Use and accuracy of verb complements in English L2 speech
The verb complement structure (VC) poses difficulties for L2 learners since English verbs vary on which type of complement they require or allow, and this variability may impact acquisition. Although theoretical papers have discussed this structure, few papers describe the language performance of L2 learners. In addition, only rarely is oral production analyzed. To address this gap, we examined infinitival and gerundival VCs produced in free production speech by high-intermediate learners of English as a second language with mixed language backgrounds. Importantly, we explored the constructions by the VC produced and by the matrix verb requirements which has been underreported. Both aspects are necessary to understand what makes a VC attempt incorrect. These learners produced many VC constructions but not always correctly. The majority of the errors in VC usage involved either using neither marker or using both, even with matrix verbs which allow either VC.
Keywords: ESL, error, oral production data, infinitive, verb complement, gerund
Published online: 07 October 2013