Presentation on theme: "Rita Juknevičienė Department of English Philology Vilnius University"— Presentation transcript:
1 Patterns of lexis in learner language: Lithuanian learners of English vs. native speakers Rita JuknevičienėDepartment of English PhilologyVilnius University2-6 September 2010, SLE Conference in VilniusCheck date – formatavimas nebaigtas
2 Research focus Structural features of written learner English. Contrastive analysis of multi-word units, i.e. lexical bundles in learner language.Structural differences at different levels of achievement.
3 Research questions Structural features of lexical bundles Distribution across major structural types: verbal, clausal, phrasal (Biber 2006), e.g. it is obvious that, to take into account, the nature of the, in the case of.Patterns in lexical bundles:Do lexical patterns get “bundlized”? If so, is it proficiency level-related? Which patterns are most frequent, e.g. V n “to write a letter” or V to-inf “want to do sth.” (Hunston & Francis 2000).or How much chunkiness is visible in patterns
4 Previous studiesDe Cock (2004): lexical bundles in English produced by French EFL learners and NS learnersBiber et al. (2004), Biber (2006): structural and functional classificationCortes (2004) and Hyland (2008): lexical bundles in articles from different research fieldsChen & Baker (2010): lexical bundles in L1 and L2 academic writing (BAWE corpus)Learner language should bear traces of the learner ability to produce multi-word units which develops as the learner advances in linguistic proficiency
5 Lexical bundles Established exclusively on frequency criteria Terminology:recurrent sequences (Altenberg 1998, De Cock 1998),lexical bundles (Biber et al. 1999, 2004, Cortes 2008, Hyland 2008),clusters (Scott 1999),chunks (O’Keeffe et al. 2007).Established exclusively on frequency criteriaStructurally and semantically incompleteExamples: in the, and then, one of the, and this is, I think that, in addition to this, or something like thatLB are multi-word units established, irrespective of their function, structure or semantic wholeness
6 Corpora of learner English NNS corpora (Lithuanian learners):AFK11st year students of English Philologywords, 226 essaysLICLE3rd-4th year students of English Philologywords, 253 essaysNS corpusLOCNESSnative speakers of English (British and American)words, 197 essays
7 Lexical bundles in this study Length: 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-word bundlesExamples: I think, people are not, it is better to, becoming more and more, one of the most etc.Frequency: 4 times per 100,000 wordsDistribution: at least 4 textsMethod:automatically extracted with WordSmith Tools (v.5)manually revised eliminating topical and identical bundles of varying lengths
8 Structural types of lexical bundles Bundles incorporating noun/prepositional phrases, e.g. the way in which, a little bit moreBundles incorporating verb phrases, e.g. you know it was, is going to beBundles incorporating dependent clause phrases, e.g what I want to, to come up with
9 Findings: structural types Most significantly underused subtypes in NNS corpora:NP with of-phrase fragment: the number of the, the end of the, the idea of thePrepositional phrase expressions: at the end of, at the same time, due to the factMost significantly overused subtypes in NNS corpora:(verb/adj+) to-clause fragment:In order to be, do not want to, to be able to(verb/adj+) that-clause fragment:that there is a, that it is not, that it should beMost significantly overused subtypes in NNS corpora:(connector) + 3rd person pron + VP fragment (there are a lot, it is not, it is the most, as it was mentioned);VP with non-passive verb (be one of the, become more and more, will not be able, do not have to)Reikia paimti skaicius is patikslintos imties phd kai jau turesiu
10 Findings: verbal bundles think about the – V prepdo not think that – V thatto understand the – V nto understand what you – V whto understand that – V thatLexical bundles contain patterns of complementation of individual words:Belong to, people claim that, go to the etc.Could they reveal any differences among the corpora?Each bundle examined and coded for a specific verbal pattern:V n, V prep, V that etc. (Hunston and Francis 1999)Corpus driven further on
11 Findings: verbal patterns in lexical bundles (% of the total in the corpus) Token values in percentages where 100 is all verbal patterns analysed. Examples TO BE ADDED on fly-ins. Patikslinti imtis po phdComments: the largest groups; V that mostly mental verbs; be V-ed patterns not visible in AFK; V prep overused in LICLE - facts
12 Findings: verbal bundles LOCNESS:To see theSee howSee thatBe seen asIs seen to beLICLE:See theSee thatSeen as aAFK1:See theSee thatNumbers of bundles (both types and tokens) containing complementation patterns are significantly different:AFK: 159 occurrences (norm. per words)LICLE: 112 occurrencesLOCNESS: 111 occurrencesBut NS language has more different patterns per lexeme while in AFK and to a lesser extent LICLE there are fewer patterns per lexeme.Patterns are visible in the bundles and AFK corpus data show a significant overuse in pattern variety both in terms of tokens and typesA tentative conclusion here is that lower-level learners use seemingly more different lexemes yet each lexemes gets single pattern while more advanced learners exploit one lexeme in different patterns.
