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A Corpus-Based Contrastive Study of Adverb-Verb Collocations in Chinese Learner English and Native Speaker English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the use of adverb-verb/verb-adverb collocations such as widely use, strongly believe, generally agree, and see clearly in Native Speaker English and Chinese Learner English. The aim of the present study was to investigate the variation in the usages of adverb-verb / verb-adverb collocations in Chinese learners’ English as well as the role of L1 influence in Chinese learners’ use of such collocations.

The study involved a Chinese learner corpus the Spoken and Written English Corpus of Chinese Learners (SWECCL 1.0 and 2.0) as well as two corpora of Native Speaker English: the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus, and the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers (MICUSP). Fifteen most frequently used adverb-verb /verb-adverb collocations in the learner corpus were selected for the study: their frequencies, their semantic preference or semantic prosody and the placement of adverbs were examined and compared in the learner corpus and NS corpora. The role of L 1 influence will also be discussed to reveal the potential reasons why the learners produce such collocations differently from the native speakers.

The results of the investigation showed that the use of amplifier collocations such as develop quickly, widely use and abolish completely was highly frequent in Chinese Learner English. Also, Chinese learners clearly favoured speech-like adverb-verb / verb-adverb collocations such as just need and reflect only. In relation to the placement of adverbs, it became clear that the Adv-V-O sequence often appeared in Chinese Learner English. Some particular patterns such as see clearly, reflect only, use () properly, and play () properly, where native English speakers preferred the Adv-V-O and S-V-Adv sequences, occurred in V-Adv-O and V-O-Adv sequences in Chinese Learner English. With respect to semantic preference or prosody, in Chinese Learner English some patterns such as see clearly/clearly see and widely accept were often used to describe visual objects, while in NS English such patterns had a particularly strong semantic preference for mental objects such as thoughts or ideas. What is more, in Chinese Learner English, the pattern widely spread co-occurred with negative collocates. It could also be noticed that semantic preference and prosody interacted with syntactic patterning, genre and grammatical tense. Some potential reasons will be given to explain why the learners use such collocations differently from native English speakers. These included the influence of knowledge of collocations and lexical competence in L1, lexical transfer, syntactic transfer, and interlanguage development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
Second Language Acquisition, Corpus Linguistics, Chinese Learner English
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131449OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131449DiVA: diva2:939504
Educational program
Språkkonsultprogrammet
Presentation
(English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-12-20 Created: 2016-06-19 Last updated: 2016-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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