The case of Romanian Learner English
1.1Rethinking learner corpus profiles
A rich body of literature supports the idea that computer learner corpora facilitate both authentic-data descriptions of specific interlanguage types and their pedagogical implications (Granger 1998). In our view, the major purposes of CLC research can be more easily accomplished when a lexico-grammatical profile (O’Keeffe, McCarthy et al. 2007) of the corpus has already been determined. Subsequently, the interdependence between a freshly compiled learner corpus, like the Romanian Corpus of Learner English (RoCLE) and the learner corpus profiling approach seems inevitable.
Nevertheless, defining a learner corpus profile proves to be a most challenging task, as it can simultaneously refer to an integrated type of investigation, i.e. multiple features of word categories within the corpus (Granger and Rayson 1998), and to particular analyses, i.e. multiple features of specific items within the corpus (Tognini-Bonelli 2001). The terminology used by Crystal (1991) associates ‘profiling’ with the identification of the most salient features in a particular person (clinical linguistics) or register (stylistics). Starting from there, there is the possibility of constructing general profiles of the corpus according to the focus components: grammatical, lexical, semantic etc. The sum of all these separate ‘profiles’ can generate a learner corpus profile.
The other option is to create a lexico-grammatical profile of a word/word-category and its typical “contexts of use” (O’Keeffe, McCarthy et al. 2007: 14) in connection to: collocates, chunks/idioms, syntactic restrictions, semantic restrictions, prosody etc. The chosen formula in the present study is...
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