The role of formulaic language has generally received only marginal attention within linguistic and second language acquisition theory While there has been continuing interest in the phenomenon, no coherent overall model has yet emerged. This paper provides an up-to-date survey of the second language literature on the role of formulaic language, drawing on a variety of approaches, and including reference to native language learning and use I consider three different functions of formulaic language, i e as communicative, production, and learning strategy, and discuss children as well as adults, naturalistic as well as classroom learning. The paper argues that the most urgent task is to address the theoretical and methodological difficulties surrounding the definition and identification of formulaic language and to place the study of formulaic language within a larger, coherent theoretical framework. It is suggested that this may only be possible by taking seriously theories which abandon strict boundaries between language knowledge and use

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