-450X

Language

en