A quantitative and qualitative analysis of determiner-noun combinations in advanced Dutch EFL writing: A corpus-based study

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This study looked into the syntactic development of advanced Dutch EFL writers, specifically their use of determiner-noun combinations. It addresses quantitative and qualitative differences in determiner-noun use between native and non-native English academic writing, and is designed in such a way that it highlights the Dutch student writers’ individual development. It focuses on the non-native writers’ grammatical competency and related features in their writing, such as structural complexity of noun phrases and mean sentence length. Based on previous research, the expected findings were an initial underuse of determiner-noun pairs and an overuse of personal pronouns (De Haan & Van der Haagen, 2014). This was confirmed by the quantitative and qualitative analyses of part-of-speech tagged data from two corpora, LONGDALE-NL and LOCNESS. Although the non-native writers’ individual development was non-linear and varied extensively, the results did indicate a general move towards a more nativelike distribution of determiner-noun pairs. However, the study failed to show an unambiguous relation between grammatical competency and the nativelikeness of determiner-noun use, and found no correspondence to mean sentence length and structural complexity of noun phrases.
Faculteit der Letteren