This thesis looks at how Norwegian advanced learners use one of the features that make the reader perceive a text as a unified whole, namely linking adverbials. It includes a Contrastive Interlanguage Analysis (CIA) comparing argumentative learner essays from the Norwegian component of the International Corpus of Learner English (NICLE) to argumentative native student essays from the Louvain Corpus of Native Essay Writing (LOCNESS).
The thesis consists of two main parts: theory and analysis. Awareness of theory and method is at the core of any good study. This is especially important in this case, because so far no articles have been published and no master theses written on the basis of material from the NICLE corpus. The analysis has a quantitative and a qualitative perspective, and the topics are: frequencies; top ten linking adverbials; overuse; underuse; linking adverbials occurring in only one of the corpora; linking adverbials belonging to more than one category; misuse; style, position; and the conjunctions 'and' and 'but' in initial position.
The results show that there are indeed differences between how Norwegian advanced learners and native students use linking adverbials. There is a general tendency for Norwegian advanced learners to use fewer linking adverbial tokens and more linking adverbial types than native students. There is also a tendency for Norwegian advanced learners to overuse less formal linking adverbials and underuse more formal linking adverbials, and their academic writing style is in general less formal than that of native students. The results suggest that Norwegian advanced learners need to learn style sensitivity not only with regard to linking adverbials but to academic writing in general.