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A-lexical-phrase-grammar-for-esl - Essay Example

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An example is, from the definition of idioms, we can see that they are frozen syntax in complex bits. This definition is does not describe its meaning basing on its constituents (James, 1980). The real meaning of idioms is just the addition of its individual parts such as; raining cats and dogs, kick the bucket, etc. these are just normal phrases same as ordinary English words and are therefore treated as ordinary in ESL texts. Another good example are cliches. Even though they seem alike as idioms they differ in a way that their meaning can be derived from its specific constituents (James, 1980).   Other forms of phrases that are in a way or another patterned are the non-canonical forms. These forms differ from idioms and cliches in that, they constitute of more large stretches of language as well as their meaning can be extracted from single words it contains. e.g the drier the climate, the more he likes it;waste not, want not; down the hatch; off his head (James, 1980). In this and such a case, the last bit which is off the head, can take other forms since it’s only a single way of completing the pattern. Phrases such as on with the show, down with the king; can also complete the large phrase perfectly without changing the meaning. From this example, we are able to note that it is a kind of pattern (ADV+PREPOSITION (with) + NP)  (James, 1980). Only the preposition will tend to remain constant while the other categories can be filled with other lexical items. This is the reason why they are considered non-canonical. ...Show more


The aim of the paper “A lexical phrase grammar for ESL” is to examine language theory learning models. There are some models that go ahead to remove the difference between these two components- lexicon and syntax- and describes language from the rules available in lexical units only. 

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