Subcategorization frame identification for learner English

Yan Huang, Akira Murakami, Theodora Alexopoulou, Anna Korhonen

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As large-scale learner corpora become increasingly available, it is vital that natural language processing (NLP) technology is developed to provide rich linguistic annotations necessary for second language (L2) research. We present a system for automatically analyzing subcategorization frames (SCFs) for learner English. SCFs link lexis with morphosyntax, shedding light on the interplay between lexical and structural information in learner language. Meanwhile, SCFs are crucial to the study of a wide range of phenomena including individual verbs, verb classes and varying syntactic structures. To illustrate the usefulness of our system for learner corpus research and second language acquisition (SLA), we investigate how L2 learners diversify their use of SCFs in text and how this diversity changes with L2 proficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-218
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Issue number2
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • natural language processing
  • SCF identification
  • second language acquisition
  • subcategorization
  • verb-argument construction


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