13 research outputs found

    Recurrent formulas and moves in writing research article conclusions among native and nonnative writers

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    For years, writing academic research articles (RAs) has gained abundant attention from scholars. This is obviously motivated by the fact that writing RAs is an important endeavor through which writers are able to communicate with members in their discourse community with an owned academic voice to perpetuate an identity. This voice is facilitated through the frequent and efficient use of formulaic sequences such as lexical bundles. This study aims to investigate the use of lexical bundles in two different corpora of 200 RA conclusions written by native and Iranian non-native writers. The comparison is premised on the notion that there may be linguistic differences between the two groups of writers and the comparison could serve to highlight how communicative purposes could be conveyed by the bundles in the moves and steps of the conclusions differently. Findings demonstrated that native writers relied more on the use of lexical bundles in writing conclusions. Structurally, the majority of the bundles found in the two corpora were noun or prepositional phrases. While native authors were more inclined to the use of dependent clauses, the bundles found in the L2 corpus contained more verb phrases. Further analysis of the bundles in the moves and steps of the conclusions revealed some marked variations between the two groups. Most of these expressions in the L2 corpus were used in more than one move or step, while in the native corpus, a group of lexical bundles were found to belong to only one move or step of a move

    On persuasive strategies: Metadiscourse practices in political speeches

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    This study attempted to investigate the persuasive meaning of metadiscourse markers in political speeches to see to what extent and how persuasive discourse is constructed in this genre through metadiscourse practices. To this aim, twenty-six political speeches given by Barack Obama, a former president of the United States, were analyzed using a discourse analytic approach and following Hyland’s (2005ab) interpersonal models of metadiscourse to identify the frequency and persuasive function of interactive and interactional devices used. The findings indicated that the persuasive meaning conveyed by metadiscourse was for the most part context-dependent, which sometimes required the speaker to rely on a combination of devices to organize his discourse, persuade audiences, attract their attention and engage them in arguments. Furthermore, interactional devices were more frequently used than interactive ones, reflecting that engaging audiences in arguments and showing one’s attitude and evaluation towards propositions were more likely to contribute to constructing a persuasive political speech. Findings can be discussed in terms of raising the awareness of second language speakers toward the linguistic and pragmatic conventions of political discourse and how persuasive discourse is constructed through metadiscourse markers.

    Discourse functions of formulaic sequences in academic speech across two disciplines

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    Formulaic sequences play a crucial role in building academic discourse. From among the variety of formulaic expressions, lexical bundles have been shown to serve particular facilitative functions in academic discourse. Defined as strings of word forms that commonly co-occur in natural discourse, lexical bundles are characterized statistically by their frequency of occurrence and they contribute significantly to fluency in speech and writing. While previous research had focused on the use of these expressions in academic research articles across disciplines or on the difference between spoken and written registers, little research has been carried out to find out the language use of academic lectures from different disciplines in terms of the use of these bundles, orally. Taking into account this consideration, the present study aimed to investigate how lexical bundles are used by academic lecturers from different disciplinary communities. With the aim of comparing their language selection, the most frequent four-word lexical bundles in academic lectures of two disciplines, namely politics and chemistry were identified and categorized. The procedure adopts Biber et al.‟s (2004) functional categorization of lexical bundles to investigate the communicative purposes that lexical bundles convey in the lectures of the two groups and to see whether there were any disciplinary differences with regard to the bundles used. Based on the findings, there were some marked variations found across the two disciplines in terms of discourse functions of the lexical bundles. It seemed that academic lectures rely heavily on the use of specific word combinations to fulfill those functions related to their discipline

    An exploration of lexical bundles in academic lectures: examples from hard and soft sciences

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    Recurrent word combinations that carry out specific function have long captured the attention of many linguists. Referred to as extended collocations,lexical bundles are frequently used in spoken and written discourse, helping to shape meaning and coherence in a text or speech. Frequent use of these bundles is indicative of fluency in linguistic production. In the last two decades, lexical bundles have begun to attract considerable attention in corpus-based research; however, there is still an open question of whether they are different across disciplines in spoken discourse. This study aims to explore how four-word lexical bundles are used in 24 academic lectures of hard and soft sciences taken from the British Academic Spoken English(BASE) corpus to see the possible variations in their frequency, structure and function. The present research also attempts to discover the manifestation of the identified bundles in introduction, body and closing sections of the lectures. Findings revealed some marked variations across the two divisions;in that, lecturers in each division appeared to apply different structures and functions in the use of lexical bundles in order to convey their message, so as to be as comprehensive as possible for the learners

