The hypotheses made with regard to the lexicon–syntax interface as reflected in individual linguistic models have recently been empirically tested in the field of second language acquisition research. In order to assess the validity and applicability of such descriptive models to the study of foreign language acquisition processes, the research presented here adopts a performance/usage perspective based on the observation of language data elicited from a group of Italian EFL learners as an attempt to analyse the lexicon–syntax interface in the process of foreign language acquisition. In order to account for the implications for second language acquisition, corpus–based information has been incorporated in a generative grammar framework to achieve a general description based on a quantitatively meaningful ‘usage–based’ model.
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