TROLLing, rich inflectional morphology, and L2 acquisition: L. Janda LADAL Webinars 2021

This talk was recorded on Oct. 7, 2021 as part of the LADAL Opening Webinar Series 2021.

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Many languages have rich inflectional morphology signaling grammatical categories such as case, number, tense, etc. Rich morphology presents a challenge for L2 learners because even a basic vocabulary of a few thousand words can entail mastery of over 100,000 word forms. However, only a handful of the potential forms of a given word occur frequently, while the remainder are rare. Access to digital corpora makes it possible to determine which forms of any given word are of highest frequency, as well as what grammatical and collocational contexts motivate those few frequent forms, facilitating strategically focused language learning tools. Corpus analysis of the frequency distributions of inflectional forms provide linguists with added insights into the function of languages. The results achieved primarily by using correspondence analysis of Russian material are potentially portable to any language with rich inflectional morphology.