    Cross-linguistic and cross-disciplinary investigation of lexical bundles in academic writing

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    The present paper reviews the use of lexical bundles in academic writing from two different viewpoints namely linguistic and discipline, directed at how academic writers belonging to different disciplines or linguistic backgrounds construct their discourses through lexical bundles. As cohesive devices, lexical bundles are an indispensible part of the text and play a crucial role in shaping propositions, evolving the text, guiding readers through the flow of information and gaining the writer's proffered meaning. By using lexical bundles, academic writers are able to attain naturalness in their writings and create a more reader-friendly approach to the unfolding text. Bearing the significance of lexical bundles in mind, this review paper aims to examine the effect of disciplinary variation and linguistic differences on the use of lexical bundles in academic writing. Most researchers believe that the frequency as well as the use of lexical bundles is different across disciplines and from one language to another language. Therefore, through a review of previous studies, there is a systematic investigation of evidence to support the above claims. Possible limitations of previous studies are discussed and some implications for further research are presented

    Using multi-word units to take a stance in academic lectures

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    For years, word sequences which tend to co-occur have been studied under different terms, such as phraseology, chunks, n-grams and lexical bundles. Lexical bundles in the main are referred to as extended collocations which are used more frequently that we expect by chance. They are building blocks of discourse which have three main functions. Among them, stance expressions appear to be frequently used in academic discourse to reflect the speaker or writers’ attitudes towards different propositions. With this idea in mind, the present study aims to portray the use of stance expressions in academic lectures to find out the discourse functions that the stance bundles serve. To this aim, the most frequent stance expressions in six English lectures taken from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus were studied and analyzed in order to see to what extent stance expressions are used and how English lecturers use them. Results revealed that lecturers deployed 62 different word combinations to carry out stance functions. Among the functions, attitudinal/modality stance bundles were found to be more used – about twice as many as the epistemic stance bundles which was next in the hierarchy. Most of the stance expressions found in the corpus of the study were of personal rather than impersonal. The study of stance expressions in lectures delivered in English could provide insights into the significance of lexical bundles as building blocks of academic discourse in the context of their communicative functions

    An Investigation of the Use of Cohesive Devices in ESL Students’ Essay Writing

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    Essays are commonly used to project one’s thoughts, awareness, and ideas in order to make them apparent to others. Despite its pervasiveness, many ESL (English as a Second Language) students view essay writing as a difficult task, especially at tertiary level where students are required to produce matured and sophisticated written texts. This study investigated the use of cohesive devices in ESL students’ essays and highlighted the problems that these students face in writing essays. An action research approach using a quantitative and qualitative analysis of cohesive markers was used to carry out this research. The subjects of this study were 100 diploma students who had enrolled in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course. One hundred essay scripts written in the essay writing section of the final examination were analysed using Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) framework of cohesion. Findings indicated that reference markers have the highest frequency, whereas substitutions were the least common cohesive device. The analysis also revealed that some cohesive devices were overused or incorrectly used by ESL learners, with conjunctions being the most common. The choice of cohesive devices was found to be influenced by the language proficiency of students because most of the students seemed to be unsure about the significance of using cohesive devices in their essays. Even though some students employed a sufficient number of cohesive devices in their essays, they were not aware of the functions conveyed by these resources. Given this, they require explicit instruction and direct exposure to the communicative meanings of cohesive devices as well as being familiarised with the ways to apply them in order to produce a cohesive piece of writing. Keywords: Academic writing; cohesion; cohesive devices; essay; ESL students DOI: 10.7176/JEP/13-18-02 Publication date:June 30th 202

    Corpus-based study of lexical bundles in academic lectures across three disciplinary divisions

