Article published in:Constructions in Applied Linguistics
Edited by Susan Hunston and Florent Perek
[International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 24:3] 2019
► pp. 268–290
A corpus perspective on the development of verb constructions in second language learners
This article reports initial findings from a study that uses written data from second language (L2) learners of English at different proficiency levels (CEFR A1 to C1) in a large-scale investigation of verb-argument construction (VAC) emergence. The findings provide insights into first VACs in L2 learner production, changes in the learners’ VAC repertoire from low to high proficiency levels, and changes in learners’ dominant verb-VAC associations from low to high proficiency levels. The article also addresses the question what role formulaic sequences play in the L2 acquisition of VACs. Data analyses indicate that, from lowest to highest proficiency levels, the VAC repertoire of L2 English learners shows an increase in VAC types, growth in VAC productivity and complexity, and a development from predominantly fixed sequences to more flexible and productive ones. The findings help to expand our understanding of the processes that underlie construction acquisition in an L2 context.
Keywords: verb-argument constructions, learner corpus, second language acquisition, proficiency development, German learners
- 2.Data and methods
- 3.1First VACs in German L2 learners of English
- 3.2Changes in German L2 learners’ English VAC repertoire across levels
- 3.3Changes in verb-VAC associations across levels
- 3.4The role of formulaic sequences in L2 VAC acquisition
- 4.Conclusion and outlook
Published online: 27 August 2019
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