Linking up contrastive and learner corpus research


The papers brought together in this volume explore, through corpus data, the link between contrastive and interlanguage analysis. Learner corpora are approached from a contrastive perspective, by comparing them with native corpora or corpus data produced by learners from other mother tongue backgrounds, or by combining them with contrastive data from multilingual (translation or comparable) corpora. The integration of these two frameworks, contrastive and learner corpus research, makes it possible to highlight crucial aspects of learner production, such as features of non-nativeness (errors, over- and underuse, unidiomatic expressions), including universal features of interlanguage, or more general issues like the question of transfer. The ten papers of this volume cover topics ranging from methodology to syntax (e.g. adverb placement, postverbal subjects), through lexis (collocations) and discourse (e.g. information packaging, thematic choice). The languages examined include English, Chinese, Dutch, French and Spanish. The book will be of interest to a wide array of readers, especially researchers in second language acquisition and contrastive linguistics, but also professionals working in foreign language teaching, such as language teachers, materials writers and language testers.

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Gaëtanelle Gilquin works at the University of Louvain (Belgium) as a researcher for the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). Her research interests include corpus linguistics and contrastive linguistics, as well as the combined use of corpus and experimental data. She is the project leader of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI).
Szilvia Papp was Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TEFL at the University of Portsmouth (UK) between 1999-2007, before joining University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations where she is currently working as a Research and Validation Officer. Her research interests include child and adult second language acquisition, learner corpora and language testing.
María Belén Díez-Bedmar is Assistant Professor at the University of Jaén (Spain), where she is currently working on her PhD. Her research interests include learner corpora, the acquisition of English as a foreign language, patterns of interlanguage evolution and the problematic areas in Spanish students’ use of English.
"… the contributions in this collection provide an excellent overview of the developments of learner corpus research" - in: Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol. 32 (2010)
Gaëtanelle GILQUIN, Szilvia PAPP and María Belén DÍEZ-BEDMAR: Introduction
I Methodology
Gaëtanelle GILQUIN: Combining contrastive and interlanguage analysis to apprehend transfer: detection, explanation, evaluation
Annelie ÄDEL: Involvement features in writing: do time and interaction trump register awareness?
II Learner lexis
John CROSS and Szilvia PAPP: Creativity in the use of verb + noun combinations by Chinese learners of English
III Learner syntax
Cristóbal LOZANO and Amaya MENDIKOETXEA: Postverbal subjects at the interfaces in Spanish and Italian learners of L2 English: a corpus analysis
John OSBORNE: Adverb placement in post-intermediate learner English: a contrastive study of learner corpora
María Belén DÍEZ-BEDMAR and Szilvia PAPP: The use of the English article system by Chinese and Spanish learners
Christelle COSME: Participle clauses in learner English: the role of transfer
IV Learner discourse
Marcus CALLIES: Easy to understand but difficult to use? Raising constructions and information packaging in the advanced learner variety
Mike HANNAY and Elena MARTÍNEZ CARO: Thematic choice in the written English of advanced Spanish and Dutch learners
Annemie DEMOL and Pascale HADERMANN: An exploratory study of discourse organisation in French L1, Dutch L1, French L2 and Dutch L2 written narratives
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