Chapter 9. General extenders in learner language

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The aim of the paper is to study how general extenders are used by Swedish factors.learners of English in comparison with native speakers. The study is based on a corpus of Swedish learners’ spoken English compiled within the international LINDSEI project. The analysis is both quantitative and qualitative. It is shown that the Swedish learners do not use general extenders in the same way as native speakers; in particular, they ‘underuse’ and ‘overuse’ certain forms and use fewer variants. The qualitative analysis shows that the function of general extenders is also linked to aspects of speaking fluently. Comparisons are also made with the use of general extenders by French, Dutch and German learners on the basis of other spoken learner corpora. The analysis shows that learners’ use of general extenders is affected both by the resources available in the native language and by the social norms and values regarding how the extenders should be used.


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