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Clausal Complements in Native and Learner Spoken English

A Corpus-based Study with Lindsei and Vicolse

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Beatriz Tizon-Couto

This study deals with the frequency and use of clausal complementation in the oral production of two different Spanish learner groups (i.e. Galician/Spanish learners and Spanish learners) as compared with a further learner group (i.e. German learners) and with native speakers (British students). By using corpus and learner linguistic approaches, this research aims to find out and explain the similarities and differences regarding the use of clausal complementation structures in the oral English of several groups of non-native and native speakers. In addition, this study also depicts the process of collection of the oral corpus VICOLSE, which contains transcripts of spoken English data produced by bilingual Galician/Spanish learners. The identification of variation in the use of clausal complementation across the data sheds light on the particular characteristics of spoken learner language syntax/structuring.

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Contents Acknowledgements .............................................................................. 9 Abbreviations ...................................................................................... 11 1. Learner language studies ............................................................... 13 1.1. Defining Interlanguage and learner language ........................ 14 1.2. A review of learner language studies ..................................... 18 1.2.1. Contrastive Analysis .................................................... 18 1.2.2. Error Analysis .............................................................. 22 1.2.3. Interlanguage studies ................................................... 29 1.2.4. Contrastive Analysis, Error Analysis and Interlanguage: a common goal .............................. 33 1.2.5. Modern SLA and Contrastive Interlanguage Analysis ................................................. 36 1.3. Corpora in the teaching and learning of languages ................ 47 1.4. Computer Learner Corpora successes and limitations ........... 53 1.5. Summary and concluding remarks ......................................... 54 2. The form and function of complement clauses in English ............ 57 2.1. A theoretical introduction to complementation ........................ 57 2.1.1. Generative Grammar ................................................... 58 2.1.2. Cognitive and Functional grammars ............................ 60 2.1.3. Typological approaches ............................................... 62 2.1.4. Summary.….. ............................................................... 64 2.2. Towards a structural account of complementation ................ 65 2.2.1. A categorial taxonomy of complements: an introduction ............................................................. 65 2.2.2. Complementation vs. Modification ............................. 67 2.2.3. Clausal complementation ............................................ 70 2.2.3.1. Complementizers ......................................... 78 2.2.3.2. Positions of complement clauses ................. 81 2.2.3.3. The morphology of complement types ........ 82 2.2.3.4. The syntax of complementation ................... 85 2.2.3.5. The semantics of complementation .............. 92 2.3. Verb-governed complementation ........................................ 101 2.3.1. Complement-taking verbs (CTVs) ............................ 102 2.3.2. Choice of complement clause type ........................... 109 2.3.2.1. That-clauses ............................................... 114 2.3.2.2. Wh-clauses ................................................. 121 2.3.2.3. To-infinitive clauses ................................... 124 2.3.2.4. -Ing clauses ................................................ 128 2.4. Adjective-governed complementation ................................. 130 2.4.1. That-clauses controlled by adjectives ........................ 131 2.4.2. Wh-clauses controlled by adjectives .......................... 133 2.4.3. To-clauses controlled by adjectives .......................... 134 2.4.4. -Ing clauses controlled by adjectives ......................... 136 2.5. Noun-governed complementation ........................................ 137 2.5.1. Head nouns taking that-clauses ................................. 141 2.5.2. Head nouns taking wh-interrogative clauses ............. 143 2.5.3. Head nouns taking to-clauses...

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