Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1486
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This study investigates 2,909 phrasal verbs [PVs] in (in)transitive constructions across native English and French- and German-English interlanguages (ILs). Recent work by Gilquin (2014) shows that, as verb-particle combinations, PVs associate more or less strongly with particular syntactic constructions. Further, those association patterns vary across native and learner Englishes. Building on Gilquin (2014), the present study digs deeper into PV constructions by assessing degrees of mutual attraction between verbs and particles as well as between PVs and their semantic uses. Degrees of association are measured using a co-varying collexeme analysis approach (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2005). Generally, it emerges that within given syntactic constructions (e.g. verb-particle-object constructions), different verbs and particles (i.e. and in the case of or and for ) combine in different degrees, suggesting that, as cognitive routines, those combinations are not equally entrenched. In addition, French and German English learners seem to operate at different levels of semantic complexity when using PVs in their L2. Ultimately, the study bears important pedagogical implications, namely the need (i) to focus on phrasal verbs’ aspectual uses to help learners develop a more confident use of PVs in completive, inceptive and continuative semantic contexts and (ii) to develop resources that help learners improve their uses of PVs in verb-object-particle constructions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): co-varying collexeme analysis; EFL; phrasal verbs; usage-based
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