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Morphological complexity in written L2 texts

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Morphological complexity in written L2 texts. / Brezina, Vaclav; Pallotti, Gabriele.

In: Second Language Research, Vol. 35, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 99-119.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Harvard

Brezina, V & Pallotti, G 2019, 'Morphological complexity in written L2 texts', Second Language Research, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 99-119. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658316643125

APA

Brezina, V., & Pallotti, G. (2019). Morphological complexity in written L2 texts. Second Language Research, 35(1), 99-119. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658316643125

Vancouver

Brezina V, Pallotti G. Morphological complexity in written L2 texts. Second Language Research. 2019 Jan;35(1):99-119. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658316643125

Author

Brezina, Vaclav ; Pallotti, Gabriele. / Morphological complexity in written L2 texts. In: Second Language Research. 2019 ; Vol. 35, No. 1. pp. 99-119.

Bibtex

@article{242f20f411b3483ea2c1bf034648c2ca,
title = "Morphological complexity in written L2 texts",
abstract = "Morphological complexity (MC) is a relatively new construct in second language acquisition (SLA). After critically discussing existing approaches to calculating MC in first- and second language acquisition research, this article presents a new operationalization of the construct, the Morphological Complexity Index (MCI). The MCI is applied in two case studies based on argumentative written texts produced by native and non-native speakers of Italian and English. Study 1 shows that morphological complexity varies between native and non-nativespeakers of Italian, and that it is significantly lower in learners with lower proficiency levels. The MCI is strongly correlated to proficiency, measured with a C-test, and also shows significant correlations with other measures of linguistic complexity, such as lexical diversity and sentence length. Quite a different picture emerges from Study 2, on advanced English learners. Here, morphological complexity remains constant across natives and non-natives, and is not significantly correlated to other text complexity measures. These results point to the fact that morphological complexity in texts is a function of speakers{\textquoteright} proficiency and the specific language under investigation; for some linguistic systems with a relatively simple inflectional morphology, such as English, learners will soon reach a threshold level after which inflectional diversity remains constant.",
keywords = "L2 academic writing, computational linguistics, interlanguage morphology, linguistic complexity, morphological complexity",
author = "Vaclav Brezina and Gabriele Pallotti",
year = "2019",
month = jan,
doi = "10.1177/0267658316643125",
language = "English",
volume = "35",
pages = "99--119",
journal = "Second Language Research",
issn = "0267-6583",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Morphological complexity in written L2 texts

AU - Brezina, Vaclav

AU - Pallotti, Gabriele

PY - 2019/1

Y1 - 2019/1

N2 - Morphological complexity (MC) is a relatively new construct in second language acquisition (SLA). After critically discussing existing approaches to calculating MC in first- and second language acquisition research, this article presents a new operationalization of the construct, the Morphological Complexity Index (MCI). The MCI is applied in two case studies based on argumentative written texts produced by native and non-native speakers of Italian and English. Study 1 shows that morphological complexity varies between native and non-nativespeakers of Italian, and that it is significantly lower in learners with lower proficiency levels. The MCI is strongly correlated to proficiency, measured with a C-test, and also shows significant correlations with other measures of linguistic complexity, such as lexical diversity and sentence length. Quite a different picture emerges from Study 2, on advanced English learners. Here, morphological complexity remains constant across natives and non-natives, and is not significantly correlated to other text complexity measures. These results point to the fact that morphological complexity in texts is a function of speakers’ proficiency and the specific language under investigation; for some linguistic systems with a relatively simple inflectional morphology, such as English, learners will soon reach a threshold level after which inflectional diversity remains constant.

AB - Morphological complexity (MC) is a relatively new construct in second language acquisition (SLA). After critically discussing existing approaches to calculating MC in first- and second language acquisition research, this article presents a new operationalization of the construct, the Morphological Complexity Index (MCI). The MCI is applied in two case studies based on argumentative written texts produced by native and non-native speakers of Italian and English. Study 1 shows that morphological complexity varies between native and non-nativespeakers of Italian, and that it is significantly lower in learners with lower proficiency levels. The MCI is strongly correlated to proficiency, measured with a C-test, and also shows significant correlations with other measures of linguistic complexity, such as lexical diversity and sentence length. Quite a different picture emerges from Study 2, on advanced English learners. Here, morphological complexity remains constant across natives and non-natives, and is not significantly correlated to other text complexity measures. These results point to the fact that morphological complexity in texts is a function of speakers’ proficiency and the specific language under investigation; for some linguistic systems with a relatively simple inflectional morphology, such as English, learners will soon reach a threshold level after which inflectional diversity remains constant.

KW - L2 academic writing

KW - computational linguistics

KW - interlanguage morphology

KW - linguistic complexity

KW - morphological complexity

U2 - 10.1177/0267658316643125

DO - 10.1177/0267658316643125

M3 - Journal article

VL - 35

SP - 99

EP - 119

JO - Second Language Research

JF - Second Language Research

SN - 0267-6583

IS - 1

ER -