Vol. 166:1 (2015) ► pp. 163–189
Lexicogrammatical features of adverbs in advanced learner English
This paper explores the use of -ly adverbs by Norwegian advanced learners of English compared to that of native speakers. The investigation is based on two corpora of novice academic English: VESPA and BAWE. It considers features of lexis (frequencies, style, meanings, collocational patterns) as well as of syntax, i.e. whether the adverbs function as adjuncts, disjuncts, conjuncts or modifiers in adjective or adverb phrases. The learners make few clear mistakes with adverbs, but there are important frequency differences between the corpora concerning lexical choice and semantic and syntactic functions. Learners overuse adverbs with modal meaning but underuse phrase-modifying adverbs. Most adjunct types are also underused. At several points, the native speakers prove to have a greater lexical repertoire.
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