Language configurations of degree-related denotations in the spoken production of a group of Colombian EFL university students: A corpus-based study

Wilder Yesid Escobar


Recognizing that developing the competences needed to appropriately use linguistic resources according to contextual characteristics (pragmatics) is as important as the cultural-imbedded linguistic knowledge itself (semantics) and that both are equally essential to form competent speakers of English in foreign language contexts, we feel this research relies on corpus linguistics to analyze both the scope and the limitations of the sociolinguistic knowledge and the communicative skills of English students at the university level. To such end, a linguistic corpus was assembled, compared to an existing corpus of native speakers, and analyzed in terms of the frequency, overuse, underuse, misuse, ambiguity, success, and failure of the linguistic parameters used in speech acts. The findings herein describe the linguistic configurations employed to modify levels and degrees of descriptions (salient sematic theme exhibited in the EFL learners´ corpus) appealing to the sociolinguistic principles governing meaning making and language use which are constructed under the social conditions of the environments where the language is naturally spoken for sociocultural exchange.


communicative competence, communities of practice, corpus linguistics, pragmatics, semantics

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