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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

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How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: 'We Went to the Restroom or Something.’ General Extenders and Stuff in the Speech of Dutch Learners of English
Paper URL:
Author: Lieven Buysse
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Institution: University of Leuven
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Language Acquisition; Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article investigates how learners of English who are native speakers of Dutch use general extenders such as and stuff and or something. The corpus consists of the Dutch component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI), which is comprised of fifty interviews of some fifteen minutes each. These data are compared with the Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC), LINDSEI’s native speaker reference corpus. The study shows that overall frequencies of general extenders point at a close alignment of the two speaker groups, but that discrepancies exist if these numbers are further broken down for the adjunctive and disjunctive categories of general extenders. The former type is used considerably less frequently in the learner corpus than in the native, whereas the opposite holds for the latter. A detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis offers a few tentative explanations for the learners’ choice of general extenders, most notably L1 transfer, the intensity of exposure to certain forms in the target language, and learners’ restricted repertoire of pragmatic devices.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics, 2014 (2); pp. 213-237.
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