Edited by Fanny Meunier and Sylviane Granger
[Not in series 138] 2008
► pp. 101–119
Exemplification in learner writing: A cross-linguistic perspective
The aim of the case study reported in this chapter is to examine the potential influence of the mother tongue on learners’ production of both correct and incorrect multi-word units that are typically used to fulfil an important rhetorical function, namely exemplification, in academic writing. The phraseological patterns of five exemplifying lexical items are analyzed in five sub-corpora of the International Corpus of Learner English. These patterns are extracted from Paquot’s (2007) productively-oriented academic word list and include the two fixed conjuncts for example and for instance, the noun example and the verbs illustrateand exemplify. The analysis aims to distinguish between aspects of phraseological use characteristic of learners from one mother tongue background (and therefore probably L1-dependent) from phraseological patterns shared by most learner populations (and hence more likely to be developmental or teaching- induced). Results suggest that there are two different types of transfer of L1 multi-word units: the first type applies to word-like units and the second to less salient multi-word units. The study also indicates that transfer of form often seems to go together with transfer of frequency and register.
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