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Clausal Complements in Native and Learner Spoken English

A Corpus-based Study with Lindsei and Vicolse


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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5. Conclusion 309


5. Conclusion 5.1. Outline This study has approached the study of clausal complementation in the oral production of learners of English and native speakers from a learner corpus linguistics perspective. The five previous chapters have focused on learner language studies (Chapter 1), the creation process of the spoken learner corpus VICOLSE and the characteristics of the control corpora LINDSEI Spanish and German and LOCNEC (Chap- ter 2), verb-, adjective- and noun-governed clausal complementation (Chapter 3), and the analysis and results of comparing the frequency of occurrence of these strategies in three learner corpora, namely VI- COLSE, LINDSEI Spanish and LINDSEI German, and the native corpus LOCNEC (Chapter 4). 5.2. Summary of Chapters 1 to 4 In the Introduction I dealt with the issue of corpus linguistics, which is the methodological framework employed in this study. Chapter 1 focused on learner language research as the particular area of linguistic investigation in which this study is framed. The main aim of this chapter was to offer a general overview of the evolution of SLA research through the review of traditional approaches such as CA, EA and interlanguage studies and more modern procedures such as CIA. This chapter departs from the definition of the object of study, namely interlanguage or learner language (Selinker 1972/1969: fn 5, quoted in Selinker 1992: 231). Selinker’s model also provided an ex- planation about the processes (native language transfer, transfer of 310 training, strategies of second-language learning, strategies of second- language communication and overgeneralization of the target lan-...

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