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Contrastive patterns of mental transitivity in English and Spanish: a student-centred corpus-based study

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Chapter Summary

This paper describes how the use of bilingual and translation corpora proves to be an invaluable resource for the exploration of lexicogrammatical patterns in the context of the contrastive linguistics classroom. The experience reported in this paper is part of a larger project where postgraduate students of Contrastive Linguistics (English-Spanish) at a large Spanish University (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) participate in the discovery of lexicogrammatical patterns in both languages through the use of bilingual (English-Spanish) comparable corpora, and parallel translation corpora. Using as a point of departure some theoretical issues which have received attention in previous descriptive research, the paper describes a series of guided corpus-based tasks carried out by learners in the area of mental transitivity in English and Spanish. These yielded interesting contrastive and translation results, which, it is suggested, can be fruitfully exploited as the source for teaching materials which systematically compare the major transitivity patterns in English and Spanish.



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