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Native Swedish Speakers’ Problems with English Prepositions
Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates native Swedish speakers’ problems in the area of prepositions. A total of 19 compositions, including 678 prepositions, written by native Swedish senior high school students were analysed. All the prepositions in the material were judged as either basic, systematic or idiomatic. Then all the errors of substitution, addition and omission were counted and corrected. As hypothesised, least errors were found in the category of basic prepositions and most errors were found in the category of idiomatic prepositions. However, the small difference between the two categories of systematic and idiomatic prepositions suggests that the learners have greater problems with systematic prepositions than what was first thought to be the case. Basic prepositions cause little or no problems. Systematic prepositions, i.e. those that are rule governed or whose usage is somehow generalisable, seem to be quite problematic to native Swedish speakers. Idiomatic prepositions seem to be learnt as ‘chunks’, and the learners are either aware of the whole constructions or do not use them at all. They also cause some problems for Swedish speakers. Since prepositions are often perceived as rather arbitrary without rules to sufficiently describe them, these conclusions might not be surprising to teachers, students and language learners. The greatest error cause was found to be interference from Swedish, and a few errors could be explained as intralingual errors. It seems as if the learners’ knowledge of their mother tongue strongly influences the acquisition of English prepositions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Second Language Learning, Error Analysis, Prepositions
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-958ISRN: ORU-HUM/ENG-C--07/0001--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-958DiVA: diva2:137490
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2007-02-14 Created: 2007-02-14

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf