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Learner corpus profiles

The case of Romanian Learner English


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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6. Genitives in Romanian Learner English


6.Genitives in Romanian Learner English


The problem of the genitive structures in EFL varieties is very much dependent on the type of L1 used by the learners, since it has been demonstrated that “differences in learners’ backgrounds can cause the differences in acquisition orders” (Izumi and Isahara 2004: 70). For example, in the case of early learners of Spanish (Dulay and Burt 1973), the acquisition of the possessive-’s forms was found to be the last in a row of eight basic acquisition categories (plural -s, progressive -ing, copula be, auxiliary be, articles, irregular past tense and third person singular present tense -s). On the other hand, a corpus study on Japanese students (Izumi and Isahara 2004) showed that the possessive-’s was the least difficult acquisition area for the corpus informants. The results were correlated with the [-ART] nature of the Japanese language, compared to the complete [+ART] Spanish system.

In Romanian Learner English, considering the complexity of the Romanian morphological system and its typology, the Spanish-learner tendency should apply. On the other hand, the duality of the analytic (indefinite article) and the synthetic (definite article) forms could generate even more problems for the learners, who have to adapt the Romanian genitive-article structures to the English genitive patterns in two ways:

Figure 46. Genitive-article patterns in Romanian versus English. ← 175 | 176 →

A Romanian-English contrastive analysis will highlight the principal factors influencing the error types made by the Romanian...

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