Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-14T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 21m 44s
Lugar: Conferencia
Visitas: 78 visitas

Lexical Richness in Oral and Written Texts of Spanish L2 learners and Native Speakers (...)

Silvia Aguinaga Echeverria (Universidad de Navarra) and Nausica Marcos Miguel (Denison University)


Despite the rising interest in the field of Spanish Second Language (L2) corpus research, there is still much to uncover when linking corpus-based methodologies with linguistics theories (Lozano, 2015). This study offers an insight into the characteristics of lexical variation and lexical density of spontaneous language and compares oral and written modes across L2 Spanish proficiency levels using a Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) lens. By considering language as a continuum, SFL focuses on language meaning as a social construction expressed by lexicogrammatical functions. SFL points out the differences between registers (informal and formal), modes (oral and written), and communication purposes, among others, and their linguistic implications, for example, the higher nominalizations and lexical density, specifically greater use of nouns, in written texts vs. grammatical intricacy in oral texts reflecting higher verb production (Eggins, 2003). This study focuses on a contrastive analysis between the same production task (i.e., what are your plans for the future?) in two corpora, oral (semi-guided personal interviews) and written (personal texts), in three groups of Spanish speakers (N=120): (1) native speakers (NS), and (2) advanced and (3) intermediate L2 learners with L1 English. Texts from a corpus of oral interviews (author, xx) were matched with texts compiled in the written corpus CEDEL2 (Lozano & Mendikoetxea, 2013). When selecting texts from both corpora, participants’ age, proficiency, and background were kept as similar as possible. By using the same production task, the communication purpose remains constant.
The questions this study addresses are:
1. Whether lexical variation is dependent on mode and/or proficiency; and
2. Whether lexical density is dependent on mode and/or proficiency.
First, the selected texts were lemmatized and analyzed with ParamText-TIP (CarrerasRiudavets et al., 2011) to obtain percentages of content and function words used in each text. Additionally, D_tools (Meara & Miralpeix, 2016) was utilized to measure D as an index of lexical variation. Statistics analysis using factorial and Repeated Measures ANOVAs were conducted. The results showed that lexical variation, measured with D, increased with proficiency while there were no mode effects. Similarly, lexical density measures showed growth with proficiency in the ratio of content words, but contrary to expected, NS showed lower density than L2 learners. Moreover, each part of speech ratio was further examined as statistically significant differences were found within content words. For verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, there were no differences between proficiency groups, whereas, for nouns, L2 learners showed higher ratios than NS. Furthermore, whereas there were no statistically significant differences for verbs in the two modes; for nouns and adjectives, all participants produced more in written; and all participants had a higher ratio of adverbs in the oral mode. This data suggests that noun ratios might be more appropriate to assess learners' proficiency.
Differences in mode in L2 seem to suggest that written texts might be more informative for lexical variation measures, but not necessarily for lexical density. As expected by SFL, a meaning-based theory, differences in the modes seem to decrease by matching the task and therefore the register. Further research should examine whether the same effects are maintained in different tasks across and within modes for the same corpora and beyond.


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Serie: CILC2021: Los corpus y la adquisición y enseñanza del lenguaje / Corpora, LA and teaching (+información)