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I will employ key sequence analysis to reveal the significantly overused or underused MWUs by Taiwanese learners. In addition, this analysis will explore the extent to which use of MWUs developed over time. Time in consideration is the one-year intercultural exposure of Taiwanese with their British peers. The aim is to analyze the MWUs used by Taiwanese students to examine their approximation to those sequences used by native speakers of English.
Previous section proved that use of MWUs is often linked to particular conditions of use. It also established three central functions of communication could be achieved: social interaction, necessary topics, and discourse devices (see Biber et al., 2004; Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992; Schmitt & Carter, 2004; Wray & Perkins, 2000). Nevertheless, it is evident that the use of MWUs in different communication modes is different with reference to the functional types, as shown in Table 12 and Figure 1.
Concerning MWUs for social interaction, they are extremely common across different datasets. In this study, large amount of conventionalized language is typically attached to them for different speech acts in social interaction. For instance thanks for the to express politeness, it would be to comply with a request, I can’t wait to express personal intension, would you like to provide an offer and an amount of other related usage. Moreover, an increase of the use of MWUs for social interaction can be observed in online communication (BATICC-O) to face-to-face interaction (BATICC-F), occupying approximately 38%, and 54% of the top 50 MWUs respectively. It is likely that the young learners focused more on social interaction when they meet face-to-face. On the other hand, in online communication they focus on number of topics related to the two different languages, cultures and countries.
About MWUs serving the function of necessary topics, it can be seen from Table 12 that overall they are particularly common in online
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