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Easy to understand but difficult to use? Raising constructions and information packaging in the advanced learner variety

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Chapter Summary

This paper examines the frequency of occurrence and contextual use of raising constructions in the written production of advanced German and Polish learners of English, based on material from the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE) and omparable native speaker writing. Raising is an interesting phenomenon to study with respect to both argument realisation and information structure and has been shown to be problematic for child L1 and adult L2 learners of English. In view of the high degree of typological markedness of English raising constructions, raised structures are hypothesised as being underrepresented in the writing of advanced learners, most likely due to avoidance. A quantitative and qualitative textlinguistic analysis of the corpus data reveals that tough-movement in particular is significantly underrepresented in advanced learner writing, and that the learners have problems as to the appropriate use of all types of raising constructions in written discourse in terms of information structuring and thematic progression.



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