Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Guillermo Rodriguez

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Linguistics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

All of Harry’s Possessions: English Genitive Patterns in Harry Potter

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

The genitive ‘-s’ in English is one of the few remaining inflectional markers in the language and is a challenge for non-native speakers to properly acquire as explored in Alvarez (2011). The struggle in acquisition partly stems from the colligation patterns in English due to a difference in preferred environments between the genitive ‘-s’ ending, as in “John’s book”, and the prepositional usage paired with ‘of’, as in “the book of John”. This was explored in Grafmiller (2014) which showed a general preference for the prepositional genitive in both spoken and written language, even when controlling for different written genres, such as journalism versus academic writing. To pinpoint difficulty in acquisition of the inflectional genitive in second language learners, a corpus of the Harry Potter books will be used in order to predict what the influence of reading English material may be for a second language learner.With over one million words in the Harry Potter series, it can be inferred that a second language learner of English would be exposed to a large sample of genitive environments. This will be quantified using AntConc (Anthony, 2018) to determine the frequencies of the two structures. The popularity of the books internationally makes them a great tool specifically because they have such a wide readership, and may be a source of input for non-native speakers from different L1 backgrounds. A taxonomy of the genitive structures in English will be created to clarify when they are used in the books to predict when second languages users will use the two structures as well as predict declarative knowledge of the environments after reading the whole series.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

All of Harry’s Possessions: English Genitive Patterns in Harry Potter

The genitive ‘-s’ in English is one of the few remaining inflectional markers in the language and is a challenge for non-native speakers to properly acquire as explored in Alvarez (2011). The struggle in acquisition partly stems from the colligation patterns in English due to a difference in preferred environments between the genitive ‘-s’ ending, as in “John’s book”, and the prepositional usage paired with ‘of’, as in “the book of John”. This was explored in Grafmiller (2014) which showed a general preference for the prepositional genitive in both spoken and written language, even when controlling for different written genres, such as journalism versus academic writing. To pinpoint difficulty in acquisition of the inflectional genitive in second language learners, a corpus of the Harry Potter books will be used in order to predict what the influence of reading English material may be for a second language learner.With over one million words in the Harry Potter series, it can be inferred that a second language learner of English would be exposed to a large sample of genitive environments. This will be quantified using AntConc (Anthony, 2018) to determine the frequencies of the two structures. The popularity of the books internationally makes them a great tool specifically because they have such a wide readership, and may be a source of input for non-native speakers from different L1 backgrounds. A taxonomy of the genitive structures in English will be created to clarify when they are used in the books to predict when second languages users will use the two structures as well as predict declarative knowledge of the environments after reading the whole series.