Grammatical Metaphor Constructions: Acquisition Analysis
This article studies how L2 Russian speaking learners of English for Academic Purposes acquire the skill of grammatical metaphor phrasal inclusion. The study applies corpus methodology (Lancsbox concor-
dance tools) and statistical analysis tools in order to analyse the interdendency between the level of linguistic expertise of learners and their ability to apply certain patterns with grammatical metaphors in academic writ-
ing. Additionally, the instances of intermediate realisations (errors) are investigated. The analysed corpus is a subset of the Russian Error-Annotated Learner English Corpus (REALEC) initiated by the National Research
University Higher School of Economics. The subcorpus used in this research included opinion essays written
by first year Master’s students in elective courses on arguing in English in the span of three years (2016, 2017,
2018). The corpus comprised the total of 112037 words.
The results of the current study suggest that three models of grammatical metaphor inclusion into com-
plex nominal phrases present the most prominent challenge for Russian-speaking L2 learners of English for Academic Purposes from the perspective of grammatical complexity and informational density (adjective + nominalisation, nominalisation + -ing clause, nominalisation + -ed clause). From the viewpoint of language accuracy, the model ‘nominalisation + prepositional phrase’ presents the most significant challenge for students.