Texture in Learner Language
Thursday 3 October, 14.15; room 489 PAM
In this talk I will present some of the findings from my dissertation, entitled Texture in learner language. The main aim of the study was to investigate the extent to which Norwegian advanced learners are able to create texture when writing in English, i.e. their ability to exploit linguistic resources to create coherent texts, and which factors might explain any differences between the Norwegian students’ texts and L1 English texts. Specifically, the study examined choices related to thematic structure, information structure, thematic progression, and the use of explicit links between sentences in the form of connectors. The learner material comes from the Norwegian component of the International Corpus of Learner English (NICLE), and has been compared with English and Norwegian texts written by L1 expert and novice writers.
The results show that the NICLE writers do not use texturing resources in the same manner as native speakers. Two significant differences are overuse of themes containing given information in NICLE and overuse of connectors in themes. Transfer from Norwegian plays a surprisingly insignificant role as explanation for the non-native-like use of texturing resources in NICLE. The NICLE writers are more frequently influenced by developmental factors, either in the form of shared characteristics among novice writers whose L1 is Norwegian or among novice L1 and L2 writers of English.