Progressives, Patterns, Pedagogy

A corpus-driven approach to English progressive forms, functions, contexts and didactics

ORCID logoUte Römer-Barron | University of Hanover
ISBN 9789027222893 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
ISBN 9789027294296 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
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This book presents a large-scale corpus-driven study of progressives in 'real' English and 'school' English, combining an analysis of general linguistic interest with a pedagogically motivated one. A systematic comparative analysis of more than 10,000 progressive forms taken from the largest existing corpora of spoken British English and from a small corpus of EFL textbook texts highlights numerous differences between actual language use and textbook language concerning the distribution of progressives, their preferred contexts, favoured functions, and typical lexical-grammatical patterns. On the basis of these differences, a number of pedagogical implications are derived, the integration of which then leads to a first draft of an innovative concept of teaching progressives - a concept which responds to three key criteria in pedagogical description: typicality, authenticity, and communicative utility. The analysis also demonstrates that many existing accounts of the progressive are inappropriate in several respects and that not enough attention is being paid to lexical-grammatical relations.

! Winner of the "Wissenschaftspreis Hannover 2006" for outstanding research monographs !

[Studies in Corpus Linguistics, 18] 2005.  xiv + 328 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This is an impressive piece of work based on a very large empirical investigation. Methodologically it is sound and innovative, and theoretically highly interesting. Römer is to be congratulated on a very solid and inspiring piece of research that should not be bypassed by anyone working on the progressive in English, corpus-driven linguistics, lexical grammar or corpus-based didactics.”
“Ute Römer has presented a highly inspiring, well-written, and corpus driven investigation of the English progressive. She has considered the forms, contexts, functions, lexical aspects and didactic dimensions of progressives in great depth. Her study provides a new empirical description based on quantitative analyses of a very comprehensive dataset and shows the wealth and necessary information corpus linguistics has to offer in the description of the English language. Her excellent study and its results cannot be ignored and should be considered by a wide audience.”
“The study is [...] a highly significant contribution to the field of corpus-driven language teaching in that it compares the functions and contexts of naturally occurring progressive forms to the progressive taught in German English language classes. Besides the impressive data base, the merits of this unique study lie specifically in the detailed and systematic theoretical description and discussion of language patterning.
The presented analysis of the English progressive lends itself for similar studies on other lexicogrammar items, the results of which may then be used to rewrite existent grammar-oriented pedagogical descriptions of language from a lexical-grammatical perspective.
The author has indeed gone to great lengths to present the wealth of data and interpretations in a holistic and, as far as language style is concerned, attractive way that hopefully makes this research accessible to a wide research and teaching community.”
“Ute Römer analyses massive quantities of real speech to reveal not only the variation which traditional linguistics assigns to dialects, but also the variation which is a common everyday feature of Standard English speech. Ute Römer is perfectly positioned and qualified to remain in the forefront of English corpus linguistics.”
“Römer's book shows that the traditional separation into grammar on the one hand, and the lexicon on the other doesn't do justice to the complexity of the data. The progressive is not a uniform grammatical phenomenon, but partly lexically driven.”
“Ute Römer’s book is an insightful resource for every reader who is either curious about language forms and usage, or has an interest in the studying or teaching of languages. [...] Overall, the work by Römer provides a solid empirical overview of progressive verb forms in contemporary spoken British English. The discussion of both corpus linguistic research and language teaching is quite evident and beneficial to the reader. The author aptly explores how progressives are used in communicative situations, teaching materials, and in language textbooks to provide the reader with a wealth of information on the use of progressive verbs.”
“Overall, this volume has many strengths. In addition to the impressive analysis of the data and the detailed presentation of results, this work succeeds in demonstrating how evidence from corpus linguistic research can be used to inform and change language teaching.”
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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2005050253 | Marc record