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Measuring linguistic complexity in long-term L2 speakers of English and L1 attriters of German

Lahmann, Cornelia and Steinkrauss, Rasmus and Schmid, Monika (2019) 'Measuring linguistic complexity in long-term L2 speakers of English and L1 attriters of German.' International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 29 (2). 173 - 191. ISSN 0802-6106

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Abstract

Linguistic complexity is neither easily defined nor measured. The challenge in finding reliable ways to measure linguistic complexity is even more pronounced when the variation of contexts in which complexity is measured is taken into account. This paper therefore aims at finding measures for assessing syntactic and lexical complexity that are sensitive and non-overlapping even in a less frequently studied context: spontaneous speech of L1 attriters and highly proficient L2 English speakers. To evaluate operationalizations of syntactic and lexical complexity, several previously proposed measures are applied to a corpus of spontaneous speech and a principal component analysis is conducted. The results show which of the measures group together as underlying variables of syntactic and lexical complexity and how this can inform future operationalizations of complexity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: syntactic complexity, lexical complexity, L2 acquisition, L1 attrition
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 11:51
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 13:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24434

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