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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Created in November of 1989, Issues in Applied Linguistics is a refereed journal managed, edited and published by graduate students of the UCLA Department of Applied Linguistics. The journal is published twice yearly and has established international distribution and a solid reputation in the field of Applied Linguistics.

Our aim is to publish outstanding research from students, faculty, and independent researchers in the broad areas of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, language analysis, language assessment, language education, language use, and research methodology. We are particularly interested in publishing new departures and cross-disciplinary endeavors in the field of applied linguistics.


Theory Development in Applied Linguistics: Toward a Connectionist Framework for Understanding Second Language Acquisition

This paper builds upon the Competition Model to create a broadframework that can inform a connectionist approach to second language acquisition research. After adopting three types ofexplanationsfor second language acquisition and outlining criteriafor evalu- ating theories, the paper summarizes the Competition Model, a theory that utilizes those threetypesofexplanations. Thepaperthensummarizesfindingsregardingthelongitudinal developmentofpasttimeexpression. Toaccountforthesepatterns,thepaperintroduces additional constructs that are consistent with the Competition Model. Integrating "the competition offormsfor expressing functions" with the notion of "cumulative complexity" (Brown, 1973), these new constructs are combined in the Sign-based, Connectionist, Envi- ronmentalist, and Compositionist (SCEC) Framework. The past time patterns are inter- preted as manifestations of expansions in neural connectivity and modifications of connec- tion strengths, changes that result from the associative learning that occurs during the processing of a large number of exemplars.

A Comparative Analysis of Discourse Markers in English Conversational Registers

Using corpora of spoken American English conversations, the present study exam- ines the use of discourse markers in different spoken registers. Three conversational cor- pora were selected for analysis: 12 family conversations, 11 professor-student conversa- tions during office hours, and 10 sen'er-customer conversations. Twelve discourse markers were identified based on previous literature, and their occurrences in context were ana- lyzed using the Monoconc concordancing program. Quantitative and qualitative analyses show that there are considerable differences in the frequency distributions of discourse markers. These distribution patterns are interpreted in light of the functions of each dis- course marker interacting with the typical characteristics ofdifferent conversational regis- ters.

Vivid Phrasal Idioms and the Lexical-Image Continuum

This article discusses problems arising due to lack ofscholarly accord regarding the definition of the term idiom. Following a critical review of several of these definitions, a new category of idiom, which I have termed vivid phrasal (VP) idiom, is suggested. The subclassification of VP idioms along a conceptual Lexical-Image Continuum is then pre- sented. I suggest tliat while there still exist various means of categorizing idioms, agree- ment among idiomatologists regarding the definition of idiom can be reached and that, even more importantly, a common research agenda for second language acquisition re- searchers and language teachers is possible. Using empirical evidence, markedness fac- tors, andimplicationaluniversalsforVPidioms, Imakerecommendationsforfutureidiom research. The article concludes with a discussion of the advantages of a common research agendafor the development ofstrategies to assure second andforeign language learners' idiomatic competence.