Full Text

error/mistake/lapse

KJ


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214823.1999.x


Extract

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

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