Lexical Phrases

According to the Idiom Principle (Sinclair, 1991) language users have thousands of ready-made, or pre-fabricated phrases from which they choose from, and which they access as one ‘chunk’ of language.  So, for instance, when I greet you with, “How are you?”  I do not think of each separate word and then combine it with the other, in other words I don’t think:  How + are + you; instead, I think of the whole phrase “How are you” and that is what I say.  The ability to quickly access and produce language chunks accounts for what we perceive as FLUENCY, how a language user combines multiple phrases and clauses without pausing.  So, if you want to improve your fluency in reading, writing, and speaking, one way to  do that is to focus on learning lexical phrases.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s