Idiomaticity in English and Norwegian: Corpus-based approaches
The project combines corpus-based contrastive analysis and learner corpus research in a quest to survey English-Norwegian contrasts in the interface between lexis and grammar.
Our main interest is basic research on large text corpora (linguistic databases) to contextualize the use of lexicogrammatical patterns across languages and in advanced learner English (compared to English produced by native speakers). An aim is to identify cross-linguistic differences and their effect on learner language performance along with register-specific turns of phrase, which may vary across languages and cultures. In other words, we are interested in the puzzles of nativelike fluency and nativelike selection of words and phrases.
“Lexicogrammatical patterns”, constituting the phraseology of a language (variety), refers to patterns of lexis as well as grammatical patterns. Situated within usage-based, empirical and functional language studies, the project seeks to produce new knowledge about how words are co-selected to form idiomatic lexicogrammatical patterns across languages and language varieties. The combination of contrastive and interlanguage corpus research highlights language-specific linguistic patterns that may explain non-nativelike linguistic behaviour in second-language production. The main focus is on the English-Norwegian dimension, but other languages can be brought in to ensure that results can be generalized.
With its emphasis on corpus studies, the project is firmly situated within usage-based and functional language studies.
Central issues are the following:
i. how patterns vary across languages;
ii. how patterns vary across registers;
iii. whether register features are similar or different cross-linguistically;
iv. how patterns vary across English as a first (L1) and second language (L2);
v. the extent to which learners of English manage to adapt their lexicogrammatical patterns to the appropriate register characteristics of English L1;
vi. the extent to which cross-linguistic differences are reflected in the English of advanced learners;
vii. how lexicogrammatical patterns in different languages reflect cultural differences;
viii. the extent to which learners apply the patterns of their first or their second language.