Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

4. A study of complement clauses in learner and native spoken English: VICOLSE, LINDSEI Spanish, LINDSEI German and LOCNEC compared


The study of complement clauses in theoretical linguistics (generative, functional, cognitive and typological perspectives) is fairly well acknowledged and documented, as explained in the previous chapter. However, research about this kind of clauses in acquisition and SLA studies is relatively recent and unexplored. Diessel (2004: 78) mentions that only a few studies examine the acquisition of finite complement clauses in English, the most comprehensive investigation being the one carried out by Bloom et al. (1989). More recently, several relevant studies regarding the acquisition of complement clause constructions and other subordinate constructions (e.g. relative clauses) in child speech have been conducted by Diessel (2004), Kidd et al. (2005), and Diessel and Tomasello (2005). Kidd et al. (2005: 50) explain that “[t]he presence of complement clause constructions in child speech marks the beginning of the child’s entrance into the more complex aspects of grammar”. In their opinion, the lexical and syntactic criteria of CTVs stand for complex factors in the acquisition of a grammar. In order to use complement structures correctly, children must gradually elaborate argument structures of individual CTVs. The results of their research imply that the acquisition of complement clause constructions in child speech is closely tied to the frequency of CTVs.

Kidd et al. (2005: 51) explain that previous studies (Bloom 1991) point out that, after a first period in which complement constructions are limited to a range of light verbs (e.g. go, want, make, see ← 191 | 192 → and look), kids start to use a larger...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.