A Usage-based Analysis of L2 Production of English Resultative Constructions

Hyunwoo Kim1, Min-Chang Sung2,*
Author Information & Copylight
1Seoul National University
2Gyeongin National University of Education
*Corresponding Author : Instructor, Dept. of English Education, Gyeongin National University of Education, 62 Gyesan-ro, Gyeyang-gu, lncheon, Korea, E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2019 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jan 08, 2019 ; Revised: Feb 15, 2019 ; Accepted: Feb 15, 2019

Published Online: Apr 30, 2019


This study investigates whether the usage patterns of resultative constructions (e.g., The lake froze solid; Tom painted the wall white) in argumentative essays written by Korean-speaking learners of English follow the usage-based principles influencing first language acquisition. Specific research questions addressed in this study are: a) whether resultative constructions with high complexity and low frequency are more difficult to learn for Korean-speaking learners of English than other types of argument structure constructions, and b) whether learners expand their choice of verbs in the resultative constructions as their proficiency increases. Multiple regression analyses showed that the occurrence of resultative constructions explains the variability of learner proficiency better than that of other constructions. In addition, learners employed less frequent and more varied types of verbs in the resultative constructions as their proficiency was higher. Our findings suggest that usage-based theories of language development hold true in the context of foreign language learning.

Keywords: English resultatives; usage-based models; construction grammar; L2 proficiency



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