Que reste-t-il de la distinction compétence-performance dans les théories fondées sur l'usage ?

Abstract : The usage-based approach to language brings together approaches that share the same working hypothesis i.e. that the genesis of language and the way language works both emerge from its usage. Although proponents of this approach criticise or reject the competence-performance distinction, they nonetheless continue to use it. A historical overview of the main reformulations of the Chomskian distinction in three scientific fields (cognitive psycholinguistics, the ethnography of communication and variationist sociolinguistics) establishes that the usage-based approach implements an integrative conception of competence. This conception includes, and sometimes generalises, elements drawn from these reformulations (cognitive processes, socio-cultural aspects to interaction, variation and the probabilistic aspect). As for performance, it seems to be understood as a series of data whereas the notion of usage event describes an interactional episode with its own dynamics. What remains of Chomsky's initial formulation is the idea of a system, with linguistic knowledge being understood not only as a set of processes and decisions called upon during the brief moment of the interaction, but also as a permanent structure of knowledge about language. Due to this desire for integration, the usage-based approach encounters the same difficulty that hampered some of its predecessors: how to model the link between linguistic and social knowledge (indexicality). However, recent elements drawn from cognitive neuroscience and exemplar theory can offer possible ways of meeting this interdisciplinary challenge.
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Jean-Pierre Chevrot. Que reste-t-il de la distinction compétence-performance dans les théories fondées sur l'usage ?. Mémoires XXI de la Société Linguistique de Paris, Peeters Publisher, pp.49-68, 2012. ⟨hal-00850507⟩

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