A Corpus-based Study on the Use of Contractions by EFL Learners in Argumentative Essays

M. Pınar Babanoğlu

Abstract


Contraction forms in English are mostly occur in speech and informal writing and they are generally avoided in formal writing types such as academic prose, business reports and journal articles, therefore, most teachers discourage their use in academic essays (Biber, Johansonn, Leech, Conrad and Finegan 1999). Contractions in English have two types; negative contractions (isn’t, haven’t, doesn’t) and verb contractions (I’m, they’ve, that’s). This corpus based study attempts to investigate contraction usage in learner and native English speaker essays. Major goal is to examine whether learners consider essay writing rules in respect of contractions which are accepted inappropriate for academic prose style. Five corpora, three learner and two native English, were utilized in order to analyze verb and not-contraction forms. Frequency calculations of contraction forms in each corpus compared via log-likelihood measurement for statistical significance.  Results revealed that learners use considerably more contraction forms, especially negative ones, than native English students in their argumentative essays.

 


Keywords


English for Academic Purposes, learner corpus, contractions

Full Text:

PDF

References


Aijmer, K. & Strensöm, A.B. (Eds.), (2004). Discourse Patterns in Spoken and Written Corpora. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Babanoğlu, M.P. (2014). A corpus-based study on the use of pragmatic markers as speechlike features in Turkish EFL learners’ argumentative essays. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 136, 186-193. Doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.312

Biber, D., Johansonn, S., Leech,G. Conrad, S. & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

Gillet, A., Hammond, A. & Martala, M. (2009). Successful Academic Writing. University of Herefordshire, Pearson Education Limited.

Gilquin, G., Granger, S. & Paquot, M. (2007). Learner corpora: the missing link in EAP pedagogy. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 6(4), 319-355. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2007.09.007.

Gilquin, G.& Paquot, M. (2007). Spoken Features in Learner Academic Writing: Identification, Explanation and Solution. Proceedings of the 4th Corpus Linguistics Conference, University of Birmingham, 27–30 July 2007.

Gonzales, M.P. (2007). Uncontracted negatives and negative contractions. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Universtade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Granger, S. (2002). A bird's-eye view of computer learner corpus research. In S. Granger, J. Hung, S. Petch-Tyson & J. Hulstijn (Eds.), Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching (pp. 3-33). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

İlhan, N. (2005). Türkçede olumsuzluk. Karaman Dil Kültür ve Sanat Dergisi, 271-279.

Kilgarriff, A., Rychly, P., Smrz, P. & Tugwell, D. (2004). The Sketch Engine. Proc EURALEX 2004, Lorient, France; 105–116.

Kilimci A. (2009). Negotiation of meaning in L2 academic writing. In Socarrás, Gilda M. , Eds., Philological explorations, pp.47-58, Atina: ATINER Athens Institute for Education and Research Studies Press Ltd. [Online] Available at: https://www.academia.edu/2970580/Kilimci_A._2009_._Negotiation_Of_Meaning_In_L2_Academic_Writing._In_G._Socarras_Ed_Proceedings_of_1st_International_Conference_on_Literature_Languages_and_Linguistics._Athens_ATINER

Myles, J. (2002). Second language writing and research: The writing process and error analysis in student texts. TESL-EJ, 6(2). [Online] Available: http://tesl-ej.org/ej22/a1.html.

Nyberg, J. (2012). Negation in Japanese. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Stockholm University, Sweden.

Olohan, M. (2003). How frequent are the contractions? A study of contractions in the Translational English Corpus. Target, 15(1), 59-89.

Perez, V. (2013). Operator and negative contraction in spoken British English: a change in progress. In B. Aarts, J. Close, G. Leech and S. Wallis, (Eds) The Verb phrase in English: investigating recent language change with corpora pp:256-285. Cambridge University Press. [Online] Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/the-verb-phrase-in-english/7A9E822B172BA29A2A73660B96C13003.

Shaw, P.& Liu, E.T. (1998). What develops in the development of second-language writing? Applied Linguistics, 9(2), 225-254.

Tepper, N. (2014). 9 English contractions you should never use and why. [Online] Available at: ttps://www.kibin.com/grammar-rules-blog/9-english-contractions-never-use (23.05.2016).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.2p.56

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.