This study set out to examine the uses of the lemma CAUSE on the basis of the Chinese Learner English Corpus (CLEC) and part of the British National Corpus (SBNC). For this purpose, the collocates of CAUSE were first obtained from the two corpora by means of the WordSmith Tools. Then, two lexical items were selected for a contrastive analysis. They are change(s) and great(er, est), which are among the top 10 frequent collocates of CAUSE from the two corpora and their mutual information values exceed 3. The results show that great differences exist in the semantic prosody of CAUSE between Chinese learners of English and English native speakers. Chinese learners of English underuse the typical negative semantic prosody and at the same time overuse the atypical positive semantic prosody.
Modern Foreign Languages