Organic models for measuring Spanish learners' linguistic complexity

Joseph Collentine, Karina Collentine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Second language acquisition (SLA) researchers measure linguistic complexity to assess pedagogical effectiveness and depict development (Norris & Ortega, 2009). Yet, from linguistic and cognitive perspectives, commonly used approaches oversimplify complexity. Furthermore, such approaches do not consider the morphological complexities of a highly inflected L2 like Spanish. Norris and Ortega (2009) encourage SLA researchers to develop empirically and theoretically valid measures of linguistic complexity through an organic (i.e., iterative and data-driven) investigative process; resulting models should be multidimensional and developmentally sensitive. This study delineates three multidimensional models of Spanish L2 linguistic complexity based on a principal component analysis of a corpus of learners participating in a task-based activity at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of university instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
EditorsDiego Pascual y Cabo, Idoia Elola
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789027261281
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameIssues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
ISSN (Print)2213-3887


  • Corpus linguistics
  • Developmental stage
  • Linguistic complexity
  • Second language learning
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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