Linking learner corpus and experimental data in studying second language learners’ knowledge of verb-argument constructions

Ute Römer 1 , Audrey Roberson 1 , Matthew B. O’Donnell 2  and Nick C. Ellis 3
  • 1 Georgia State University
  • 2 University of Pennsylvania
  • 3 University of Michigan

Abstract

This paper combines data from learner corpora and psycholinguistic experiments in an attempt to find out what advanced learners of English (first language backgrounds German and Spanish) know about a range of common verbargument constructions (VACs), such as the ‘V about n’ construction (e.g. she thinks about chocolate a lot). Learners’ dominant verb-VAC associations are examined based on evidence retrieved from the German and Spanish subcomponents of ICLE and LINDSEI and collected in lexical production tasks in which participants complete VAC frames (e.g. ‘he ___ about the...’) with verbs that may fill the blank (e.g. talked, thought, wondered). The paper compares findings from the different data sets and highlights the value of linking corpus and experimental evidence in studying linguistic phenomena

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