The development of cohesion in a learner corpus
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This study examines the use of cohesive devices (pragmatic markers and conjunctions) in a 24,000-word corpus of transcribed oral data from 47 learners and native speakers of English. Both of these cohesive devices increase with proficiency level, but not in the same way. Conjunction use seems to increase steadily, and only the differences between the highest and lowest proficiency levels were found to be statistically significant. Pragmatic marker use, however, remains fairly stable across the three lowest proficiency levels and rises drastically for the two highest proficiency levels, and the two higher proficiency levels are significantly different from the two lower levels in their use of pragmatic markers. The results are compared to native speaker rates of cohesive device use for the same tasks and under the same conditions.
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