A comparison of lexical specificity in the communication verbs of L1 English and TE student writing.  

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Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract:

Although verbs play a pivotal role in the construction and understanding of clauses, lexical specificity is rarely investigated in this class. Instead researchers prefer to investigate lexical specificity in the noun class. It is important that lexical specificity be investigated in the verb class, as it can provide important insights into speakers’ linguistic knowledge. The aim of the study was to investigate specificity in the communication verbs in two corpora: the Louvain Corpus of Native English Essays (LOCNESS) which is made up of texts written by a subpopulation of first language (L1) English users and the Tswana Learner English Corpus (TLE)2 which is made up of texts written by a subpopulation of Setswana English (TE) users. The results (interpreted from a broadly systemic functional cognitive perspective) indicated that there is less lexical specificity in the communication verbs of TE users than L1 English users