Re: Corpora: overuse and underuse of learner English

From: yorick wilks (
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 15:32:35 MET

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    There are many statistical studies around of the spelling and grammatical
    errors in English associated with specific first language competences---e.g.
    the the English errors Poles typically make as contrasted with those of the
    French (lack of articles etc.) These were done so as to produce
    grammar/speeling correctors for particular markets and may well be what Eric
    Attwell was referring to---a search of the CL/NLP literature would soon find

    Whether these studies support the claim of Erics's Polish chum, that his
    cluster of errors now have equal status with native English competence is a
    different and wholly non-linguisic question. That there is an international
    English is beyond question as a social fact, and native Engish speakers are
    often poor speakers of it, unsurprisingly. The problem of its status will
    have to be settle by its own Academy who will also have to decide which
    particular cluster of distinctive errors will have to have primacy over the
    others in its definition.
    Yorick Wilks

    On Wed, 12 Dec 2001 10:19:18 +0000 (GMT), Eric Atwell wrote:

    > >I am making a contrastive study of learner English and NS learner
    > >English.
    > I dont understand what you mean by "NS learner English" - do you mean
    > English of young children? If you want access to a corpus of young
    > children's spoken English, try Polytechnic of Wales Corpus, see ICAME
    > website: for what's on ICAME CD,
    > for POW corpus manual
    > Another thought - I recently attended a "European Year of Languages"
    > symposium in Krakow, Poland, organised by British Council and others;
    > a consensus emerged that English has become the international lingua
    > franca of Europe, and is no longer "owned" by native speakers, it is
    > common property of the European (and international) community.
    > So, the International English of a Polish speaker at this conference
    > should have equal "status" to the English used by native speakers.
    > Maybe there is scope for a European Corpus of English parallel to the
    > British National Corpus, where an object of study might be not "what are
    > the deficiencies of learner Engish" but "what are the regional/national
    > variations in English as written/spoken across Europe".
    > Is your study in this vein?
    > Eric Atwell
    > --
    > Eric Atwell, Distributed Multimedia Systems MSc Tutor & SOCRATES Tutor
    > School of Computing, University of Leeds, LEEDS LS2 9JT
    > TEL: 0113-2335430 MOBILE: 0775-1039104 FAX: 0113-2335468
    > WWW: EMAIL:

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