This study aims to investigate the use of Korean intensifiers by L2 learners based on data from a learner corpus. This study focuses on five intensifiers: maywu, cincca, nemwu, toykey, and acwu, which are found to be frequent intensifiers in Korean native speakers’ data. Based on native speakers’ data, it is known that toykey and cincca among those intensifiers are generally used in spoken language while, in general, maywu is rarely used in spoken language. Comparing the Korean Learner Corpus by the National Institute of Korean Language with the Sejong Corpus, this study examines whether L2 learners change intensifiers according to the modes of production (i.e., spoken and written language) and their proficiency levels. Unlike native speakers’ data from the Sejong Corpus, L2 learners overall tend to use far more intensifiers in writing than in speaking. Compared with higher-proficiency learners, lower-proficiency learners, in general, tend to overuse intensifiers. In using toykey and maywu, it is also found that their differences in speaking and in writing get lager as proficiency level becomes higher. These findings indicate that higher-proficiency learners perform in a more target-like way in using an intensifier, and thus suggest that the pattern of native speakers in intensifier use is acquirable.
2. Literature Review
5. Discussion and Limitations