A corpus-based study on Asian learners’ use of English linking adverbials

Shin’ichiro Ishikawa


ICT influences various phases of language studies and education. Its application for appliedlinguistics has been mainly attempted in the field of corpus linguistics, which describes hownative speakers (NS) use the language and how its use by non-native speakers (NNS) deviatesfrom the NS norm. In the current study, we focused on the English linking adverbials (LA),which plays an important role in the logical cohesion of a text. By analyzing a newly-compiledinternational learner corpus to compare LA uses by English NS and Asian NNS, includingJapanese learners of English (JLE) and their Chinese counterparts (CLE), we obtained severalnoteworthy findings. First, the gap between NS and Asian NNS is rather limited in terms of thequantity of LA used in essay writing. Second, Asian NNS tend to overuse addictive types of LA.Third, Asian NNS overuse LA items concerning the introduction of additional information andintensification of meaning, while underusing LA items concerning the introduction of parallelinformation and sequential introduction of information. Finally, JLE, CLE, and NS use major LAitems in their own ways, which are hardly influenced by L2 proficiency.

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