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Formulaic sequences in native and non-native argumentative writing in German

Jaworska, S., Krummes, C. and Ensslin, A. (2015) Formulaic sequences in native and non-native argumentative writing in German. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 20 (4). pp. 500-525. ISSN 1569-9811

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1075/ijcl.20.4.04jaw

Abstract/Summary

Whereas there is substantial scholarship on formulaic language in L1 and L2 English, there is less research on formulaicity in other languages. The aim of this paper is to contribute to learner corpus research into formulaic language in native and non-native German. To this effect, a corpus of argumentative essays written by advanced British students of German (WHiG) was compared with a corpus of argumentative essays written by German native speakers (Falko-L1). A corpus-driven analysis reveals a larger number of 3-grams in WHiG than in Falko-L1, which suggests that British advanced learners of German are more likely to use formulaic language in argumentative writing than their native-speaker counterparts. Secondly, by classifying the formulaic sequences according to their functions, this study finds that native speakers of German prefer discourse-structuring devices to stance expressions, whilst British advanced learners display the opposite preferences. Thirdly, the results show that learners of German make greater use of macro-discourse-structuring devices and cautious language, whereas native speakers favour micro-discourse structuring devices and tend to use more direct language. This study increases our understanding of formulaic language typical of British advanced learners of German and reveals how diverging cultural paradigms can shape written native speaker and learner output.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > German
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:40366
Uncontrolled Keywords:formulaic language, n-grams, argumentative writing, German, English, native speakers, British learners of German, non-native speakers
Publisher:John Benjamins Publishing Co.

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