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Academic Paper

Title: Variable omission of ne in real-time French chat: A corpus-driven comparison of educational and non-educational contexts
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Author: RĂ©mi A van Compernolle
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Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Author: Lawrence Williams
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Institution: University of North Texas
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article reports on the variable omission of the French negative particle ne (the first marker of verbal negation) in synchronous (i.e., real-time) electronic communication environments. Patterns of variation in a corpus of non-educational chat (i.e., free, public-access Internet chat) are analyzed and compared to data produced by first-, second-, and third-year American university students of French in an educational setting. First- and second-year students retained ne nearly categorically; third-year students used ne five times more often than participants in the non-educational context. Considerable inter-individual variation was observed in the third-year student data, although only one student exhibited native-like patterns of variation. The results are discussed within the broader context of teaching and learning sociolinguistic variation in French as a second or foreign language, with a specific focus on using authentic electronic discourse as one way of sensitizing students to sociolinguistic variation.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(3), 413-440

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