We Went to the Restroom or Something’. General Extenders and Stuff in the Speech of Dutch Learners of English

  • Lieven BuysseEmail author
Part of the Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics book series (YCLP, volume 2)


This chapter investigates how learners of English who are native speakers of Dutch use general extenders such as and stuff and or something. The corpus consists of the Dutch component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI), which is comprised of 50 interviews of some 15 min each. These data are compared with the Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC), LINDSEI’s native speaker reference corpus. The study shows that overall frequencies of general extenders point at a close alignment of the two speaker groups, but that discrepancies exist if these numbers are further broken down for the adjunctive and disjunctive categories of general extenders. The former type is used considerably less frequently in the learner corpus than in the native, whereas the opposite holds for the latter. A detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis offers a few tentative explanations for the learners’ choice of general extenders, most notably L1 transfer, the intensity of exposure to certain forms in the target language, and learners’ restricted repertoire of pragmatic devices.


General extenders Vague language English as a foreign language Learner English Learner corpora Foreign language learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ArtsKU Leuven – University of LeuvenBrusselsBelgium

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