Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics vol:2 pages:213-237
This article investigates how learners of English who are native speakers of Dutch use general extenders such as 'and stuff' and 'or something'. The corpus consists of the Dutch component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI), which is comprised of fifty interviews of some fifteen minutes each. These data are compared with the Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC), LINDSEI’s native speaker reference corpus. The study shows that overall frequencies of general extenders point at a close alignment of the two speaker groups, but that discrepancies exist if these numbers are further broken down for the adjunctive and disjunctive categories of general extenders. The former type is used considerably less frequently in the learner corpus than in the native, whereas the opposite holds for the latter. A detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis offers a few tentative explanations for the learners’ choice of general extenders, most notably L1 transfer, the intensity of exposure to certain forms in the target language, and learners’ restricted repertoire of pragmatic devices.