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Learner corpus profiles

The case of Romanian Learner English

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Madalina Chitez

Aiming at exemplifying the methodology of learner corpus profiling, this book describes salient features of Romanian Learner English. As a starting point, the volume offers a comprehensive presentation of the Romanian-English contrastive studies. Another innovative aspect of the book refers to the use of the first Romanian Corpus of Learner English, whose compilation is the object of a methodological discussion. In one of the main chapters, the book introduces the methodology of learner corpus profiling and compares it with existing approaches. The profiling approach is emphasised by corpus-based quantitative and qualitative investigations of Romanian Learner English. Part of the investigation is dedicated to the lexico-grammatical profiles of articles, prepositions and genitives. The frequency-based collocation analyses are integrated with error analyses and extended into error pattern samples. Furthermore, contrasting typical Romanian Learner English constructions with examples from the German and the Italian learner corpora opens the path to new contrastive interlanguage analyses.
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5. Prepositions in Romanian Learner English

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5.Prepositions in Romanian Learner English

5.1Introduction

For the Romanian learner of English prepositions are a continuous source of errors14, as for the majority of the L2 learners of English. As already highlighted in a previous chapter, both older (Romanian English Contrastive Analysis Project) and more recent case studies (RoCLE10) placed prepositions on the first position in the Hierarchical System of Errors based on samples of Romanian Learner English.

Prepositions represent one of the most frequently used parts of speech in each language. At the same time, they are bound to pose problems to language researchers because of the multitude of classifications attributed to them.

Most of the categorizations refer to the syntactic-semantic distinction, which divides prepositions according to their syntactic functions, i.e. prepositional phrase, or semantic functions, i.e. multitude of meanings. Syntactical classifications differentiate between simple prepositions, which consist of one word, and complex prepositions, which include more than one word (cf. Quirk, Greenbaum et al. 1985). Furthermore, complex prepositions can be classified into two-word constructions (adjective/adverb + prepositions, e.g. out of), three-word constructions (simple preposition + a noun + a simple preposition, e.g. in spite of) and four-word phrases (simple preposition + article + noun + a simple preposition, e.g. in the name of). In what concerns the semantic functions of prepositions, classifications tend to be insufficient since the various meanings of the prepositions are described differently in each linguistic study. One can however dis ← 125 | 126 → tinguish between basic prepositions...

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