- La ricorrenza del lessico di base in produzioni scritte in italiano L2 e L1
- Linguistica e Filologia
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This paper discusses the results of an experiment designed to analyze lexical richness, operationalized in terms of lexical frequency, in the written production of a group of L2 learners and native speakers of Italian. The data are derived from the CALC study (Communicative Adequacy and Linguistic Complexity in L2 writing; cfr. Kuiken / Vedder / Gilabert 2010; Vedder 2012), set up to investigate the relationship between communicative adequacy and linguistic complexity in L2 and L1 writing (Italian, Dutch, Spanish), in relation to the Common European Framework of References (CEFR; Council of Europe, 2001). The present study focuses on the data of the L2 learners and native speakers of Italian. The first research question discussed in the study concerns the relationship between lexical richness and the general proficiency level of L2 learners. The second question addresses lexical richness in the written texts of Dutch low-intermediate and intermediate learners of Italian, compared to that of native speakers of Italian and assessed by means of a lexical frequency profiling method (Laufer / Nation 1995).
The participants are 39 Dutch university students of Italian, with a proficiency level ranging from A2 to B1, and 18 native speakers of Italian, enrolled in an Italian university. In the study the participants had to carry out two writing tasks, consisting of a short essay in which an opinion had to be reported about factual information. To establish the general language proficiency in L2 a C-test and the DIALANG placement test were administered. Results show that although a relationship between lexical richness and language proficiency in L2 could not be demonstrated, there appeared to be significant differences in lexical richness between the L2 and L1 writers. The paper concludes with a discussion of the development of lexical richness in Italian L2.
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