Date of Degree Completion
Master of Arts (MA)
Second Committee Member
Charles X. Li
Third Committee Member
This study identified the patterns that represent the unconventional ways that students used how in academic essays, determined the frequency of each pattern, and for the sake of comparison, searched for those patterns in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), in both the spoken and academic written registers. The results showed that a sample of first-year students at Central Washington University (CWU) used the complementizer how as that in their essays, a usage more common in spoken registers. However, there was some evidence of how as that in academic COCA searches, showing that the usage may be in the early stages of becoming acceptable by academic standards. Additionally, students misused how semantically in some sentences and misused how both semantically and syntactically in others. Finally, students also used how to mean the fact/opinion that. Students may have used how in these different ways because separating academic and spoken register conventions is difficult, because they lack an understanding of verb and prepositional complement patterns, or because they used synonyms provided by a thesaurus without realizing that the synonyms required different complement patterns.
Jonas, Maili, "Talking About How: Variation in the Use of HOW and Its Definition" (2018). All Master's Theses. 877.
Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching Commons, Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Other Rhetoric and Composition Commons