Teaching german modal particles: A corpus-based approach

Martina Möllering*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The comprehension and correct use of German modal particles poses manifold problems for learners of German as a foreign language since the meaning of these particles is complex and highly dependent on contextual features which can be linguistic as well as situational. Following the premise that German modal particles occur with greater frequency in the spoken language, the article presents an analysis which is based on corpora representing spoken German. The concept "spoken language" is discussed critically with regard to the corpora chosen for analysis and narrowed down in relation to the use of modal particles. The analysis is based on the following corpora: Freiburger Korpus, Dialogstrukturenkorpus, and Pfeffer-Korpus. In addition, a collection of telephone conversations (Brons-Albert, 1984) was scanned into computer-readable files and analysed using MicroConcord (Scott & Johns, 1993). A quantitative analysis was carried out on all corpora. The qualitative analysis was limited to the telephone conversations and looks at the constraints on and functions of the different occurrences of the form eben.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-151
Number of pages22
JournalLanguage Learning and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001


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