A corpus-based study of like in Estonian EFL learners’ speech
Pragmatic markers (PMs) are an essential part of conversation. However, with PMs such as like appearing everywhere, they are stigmatised as being only used for hesitation and therefore being meaningless. While definitely an important function of like, the word has a multitude of other uses that are prominent in speech. This paper hopes to disprove the common belief that like is only used for hesitation, as well as determine how different is the use of like in speech between Estonian learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and native speakers. In order to answer that question, a corpus-based study was carried out, using the Estonian subcorpus of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI-EST) and Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC) respectively. While there have been theses written utilising the LINDSEI-EST corpus, PMs in Estonian EFL learners’ speech have received almost no attention so far.
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