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Participle clauses in learner English: the role of transfer

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Chapter Summary

Participle –ing and –ed clauses – both in their adnominal and adverbial function – have been shown to be underused in the academic writing of advanced French- and Dutch-speaking EFL learners (Granger 1997). This feature contributes to the stylistic deficiency of learner essays. It is argued in this paper that one of the reasons for the underuse might be transfer-related. English is assumed to have a predilection for participle structures (Kortmann 1995). French and Dutch, by comparison, are less keen on using such constructions and usually favour other alternatives. The claim that English makes more intensive use of participle constructions than French and Dutch is submitted to close examination of authentic multilingual data. It is not argued, however, that transfer is the only reason for the underuse. The influence of other factors (notably developmental and teaching-induced) should also be investigated.



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