Dissertation defense by Alexandra Kinne

On Friday, May 11th, 2018, Alexandra Kinne, supervised by Marcus Callies (Bremen) and Cristóbal Lozano (Granada), defended her PhD dissertation “Weight as a determinant of syntactic variation in advanced learner varieties. A corpus study of weight effects in L1 and L2 academic writing” at the University of Bremen. Christiane Bongartz (Cologne) acted as third reviewer of the dissertation. Alexandra’s work was awarded the highest distinction “summa cum laude”. Congratulations!
Her dissertation examined how syntactic variation is affected by probabilistic factors in English as an L2, as exemplified by the effect of weight on the highly weight-sensitive word order alternation with two types of multi-word units: English transitive verb-particle constructions (aka particle placement with phrasal verbs such as look up or sort out) and transitive idiomatic verb-prepositional phrase constructions (such as take into account or bear in mind).

CALE-Team at ICAME 39 in Tampere, Finland

Members of the CALE team will be attending the 39th ICAME conference in Tampere in May/June this year.

Nida Dusturia‘s abstract was accepted for a work-in-progress report on “Indonesian EFL learners’ argumentative writing: A learner corpus study of connector usage”. Leonie Wiemeyer and Antorlina Mandal will present a joint paper on “Foreign elements in L2 writers’ research papers – communicative strategy or display of academic literacy?” and Leonie a second paper on “L2 writers’ strategies of paraphrasing, quoting, and textual borrowing in linguistics assignments”.

Marcus Callies co-ogranizes a pre-conference workshop on “Corpus approaches to conceptual metaphor and idioms in World Englishes” with Alexander Onysko (Klagenfurt/Austria) and has two contributions in this workshop: “Corpus approaches to studying conceptual metaphor” (with Alexander) and “Using large electronic corpora to validate elicitation techniques in research on conceptual metaphor and idioms: The case of the “lexicon of corruption” in West African Englishes”.

Workshop “Corpus-based Approaches to Language Learning and Language Assessment”

We will host a workshop “Corpus-based Approaches to Language Learning and Language Assessment” on Monday, February 12, 2018. We are happy to welcome two distinguished LCR researchers from the University of Tübingen for this event: Prof. Dr. Detmar Meurers and Dr. Akira Murakami. They will present their latest research alongside some members of the CALE team.

All welcome!

26. January 2017: Guest lecture by Seval Özen (Freiburg)

On Thursday, January 26th 2017, our project partner Seval Özen, PhD candidate at Freiburg university, gave a guest lecture on the topic “Multi-Word Verb Usage by Turkish Learners of English: A Corpus-based Study”.

After the first attention-shift from grammar to lexis seen in 1960s, the attention of the last 15 years or so has turned towards lexical groups, i.e. to multi-word units such as collocations, phrasal verbs, chunks, etc. From the 1980s onwards, the increasing availability of large electronic corpora has made it possible to explore vast amounts of authentic language data both qualitatively and quantitatively without difficulty and uncover the highly patterned nature of language use. Whereas formerly multi-word units were treated as peripheral exceptions and linguistic rarities, a substantial body of research now exists to show that natural language use, both written and spoken, largely consists of recurrent word sequences. Therefore, they have increasingly been regarded as important building blocks for language acquisition and use. In the context of foreign or second language learning, multi-word units constitute a particularly interesting phenomenon since they are known to cause problems for learners. One group of multi-word units that causes great difficulty even for advanced learners of English is multi-word verbs. Their acquisition and active usage is a challenge since they are complex both in terms of their grammatical form and their lexical meaning. In this talk, an on-going dissertation project on the use of multi-word verbs by Turkish learners of English will be presented.  The focus will be on one sub-group of multi-word verbs investigated in the Turkish sub-corpus of the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE) – namely phrasal verbs.