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

Configuraciones lingüísticas de la producción oral de estudiantes universitarios de inglés como idioma extranjero en Colombia

  • Wilder Yesid Escobar Universidad El Bosque
Keywords: communicative competence, corpus linguistics, pragmatics, semantics, intensifiers (en_US)
Keywords: competencia comunicativa, intensificadores, lingüística de corpus, pragmática, semántica (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

Developing the competences needed to appropriately use linguistic resources according to contextual characteristics (pragmatics) is as important as the culturally-imbedded linguistic knowledge itself (semantics), and both are equally essential to form competent speakers of English in foreign language contexts. As such, this investigation relies on corpus linguistics to analyze both the scope and the limitations of the sociolinguistic knowledge and the communicative skills of English students at university level. To this end, a linguistic corpus was collected from spoken production of EFL learners, 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 semantic theme exhibited in the EFL learners’ corpus). The study discovered problems regarding the students’ production in terms of wrong word choices or forms, faulty word combinations, and incomplete or unsystematic structuring of expressions. It concludes that expressions aiming at conveying or modifying degree are complex and should be viewed as units which require modeling for a better appropriation of an in-context understanding of its linguistic use which corpus can assist.

Abstract (es_ES)

Al reconocer que el desarrollo de competencias necesario para utilizar apropiadamente recursos sociolingüísticos según las características contextuales (pragmática) es tan importante como el conocimiento cultural implícito en el lenguaje mismo (semántica) y que los dos son equivalentemente esenciales en el proceso de formación de hablantes de inglés como lengua extranjera, esta investigación se basa en la lingüística de corpus para analizar tanto los alcances y las limitaciones del conocimiento sociolingüístico como las habilidades comunicativas de estudiantes universitarios de inglés. Para tal propósito, se creó un corpus lingüístico de la producción oral de estudiantes de inglés, se comparó con un corpus existente de hablantes nativos y se analizó en términos de frecuencia, uso, ambigüedad, éxito y fracaso de dichas convenciones lingüísticas en actos de habla. Los hallazgos abordan las configuraciones lingüísticas empleadas para modificar niveles y grados de descripción (un patrón semántico significativo en el corpus de los estudiantes). El estudio devela problemas asociados a la selección léxica e inflexiones correspondientes, combinación inadecuada de palabras, y la estructuración asistemática de expresiones. Concluye que las expresiones que expresan o modifican grado deben ser vistas como unidades lingüísticas y que la lingüística de corpus puede ofrecer grandes beneficios proporcionando modelos de uso en contexto y para propósitos específicos.

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Author Biography

Wilder Yesid Escobar, Universidad El Bosque

Wilder Escobar holds a B.A. in business administration from Simpson University, California and a master’s degree in applied linguistics to TEFL from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá. His work experience comprises teaching at all levels of education: from elementary school, to postgraduate courses in both, the United Sates and Colombia. He is currently working as an associate professor for the undergraduate Bilingual Education Program at Universidad El Bosque as the director of the research group Docencia Universitaria UNBOSQUE. His research publications address social issues through discourse analysis in English. 

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How to Cite
Escobar, W. Y. (2015). Language configurations of degree-related denotations in the spoken production of a group of colombian EFL university students: A corpus-based study. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 17(1), 114-129. https://doi.org/10.14483/udistrital.jour.calj.2015.1.a08
Published: 2015-05-06
Section
Research Articles