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This volume is a comprehensive corpus-based study of how learners of English (specifically French and Chinese) use the modal verbs may and can. Taking the reader through four related case studies that emphasize particular aspects of second language acquisition and learner corpus research, this volume shows how our understanding of learner language is significantly improved when a cognitive linguistic theoretical approach is combined with a quantitative multifactorial methodology. Specifically, new aspects of learner grammars are unveiled and cognitively informed hypotheses are formulated about how interlanguage varieties crystallize. Ultimately, this volume sheds light on the overarching question of what motivates English learners to shape their second language the way they do.
This volume presents insightful data valuable to researchers and postgraduate students whose main interests include: modality, learner corpus research, applied approaches to construction grammar and corpus-based cognitive linguistics. This volume is also suitable for researchers interested in multifactorial analyses and how several variables can simultaneously affect the production of learner language.