Answer type analysis of noun collocations in Croatian as L2
The development of collocational competence is a highly complex process similar to learning individual lexical units, where different deviations occur. There is a lack of research on collocational competence of non-native speakers of Croatian and there is still no collocational deviation or answer type typology. Therefore, the main goal of this research was to examine the answer types in productive knowledge tasks on noun collocations, considering their frequency, associative strength, and subjects’ Croatian as L2 (CLS) proficiency level. The answer type analysis comprised three blank-filling tasks of the productive level: 1) isolated sentences with collocations in the morphologically unmarked nominative case, 2) isolated sentences with morphologically marked collocations in oblique cases, and 3) collocations in a wider context. Responses were grouped into three categories (lexical, grammatical, and overlapping answers), which were then divided into different types or deviations. The research deals only with noun collocations having nouns as bases and adjectives as their collocators. The sample comprised of 70 students of Language exercises in Croatian as L2 at B2 and B level. Before creating the research instruments (blank-filling tests), it was necessary to verify collocations in the hrWaC and CROLTEC corpus. Finally, the associative strength of collocational elements was assessed by native speakers of Croatian. It can generally be said that there is a high percentage of incorrect answers and collocators out of context (KIK) answer types on both levels of CSL proficiency in productive level tasks. However, the percentage of correct answers by subjects of higher CSL proficiency is higher than by those with lower CSL proficiency in all productive tasks, regardless of frequency and the associative strength of collocations, which shows that higher CSL proficiency level indicates better collocational knowledge.
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