Share

Abstract

This article investigated the written production of Brazilian learners of the English language, comparatively to native speakers, regarding the use of -ing present participles as pre and post-modifiers in noun phrases. We aimed at quantifying the occurrences of these elements in the CorIsF-Inglês, a learners’ corpus, as well as in LOCNESS, a native speakers’ corpus, both composed of academic texts. For data processing, the AntConc software was used. We found more occurrences of the non-finite form of the verb both as pre and as post-modifiers produced by native speakers in relation to learners. The learners’ linguistic proficiency level (from A2 to B2 of CEFLR) being inconsistent with the production of rather complex noun phrases may explain this part of the results. Taking into account the grammar systems of the learners’ L1 and L2, the present participle (-ndo and -ing, respectively) has the syntactic function of post-modifier in the noun phrase in both systems. However, this non-finite form of the verb occurs as pre-modifier only in English. The other part of the results revealed that the native speakers used the -ing as post-modifier proportionally about twice as much as the Brazilian learners. As for pre-modifiers, the data indicated that the native speakers used -ing items four times more than the learners did. These numerical differences were analyzed as influence from Portuguese in the English text production of Brazilian learners, what can be related to a learning strategy.