Formulaic language: Theories and methods

Aleksandar Trklja   Łukasz Grabowski  


The notion of formulaicity has received increasing attention in disciplines and areas as diverse as linguistics, literary studies, art theory and art history. In recent years, linguistic studies of formulaicity have been flourishing and the very notion of formulaicity has been approached from various methodological and theoretical perspectives and with various purposes in mind. The linguistic approach to formulaicity is still in a state of rapid development and the objective of the current volume is to present the current explorations in the field. Papers collected in the volume make numerous suggestions for further development of the field and they are arranged into three complementary parts. The first part, with three chapters, presents new theoretical and methodological insights as well as their practical application in the development of custom-designed software tools for identification and exploration of formulaic language in texts. Two papers in the second part explore formulaic language in the context of language learning. Finally, the third part, with three chapters, showcases descriptive research on formulaic language conducted primarily from the perspectives of corpus linguistics and translation studies. The volume will be of interest to anyone involved in the study of formulaic language either from a theoretical or a practical perspective.


  • Introduction
    Aleksandar Trklja, Łukasz Grabowski
  • Predictability and prefab status
    The case of adjective + noun sequences in English
    Joan Bybee, Ricardo Napoleão de Souza
  • Cascading collocations
    Collocades as correlates of formulaic language
    Richard Forsyth
  • Exploring the valency of collocational chains
    Piotr Pęzik
  • Paths to formulaicity
    How do L2 speakers internalise new formulaic material?
    Stephen Cutler
  • Formulaic sequences with ideational meanings in L1 novice and expert academic writing
    Ying Wang
  • Reading discourses through their phraseology
    The case of Brexit
    Andreas Buerki
  • Grammar patterns as an exploratory tool for studying formulaicity in English-to-Polish translation
    A corpus-based study
    Łukasz Grabowski, Nicholas Groom
  • God, Devil and Christ
    A corpus-based study of Russian formulaic idioms and their English and Finnish translation equivalents
    Mikhail Mikhailov



Aleksandar Trklja, University of Innsbruck

Aleksandar Trklja holds a PhD degree in English Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. He is currently an assistant professor in Translation Studies at the University of Innsbruck. His previous research was concerned with the investigation of formulaic properties of legal language as part of two ERC research projects. His principal area of research focuses on the relationship between distributional properties of the lexicon and lexical decomposition as well as on corpus linguistics and theories of meaning in translation studies.

Łukasz Grabowski, University of Opole

Łukasz Grabowski is Associate Professor at the Institute of Linguistics, University of Opole, Poland. His main research interests include corpus linguistics, formulaic language, translation studies and computer-assisted methods of text analysis. In 2013, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Research on English (CARE) at the University of Birmingham (UK). He also worked at the University of Ostrava (Czechia) and, on a number of corpus projects, at the University of Łódź (Poland) and Aston University (UK). In 2019 he was a visiting researcher at the University of Birmingham (UK) funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA). He has published internationally in journals such as English for Specific Purposes, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, International Journal of Lexicography, Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, among others, as well as in edited volumes published by John Benjamins, Emerald and Springer. Since 2020, he has been editorial board member of English for Specific Purposes.

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February 17, 2021
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Trklja, Aleksandar & Grabowski, Łukasz (eds.). 2021. Formulaic language: Theories and methods. (Phraseology and Multiword Expressions 5). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4727623


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ISBN-13 (15)