EFL and/vs. ESL?
A multi-level regression modeling perspective on bridging the paradigm gap
The study of learner language and that of indigenized varieties are growing areas of English-language corpus-linguistic research, which are shaped by two current trends: First, the recognition that more rigorous methodological approaches are urgently needed (with few exceptions, existing work is based on over-/under-use frequency counts that fail to unveil complex non-native linguistic patterns); second, the collective effort to bridge an existing “paradigm gap” (Sridhar & Sridhar 1986) between EFL and ESL research.This paper contributes to these developments by offering a multifactorial analysis of seventeen lexical verbs in the dative alternation in speech and writing of German/French learners and Hong Kong/India/Singapore English speakers. We exemplify the advantages of hierarchical mixed-effects modeling, which allows us to control for speaker and verb-specific effects, but also for the hierarchical structure of the corpus data. Second, we address the theoretical question of whether EFL and ESL represent discrete English varieties or a continuum.
Keywords: regression modeling, dative alternation, EFL, ESL
Published online: 23 March 2015
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