New Frontiers in Learner Corpus Research
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This study explores Chinese university students’ use of phrasal verbs in comparison with their American and British counterparts by utilizing a corpus of learner English and four native corpora of two English varieties and two genres (argumentative and academic writing). The results show that it is difficult to state whether the Chinese learners of English over- or underuse phrasal verbs in writing because a more striking difference emerges between the British and American students. American students tend to use many more phrasal verbs in both genres than British students and they also use a greater variety of phrasal verbs. Notwithstanding the differences, both American and British students tend to use fewer phrasal verbs in academic writing than in argumentative writing. The learners do not show a fundamental difference from the British students regarding overall frequencies of phrasal verbs; however, the learner-native writer gap does exist between the Chinese and American students.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): leaner corpus studies; native novice corpora; phrasal verbs
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