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LINGUIST List 16.3618

Mon Dec 19 2005

Qs: Formulaic Language; 'In Them There Hills'

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Teresa Fleta, Formulaic Language
        2.    Neal R. Norrick, 'In Them There Hills'

Message 1: Formulaic Language
Date: 19-Dec-2005
From: Teresa Fleta <tfletaretemail.es>
Subject: Formulaic Language

Dear Sir,

At present I am carrying out some research work on the early stages of child
second language acquisition.

Data shows that there is:

1. A gradual increase of the number and the percentage of sentences in the three
year groups (Nursery: 4,95%; Reception: 19,07% and Year 1: 63,39%),

2. There is a gradual decrease of repetitions (Nursery: 17,82%; Reception: 4,38%
and Year 1: 5,50%)

3. There is a steady progress of formulaic language (Nursery: 2,31%; Reception:
3,94% and Year 1: 6,10%). These are some examples of formulas: Toilet, please.
Time to
tidy up. She's not here today. Can you help me?

I would very much appreciate information on articles and authors that study the
acquisition of formulas/formulaic language/ prefabricated language/chunks within the
generativist framework.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

Teresa Fleta

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
Message 2: 'In Them There Hills'
Date: 15-Dec-2005
From: Neal R. Norrick <n.norrickmx.uni-saarland.de>
Subject: 'In Them There Hills'

Dear fellow linguists,

Some dialects of English have constructions like: ''this here dog,'' ''them
there hills,'' which are apparently noun phrases consisting of a demonstrative,
a locative adverb and a head noun. The demonstrative and the adverb are paired,
such that ''this'' and ''here'' occur together, as do ''them'' or ''that'' and
''there,'' but ''this'' doesn't occur with ''there'' or ''that'' and ''them''
with ''here.''

I can't find reference to these constructions in any grammar, indeed a noun
phrase with an adverb between a determiner and the head noun seems to be ruled
out by many grammars.

Can anyone shed some light on these constructions?

Thanks for your help,

Neal R. Norrick

Chair of English linguistics
Saarland University, Germany

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

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