Title: A quantitative analysis of the use of posture verbs by French-speaking learners of Dutch
Authors: Lemmens, Maarten ×
Perrez, Julien #
Issue Date: 2012
Series Title: CogniTextes vol:8
Article number: 609
Abstract: This article presents a study of the use of the Dutch cardinal posture verbs staan (‘stand’), liggen (‘lie) and zitten (‘sit’) by French-speaking learners of Dutch; the data is drawn from a corpus of semi-spontaneous oral picture descriptions. Due to the typological differences between French and Dutch in the spatial domain (see Talmy 2000; AUTHOR), the use of posture verbs is a highly problematic subject for French-speaking learners of Dutch. As a result, their interlanguage is typically characterized by an overall underuse of posture verbs as well as a confusion of the different posture verbs. Our study evaluates how the use of the posture verbs by the learners aligns with their level of proficiency. Strikingly, the statistical tendencies in our data show that a higher proficiency does not correspond to a more frequent or more accurate use of posture verbs. At first sight, this seems to suggest that advanced learners have become worse at the use of posture verbs. A more accurate analysis, however, shows that despite the increase of errors, the learners adopt more native-like strategies as their level of foreign language proficiency increases, suggesting that they gradually become more aware of the strong locative character of Dutch.
ISSN: 1958-5322
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Leuven Language Institute (ILT)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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