A comparison of the use of major English conjunctions by American and Hong Kong university students (Using the HKUST corpus, HKBU corpus and the ICLE corpus of American English)

University essay from Lunds universitet/Allmän språkvetenskap

Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to compare the use of three major conjunctions ?and?, ?or? and ?but? by Chinese (Hong Kong) and American university students. The study is also concerned with the position and functions of major conjunctions. Materials from three corpora are used with the help of a concordance for functional analysis, which may be applied to ELT material design and classroom methodology. The results show that nonnative speakers use fewer conjunctions and demonstrate less varieties of usage than native speakers. There are also other factors such as syntactic transfer from L1 (Chinese) to L2 (English) which might contribute to the results. Some other differences of usage will also be looked at in this study.

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