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Grammatical complexity is one of the important criteria to judge whether or not a language learner is proficient· in a particular language. However, grammatical complexity in spoken language is still under-investigated, mainly due to its unreliable operationalization in previous studies. This article discusses this challenge and its effect and argues for an alternative practice to select grammatical complexity measures for test-based spoken discourse. The article starts with a review ofliterature on grammar in spoken discourse and role of grammatical complexity in test-based spoken discourse. Then selections of grammatical complexity measures in previous studies are discussed. This leads to an argument for a corpus-based approach to obtaining more appropriate measures of grammatical complexity in spoken discourse.



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