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Doctoral Thesis
DOI
https://doi.org/10.11606/T.8.2020.tde-21092020-174719
Document
Author
Full name
Rodrigo Garcia Rosa
E-mail
Institute/School/College
Knowledge Area
Date of Defense
Published
São Paulo, 2020
Supervisor
Committee
Tagnin, Stella Esther Ortweiler (President)
Corbett, John Blair
Eluf, Cristina Arcuri
Gonçalves Segundo, Paulo Roberto
Title in English
Caused-motion Constructions in Learner English Corpora: from Observation to Experimentation
Keywords in English
Caused motions
Construction Grammar
Data elicitation
EFL
Learner corpus
Abstract in English
This dissertation investigates the production and comprehension of English caused-motion constructions by EFL learners with four Romance language backgrounds, namely, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian. In order to study the phenomena, the research proposes a methodological approach at the interface between observational (corpus linguistics methods) and experimental studies (data elicitation approaches) for the selection, compilation and extraction of the data. From the theoretical perspective of Cognitive Construction Grammar (GOLDBERG, 1995; 2006), this study identifies four constructional domains for caused motions, against which the learner data are analyzed: (1) literal caused motions with instantiating verbs (eg. put the toys into the box); (2) figurative caused motions with instantiating verbs (eg. get yourself in trouble); (3) literal caused motions with modifying verbs (eg. they laughed him out of the office); and (4) figurative caused motions with modifying verbs (eg. She talked me into stupor). The observational analysis made use of the EFCamDAT corpus and targeted the languages mentioned at four levels of proficiency, from A2 to C1 levels in the CEFR. On the experimental side, the study devised and applied an acceptability judgment task with 120 EFL Brazilian learners at two levels of proficiency: B2 and C1. The study aimed at investigating the development of caused motions by testing two aspects and their effect on the use and comprehension of the structure: (1) level of proficiency and (2) the degree of linguistic complexity of the structures in question. The results of both the observational and experimental studies showed that proficiency does affect learners' performance with caused motions, much more significantly than typological differences (for that we used a control group of German learners). On the matter of linguistic complexity, the results showed that learners have a descending level of use and recognition of caused motions that is proportional with the ascending level of semantic complexity of the structures. Also, as advocated by Ellis (2013), Hampe (2010) and Xia (2017), low-level constructions (i.e., phraseologisms) did seem to play a role in determining some uses of caused motions, especially those of the last domain (figurative caused motions with modifying verbs).
Title in Portuguese
Construções de Movimento Causado em um Corpus de Aprendizes de Inglês: da observação à experimentação
Keywords in Portuguese
CMCs
Corpus de aprendizes
EFL
Elicitação de dados
Gramática de Construções
Abstract in Portuguese
Esta tese investiga a produção e compreensão de construções de movimento causado (CMC) do inglês por alunos nativos de quatro línguas românicas, a saber, português brasileiro, espanhol, francês e italiano. Para tanto, esta pesquisa propõe uma interface metodológica entre os estudos observacionais (linguística de corpus) e experimentais (abordagens de elicitação de dados) para a seleção, compilação e extração dos dados. Sob a perspectiva da Gramática da Construção Cognitiva (GOLDBERG, 1995; 2006), este estudo identifica quatro domínios construcionais de CMCs, à luz dos quais os dados de aprendizes são analisados: (1) CMCs literais com verbos de instanciação (ex. put the toys into the box); (2) CMCs figuradas com verbos de instanciação (ex. get yourself in trouble); (3) CMCs literais com verbos de modificação (ex. they laughed him out of the office); e (4) CMCs figuradas com verbos de modificação (ex. she talked me into stupor). A análise observacional fez uso do corpus EFCamDAT para extração de dados das línguas mencionadas em quatro níveis de proficiência, de A2 a C1 no CEFR. Da perspectiva experimental, o estudo elaborou e aplicou uma tarefa de julgamento de aceitabilidade a 120 alunos brasileiros da EFL em dois níveis de proficiência: B2 e C1. O estudo teve como objetivo investigar o desenvolvimento de CMCs, testando dois aspectos e seus efeitos no uso e compreensão da estrutura: (1) nível de proficiência e (2) grau de complexidade linguística das estruturas em questão. Os resultados dos estudos observacionais e experimentais mostraram que a proficiência afeta o desempenho dos alunos no uso de CMCs, de modo mais significativo do que afetam diferenças tipológicas (para isso, usamos um grupo de controle de alunos alemães). No que tange à complexidade linguística, os resultados mostraram que o uso e reconhecimento de CMCs é inversamente proporcional ao nível crescente de complexidade semântica das estruturas. Além disso, como defendido por Ellis (2013), Hampe (2010) e Xia (2017), construções lexicais (ou seja, fraseologismos) pareciam desempenhar um papel na determinação de alguns usos de CMCs, especialmente os do último domínio (CMCs figuradas com verbos de modificação).
 
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Publishing Date
2020-09-21
 
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