A1 Journal article (refereed)
Measuring syntactic complexity in learner Finnish (2020)

Mylläri, Taina (2020). Measuring syntactic complexity in learner Finnish. Apples : Journal of Applied Language Studies, 14 (2), 67-92. DOI: 10.47862/apples.99134

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mylläri, Taina

Journal or series: Apples : Journal of Applied Language Studies

eISSN: 1457-9863

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 14

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 67-92

Publisher: Centre for Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47862/apples.99134

Open Access: Publication published in an open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72631


In the study of complexity, accuracy and fluency (CAF), syntactic complexity can be measured by a multitude of measures. Traditionally, the measures are quantitative and they use production units such as words, clauses, T -units, and sentences. Despite the vast number o f measures available, many studies have used only one or two of them, or parallel ones tapping the same component of complexity. The present study explores syntactic complexity using seven frequently used quantitative complexity measures to gauge different facets of complexity in written learner Finnish. The data of the study consist of texts written by adult and adolescent language learners, and they cover proficiency levels from beginner (A1) to advanced learner (C2) in the Common European Framework of Re ference (CEFR). According to the results, changes in the measures are not linear from one proficiency level to the next. The results also show that while all the selected measures catch some statistically significant differences between proficiency levels in adult language learner texts, only four measures do so in adolescent language learner texts. The results also suggest that the measures are sensitive to task type.

Keywords: second language; language skills; language learning

Free keywords: L2 writing; complexity; learner Finnish

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2020-16-11 at 13:57