Formulaic sequences in spoken ENL, ESL and EFL

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In this pilot study we set out to compare formulaic sequences of the type of 3-grams in ENL (spoken British English), EFL (English spoken by advanced German learners of English) and ESL (spoken Indian English). The study shows that, for the overall number of types and tokens, there are no significant differences between ENL and ESL, but there are significantly fewer 3-grams in EFL vs. ENL. A comparison of the common core (i.e. the 3-grams all three variants have in common) reveals that these common-core 3-grams are significantly more frequently used in ESL and EFL-variants compared to ENL. A functional analysis shows differences in the distribution of the 3-grams across the variants. A study of the variant-specific 3-grams reveals less variability in EFL vs. ENL but a higher number and variability of both types and tokens in ESL.


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