The aim of this paper is to contribute to learner corpus research into formulaic language in native and non-native German. To this effect, a corpus of argumentative essays written by advanced British students of German (WHiG) was compared with a corpus of argumentative essays written by German native speakers (Falko-L1). A corpus-driven analysis reveals a larger number of 3-grams in WHiG than in Falko-L1, which suggests that British advanced learners of German are more likely to use formulaic language in argumentative writing than their native-speaker counterparts. Secondly, by classifying the formulaic sequences according to their functions, this study finds that native speakers of German prefer discourse-structuring devices to stance expressions, whilst British advanced learners display the opposite preferences. Thirdly, the results show that learners of German make greater use of macro-discourse-structuring devices and cautious language, whereas native speakers favour micro-discourse structuring devices and tend to use more direct language. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Bibliographical noteThe full text is available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.20.4.04jaw
- argumentative writing
- German native speakers
- formulaic language
- advanced British learners of German