Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lee Branum Martin

Second Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Third Advisor

Rose Sevcik

Fourth Advisor

Julie Washington


Formulaic language provides processing advantages and is essential for using language fluently in both native and non-native speakers. Collocations are the most studied subcategory of formulaic language besides idiomatic expressions. Collocations are two or more words that co-occur in a language. Exposure to linguistic input has been one of the main contributing factors in language acquisition. Therefore, researchers have stated that providing language exposure opportunities can enhance people's comprehension and productive use of that language. However, the relation between collocation production and language engagement has yet to be adequately tested through item-level analysis of their constructs. Therefore, this dissertation has three goals. The first goal is to examine the structure of language engagement in English-Spanish bilingual college students. The second goal is to examine the structure of English collocation production. The third goal is to examine the relationship between the components of language engagement and English collocation production. In a secondary analysis of 212 English-Spanish bilingual college students (18-30), I used their responses on an English collocation cloze task and language engagement questions on the Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire to indicate these constructs. The findings suggest that language exposure activities may be specific to English and Spanish. However, performance on collocation items did not support reasonably parsimonious factor structures. Further analysis is needed to better understand the linguistic abilities which may explain English collocation production.


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