Full Text



Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214823.1999.x


These terms are associated with Corder. In various papers (e.g. 1967) the distinction is drawn between errors on the one hand and mistakes or lapses on the other. An error is a breach of the language's code, resulting in an unacceptable utterance; with L2 learners this might occur because ‘the learners have not yet internalized the formation rules of the code’ (1973: 259). Mistakes or lapses are ‘the result of some failure of performance’ (1967: 18). They occur when the language user (who might be a native speaker) makes a slip such as a false start or a confusion of structure. Corder's (1973) example is ‘that's a question which, if you were to press me, I wouldn't know how to answer it.’ (See competence/performance .) The above use of these terms is the generally accepted one, though Corder (1973) draws the distinctions differently. There he uses ‘error’ as above, but distinguishes between ‘lapses’ (the performance failures above) and ‘mistakes’ which are seen as the result of inappropriate usage; in a naval context, for example, a ‘ship’ might be referred to mistakenly as a ‘boat’. This usage has not become common. Johnson (1988) regards it important to distinguish L2 mistakes from errors, suggesting that different remedial action will be appropriate for each; to treat mistakes as if they were errors is, he argues, unhelpful (see error analysis ). ( 1967 ). The significance ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top