Probabilistic Analysis of English Dative Constructions in Academic Writings of English EFL Learners

Fatih Ünal Bozdağ


Grammatical patterns in learner writings are among the most investigated topics in second/foreign language acquisition, gaining particular momentum thanks to corpus studies. English dative constructions are among those for which comprehensive literature is also available, consisting of different perspectives to explain the linguistic phenomenon on various theoretical grounds. However, except for rare instances, the foci of interest have constantly been on comparing learner data to native speaker data, particularly in terms of frequency of use in the second/foreign language learning environment. Different from other studies, the current study investigated English dative alternation in learner data with a probabilistic point of view, scrutinizing 27 learner corpora of learners with different L1s. Results showed that differences in learners’ native languages had little added value to variations among learners. Moreover, a tendency similar to priming the verb ‘give’ in dative constructions was observed for the other variables in the construction.


English dative constructions; learner corpora; interlanguage; Bayesian regression; first language influence

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Published : 2024-03-29

BozdağF. (2024). Probabilistic Analysis of English Dative Constructions in Academic Writings of English EFL Learners. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition, 10(1), 1-24.

Fatih Ünal Bozdağ
Osmaniye Korkut Ata University  Turkey

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