Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Romance Languages and Linguistics

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Guillermo Rodríguez


language acquisition, existential, foreigner-directed speech, corpus, Korean, task


This thesis uses the unscripted diapix, spot-the-difference task featured in the Wildcat Corpus of Native- and Foreign-Accented English (Van Engen et al., 2010) to compare the use of the English existential ‘there’ construction (TC) among three different types of dyad pairings that include English native speakers and Korean non-native speakers of English. The goal of this investigation is to determine if there is a difference in the use of the construction that can help us better characterize foreigner-directed speech (FDS). The three variables of interest are non-concordance TCs, topicalized TCs, and interrogative TCs. The results showed that, when in task-related conversations with non-native speakers, native speakers decrease non-concords, increase topicalization, and increase interrogative use in foreigner-directed speech. These findings help us better describe the nature of FDS when it comes to a crucial discourse function, the expression of existence in English.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.