Accepted paper:

Linguistic features of essays by European learners of Japanese as a second language [JP]


Shin Abe (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Aiko Sasaki (National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics)

Paper short abstract:

In the "Japanese Proficiency" part, we divided 193 essays into three groups by evaluation score, and analyzed writing tendencies of each group. We found that the high group has a diversity of written expressions, as well as longer compositions.

Paper long abstract:

This report analyzes Japanese linguistic features of 193 essays from the I-JAS corpus of European learners of Japanese by comparing three groups based on holistic rating: 49 rated high (L4-5); 69 rated middle (L3); and 58 rated low (L1-2). We checked the mean and statistical significance of linguistic feature values of each group; specified statistically significant linguistic features (e.g., particles, verbs); and investigated writing differences. We came to three sets of findings. First, concerning quantitative measures, we saw statistically significant differences between the low and high groups in the number of characters used for their compositions, but we did not see statistical significance for the number of sentences used. The high group's essays and sentences were both longer. Compared to the low group, the high group also had more variety of and higher total number of morphemes; the high group had greater variety of vocabulary as well. Second, we performed morphological analysis of the essays, calculating use of particles, and found differences in the number of particles used. Compared to the high group, the lower group used more sentence-ending particles such as "ne" and "yo." The high group stood out for using more sentences that ended with "ka" than the low group. We found that the higher the holistic rating, the lower the use of particles that are more spoken expressions such as "ne" and "yo," while "ka" was used as a form of written expression. Finally, we analyzed conjugated verbs; we calculated different verb conjugations, and found that the high group had many usages of the predicative verb form. Also, when we calculated the number of usages of "desu" and "masu" at the end of sentences, we found that the high group had few usages of "desu" and "masu." From this we understood that the high group is more accustomed to writing essays, and were using sentence endings that better fit written expression. From this analysis, we learned that the high group uses expressions fitting the written word, diverse expressions, and has longer compositions. In our presentation, we explain these various characteristics in more detail.

panel S10_02
Analysis of essays by European learners of Japanese as a second language: examining results of holistic rating and multiple-trait rating [JP]