Christina Lindqvist, Camilla Bardel, Anna Gudmundson
November 21, 2011
This study investigates Swedish learners' lexical richness in French and Italian L2. A frequency-based measure was used to compare the lexical richness of learners at different proficiency levels to that of native speakers. Frequency bands based on oral L1 data were created for both languages to serve as a benchmark. For French, the results show that there are differences between two groups of learners at different proficiency levels concerning lexical richness. Moreover, the most advanced learners have a lexical profile that is similar to that of a control group of native speakers, suggesting that these learners are native-like as far as lexical richness is concerned. The results for Italian also point at differences between the learner groups. However, the most advanced group does not reach the degree of lexical richness of the native speakers. The overall results support earlier proposals of a discriminating capacity of lexical frequency profiling methods for L2 proficiency.