13 Findings: clustering tendencies Which co-text, left or right, builds a bundle with the node word?they want towe want toI thinksome people thinkmany people thinkit is thoughtwant to bewanted tothink it isto think that thethinks about thethought that it wasIn the language Clustering around the node word occurs more often on the left rather than on the right of the verb
14 Example: BELIEVE AFK1: LICLE: LOCNESS: BELIEVE THAT (34) PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT (13)BELIEVE IN (9)BELIEVED THAT (7)IT IS BELIEVED THAT (7)TO BELIEVE (7)MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT (5)PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT (5)SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT (5)I BELIEVE (4)BELIEVE THAT (26)I BELIEVE THAT (16)BELIEVED THAT (6)TO BELIEVE (5)BELIEVE IN (4)BELIEVED IN (4)I STRONGLY BELIEVE (4)LOCNESS:BELIEVE THAT (26)BELIEVE IN (17)I BELIEVE THAT (11)BELIEVED THAT (10)TO BELIEVE (8)NOT BELIEVE (7)THEY BELIEVE THAT (7)BELIEVE IT (4)LICLE:Count how many out how many are full sentence stems
15 Verbal patterns in lexical bundles Number of verbs used in full sentence stems is significantly different:AFK1: 42 lexemes of which 27 recur in stem bundles “Subj+Verb” (64%)LICLE: 57 lexemes of which 13 recur in stem bundles (23%)LOCNESS: 61 lexemes of which 15 recur in stem bundles (24%)CONCLUSION: In the AFK1 corpus verbs tend to cluster with subjects of the sentences more often than with their complements.
16 Related studies Altenberg 1998: Granger 1998: In speech, sentence stems form the ‘springboard’ of utterances and lead to communicatively more important elements which express the rheme of the sentence.Granger 1998:NNS learners significantly overuse the active sentence structure, e.g. I/we/ think, one/we could say/notice etc.Herriman and Boström Aronsson 2009:The structural segment consisting of ”SUBJECT+VERB” is overused for the expression of theme.Hasselgård 2009:I as subject overused in thematized stance expressions.
17 Hunston’s (2009) semantic sequences (‘what is often said’) A verbal pattern (e.g. “V that” as in believe that) can be studied as a single word for its collocates.Collocates of verbal patterns in learner language may be very different from NS data.
18 Examples of semantic sequences from lexical bundles AFK1 corpus:SOME / MANY PEOPLE believe thatIT IS said that / PEOPLE say that(SOME) PEOPLE / THEY / I thinkLICLE/LOCNESS corpus:believe that / insay that / is said TO BEthink about / that
19 ConclusionsStructural analysis of lexical bundles informs about discourse features of learner language.Distribution of structural types suggests that lower-level learner language is closer to spoken English while more advanced learner writing bears more resemblance to written academic English.The study is a very modest attempt to merge analysis of lexical bundles and patterns.
20 Conclusions3. Patterns of lexis as represented in lexical bundles offer insights into text construction strategies used by the learners.4. Verbal lexical bundles in NNS language reveal not a verb complementation pattern but a full sentence stem, so in writing NNS learners are more worried about message construction rather than its development.
21 ReferencesAltenberg, B On the Phraseology of Spoken English: The Evidence of Recurrent Word-Combinations. In Cowie, A. P. (ed.) Phraseology: Theory, Analysis and Applications. Oxford: Oxford University PressBiber, D University Language. A Corpus-Based Study of Spoken and Written Registers. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.Biber, D., Conrad, S. and Cortes, V If You Look at…: Lexical Bundles in University Teaching and Textbooks. Applied Linguistics 25,Cortes, V Lexical Bundles in Published and Student Writing in History and Biology. English for Specific Purposes 23 (4),Cortes, V A Comparative Analysis of Lexical Bundles in Academic History Writing in English and Spanish. Corpora 3 (1),De Cock, S Preferred Sequences of Words in NS and NNS Speech. BELL (Belgian journal of English language and literature),Granger, S. 1998b. Prefabricated patterns in advanced EFL writing: collocations and formulae. A. P. Cowie (ed.) Phraseology. Theory, Analysis, And Applications. Oxford: Clarendon
22 ReferencesHasselgård, H Thematic choice and expressions of stance in English argumentative texts by Norwegian learners. K. Aijmer (ed.) Corpora and Language Teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing CompanyHerriman, J. & M. Boström Aronsson Themes in Swedish advanced learner writing in English. K. Aijmer (ed.) Corpora and Language Teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing CompanyHyland, K As Can Be Seen: Lexical Bundles and Disciplinary Variation. English for Specific Purposes (27)Hunston, S The usefulness of corpus-based descriptions of English for learners. K. Aijmer (ed.) Corpora and Language Teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing CompanyHunston, S. & G. Francis Pattern Grammar: A Corpus-driven Approach to the Lexical Grammar of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.