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The present volume, edited by Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz, is a timely contribution to the field of interlanguage pragmatics. The nine chapters presented here expand the scope of research to date by including different contexts (i.e., formal instruction, stay-abroad, and online) and age groups which have received less attention (for example, young learners and adolescents). Whereas the speech act of requesting is the one that has been most explored in the field of interlanguage pragmatics, as attested by several chapters in the present volume, disagreements and directives are also tackled. This book embraces research addressing both elicited and naturally-occurring data in studies which deal with pragmatic use, development, and awareness.
In: Corpus Analysis
Author: Anna Mauranen

Abstract

Part of being an academic entails being able to present ‘strong arguments’, ask ‘appropriate questions’, make ‘interesting points’, and perform other similar speech acts (e.g., Väliverronen 1992). Some of our socialisation into such skills appears to take place fairly explicitly through evaluative metadiscourse (or discourse reflexivity): ‘That’s a good question’, ‘the fundamental point is’, ‘it is important to emphasize’…, which, interestingly, tends to be predominantly positive (Mauranen 2000). Such discourse-reflexive expressions play important roles in organising ongoing discourse both in a linear way (indicating order and cohesion) and a hierarchical way (indicating importance). In the latter capacity, the effect on establishing and reorganising knowledge structures is clearly more important.

This paper explores the organising and socialising role of discourse reflexivity via some items related to argumentation ('argue', 'claim', 'observe'…) in the MICASE corpus, focusing on ‘argue’ in evaluative contexts. To capture socialisation from a developmental perspective, the uses are tracked down through speaker categories. A methodological solution for assessing the significance of speaker category figures is proposed on the basis of estimated expectancy values.

In: Corpus Analysis
Author: Juhani Rudanko

Abstract

This article focuses on sentential complements of the verbs pressure and prevent in present-day English. It is shown how each verb selects two types of complements that are similar for instance with respect to control properties and the semantic roles involved. However, it is argued on the basis of data from the full Bank of English Corpus that it is possible to identify the specific characteristics of the complementation patterns involved. Overall, the study illustrates the benefits of using a large electronic corpus in the investigation of an aspect of the system of English predicate complementation.

In: Corpus Analysis
Language Structure and Language Use
Volume Editors: Pepi Leistyna and Charles F. Meyer
The papers published in this volume were originally presented at the Third North American Symposium on Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching held on 23-25 March 2001 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Each paper analyses some aspect of language use or structure in one or more of the many linguistic corpora now available. The number of different corpora investigated in the book is a real testament to the progress that has been made in recent years in developing new corpora, particularly spoken corpora, as over half of the papers deal either wholly or partially with the analysis of spoken data. This book will be of particular interest to undergraduate and graduate students and scholars interested in corpus, socio and applied linguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics, and language teaching.

Abstract

Existing research in second language acquisition has speculated that the grammatical systems of learners may be heavily affected by the relative frequency of grammatical structures. Learners rely on what they have heard and how often. Native speakers, in contrast, may be better able to extract abstract principles from the input and are therefore less dependent on frequency. If a structure follows a principle, native speakers will readily accept it even if it has seldom been encountered, while non-native speakers may reject it if it is rare. However, this speculation has not been tested in studies that use the techniques of corpus linguistics to analyze relative frequency. The present study investigates the acquisition of English multiple wh-question, in particular the relationship of frequency to grammaticality judgements in English native speakers and in advanced Japanese learners of English. Certain types of multiple wh-questions are grammatical in English, but others are not. Among the grammatical types, there are large differences in frequency, as shown by an analysis of the COBUILD Bank of English. In an acceptability judgement task, the ratings of native speakers of English clustered according to principled grammaticality while the ratings of non-native speakers clustered according to frequency, providing confirmation for the hypothesis that native speakers operate more on principle while nonnatives operate more on the basis of what they have heard often.

In: Corpus Analysis

Abstract

This paper investigates variation in the personal letters of men and women in A Corpus of Nineteenth-Century English (CONCE). The description of language variation across male and female authors is based on the multi-dimensional framework developed in Biber (1988). In this multi-dimensional model, the dimensions of linguistic variation comprise linguistic features that co-occur in texts. The dimensions reflect situational, social, and cognitive functions shared by each group of co-occurring linguistic features.

Compared with other registers in the CONCE corpus, nineteenth-century personal letters form a fairly stable register in linguistic terms. However, there is variation within the personal letters with respect to the authors’ gender. The results suggest that men’s and women’s language differ on several dimensions, and that, diachronically through the nineteenth-century, men and women develop both differences and similarities. Women’s personal letter writing becomes less involved and less narrative. Men’s writing becomes more involved, and more narrative. Both genders tend to use less elaborated reference toward the end of the period, and the writing of men and women becomes markedly less persuasive/argumentative, and writers develop a slightly more personal/non-abstract style.

In terms of the extent of the diachronic change, women’s language consistently changes more than men’s language: In other words, women do not only show greater changes, but push further ahead in their new writing styles.

The study also analyzes the individual lexico-grammatical features that show statistically significant changes across gender. The distributions of particular linguistic features give additional evidence of the different language use of men and women.

In: Corpus Analysis

Abstract

This article explores the grammar of stance in the letters produced by a network of early eighteenth-century English writers associated with the essayist and diplomat, Joseph Addison. I conduct a corpus linguistic analysis of the relative occurrence of modal auxiliaries and lexically explicit stance expressions with the first person subject to explore the grammatical realization of speaker involvement in epistolary discourse. Examination of the kinds of grammatical constructions favored by the stance expressions indicate that verbs like think, hope, and believe appear to favor zero-marked complement clauses with first person subjects, whereas know favors wh-complement clauses. Close analysis reveals that writers deploy stance expressions in conventional as well as idiosyncratic ways in epistolary discourse.

In: Corpus Analysis
Author: Kristen Precht

Abstract

This study compares stance marker frequencies, part of speech frequencies, and the most common stance markers in British and American conversations. The corpus is comprised of 100,000 words of spoken English taken from conversations at home in America and Great Britain, excerpted from the Longman Corpus of Spoken and Written English. Stance marker frequencies are generated through the computer program, StanceSearch, which automates the identification of stanced lexical items occurring in particular grammatical frames. Four categories of stance markers are examined: affect (marking emotion and attitude), evidentials (marking certainty, doubt, and commitment), amount (marking hedges and emphatics), and modality (modal verbs). Similarities are found in American and British conversations in stance category and part of speech use. There is a strong relationship between part of speech and stance category: affect is expressed with adjectives and verbs, amount is adverbial, and evidentials are verbal. The main differences are in lexical choice. The British conversations have lower frequencies than American conversations in emotion-expressing affect markers, first-person verbs which express emotive affect, and emphatics. The American conversations have lower frequencies for modals verbs. The results suggest that cultural variations are not based on differences in stance categories as a whole, but rather on subtle lexical differences. To pinpoint where cultural variation lies, these lexical differences must be examined more closely.

In: Corpus Analysis
Authors: John M. Swales and Amy Burke

Abstract

The properties of academic speech are much less well known than those of academic writing. As part of an attempt to redress this imbalance, this paper investigates evaluative adjectives and their intensifiers in a portion of the MICASE corpus and compares these findings with those from a corpus of academic writing. Results suggest that adjectival evaluation in this spoken register is much more prevalent, but not quite as polarized, as originally envisaged. The study also confirms that even in academic speech really (at least in positive contexts) has become delexicalized, being largely reduced to an alternate for very.

In: Corpus Analysis