28.06.2023 — Patterns Early Career Forum — Laura Witz (Anglistik)
Processing of Phrasal Verbs in German-English Interlanguage
Previous research suggests that learners of English often struggle with the production and comprehension of phrasal verbs, namely verbs that consist of two (or more) elements, such as figure out, take off, use up. These difficulties lead to two interesting phenomena surrounding the learner usage of phrasal verbs: The first one is the avoidance behavior, which suggests that nonnative speakers of English tend to avoid phrasal verbs and prefer their one-word verb counterparts, e.g. decrease over turn down. Secondly, the particle placement within sentences containing separable phrasal verbs. This variability of the placement allows speakers to separate certain phrasal verbs by inserting the object of the sentence between the verb and the particle, e.g. ‘She puts up the book on the shelve’ vs ‘She puts the book up on the shelve’. In this talk, I will present a study that aims to contribute to a better understanding of the avoidance behavior and particle placement of phrasal verbs by German learners of English.