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    Simply defined as extended collocations, lexical bundles are combination of more than two words which co-occur frequently in a given register (Biber et al., 1999). They lead to coherence in text or speech and play a key role in fluent linguistic production. Recent decades have witnessed an increasing body of research on lexical bundles; however, there is still a question of whether these expressions are used differently in academic speech of different disciplinary divisions. To this aim, this study investigates and compares the frequency, structure and discourse function of the most frequently occurring four-word lexical bundles in academic lectures across three broad disciplinary groupings, namely social sciences, physical sciences and life and medical sciences. This comparative study was run on the nearly one million word corpus of 120 academic lectures (40 from each science). The lectures were transactional in nature and sourced from British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus. The most frequent four-word bundles were identified in each corpus using the computer program WordSmith Tools 5 (Scott, 2008). Then, the structural and functional taxonomies proposed by Biber et al. (2004) were used as analytical frameworks to group lexical bundles in terms of their grammatical types and the discourse functions they serve. Primary findings revealed some variations between the three sciences in relation to the distributional patterns of the target bundles. In addition, the three groups of lecturers also showed different tendencies towards the selection of grammatical types to form lexical bundles and the functions that the bundles carried out in academic lectures. The results suggest that the selection of bundle types and the way they are used to fulfill disciplinary functions in the academic lectures are to a large extent disciplinary-bounded. Some bundles were also found to be specific to each corpus. Disciplinary lecturers appeared to have their own specific ways of selecting lexical bundles to convey disciplinary materials in a way to be as comprehensible as possible for the audiences. Based on the obtained results, it can be suggested that lexical bundles are considered as a pivotal means in distinguishing the academic speech of different fields of studies. The implication of this study direct itself to the novice (especially those working in ESL/EFL settings) academic lecturers belonging to sciences under investigation. Findings of this study open more windows to how lexical bundles and their communicative functions are employed in academic disciplinary lectures. Students who study in these sciences could also benefit from findings of this research by being familiarized with the structural and functional characteristics of lexical bundles

    Rhetoric-specific features of interactive metadiscourse in introduction moves: A case of discipline awareness

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    To gain credibility and get acceptance from academic discourse communities, writers rely heavily on communicating with their audiences through publishing research articles (RAs). Analysing the generic structure of RAs can deal with issues relating to their language style and the type of linguistic features used. To Hyland, one of the valuable ways to study the pragmatic meaning of RAs and their generic pattern is through metadiscourse. Metadiscourse focuses on facilitating communication between writers and readers through meeting the expectations of potential readers. A crucial part of metadiscourse is its interactive dimension, which helps writers establish a sense of social engagement by guiding their readers though the text. Based on Hyland’s interpersonal model of metadiscourse, the present study explored the use of interactive metadiscourse features in the rhetorical moves of 40 RA introductions from two disciplines, namely applied linguistics, and chemistry. In sum, marked similarities and discipline-specific variations were found with regard to the frequency and function of the types of interactive markers in the main moves of both introductions. The findings can provide insights into the understanding of discipline- and rhetoric-specific conventions in writing the RA as a widely practised academic genre of communication

    Structural analysis of lexical bundles in university lectures of politics and chemistry

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    Referred to as extended collocations, lexical bundles are considered as a main factor in building fluency in academic discourse; helping to shape meaning and coherence in a text or speech. For decades, lexical bundles have attracted considerable amount of attention in corpus-based research in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). While, the focus of the most of the studies on lexical bundles was to explore the use of these multi-word expressions in academic written registers such as research articles, academic spoken registers such as university lectures have not received that amount of attention from the scholars. In this vein, there is still an open question of how they are structurally different across disciplines. With these concerns in mind, this study aimed to explore how lexical bundles are used structurally in a 50291 words corpus of 8 university lectures across two disciplines: chemistry and politics. To this aim, the most frequent four-word bundles in the corpus were classified according to their grammatical types to see the possible disciplinary variations in their frequency of use as well as the structure involved in their use. Results of the analysis revealed that noun phrase and prepositional phrase fragments were the most common structures in the lectures of the two disciplines, accounting for more than half of the bundles in politics. University lecturers appear to apply a variety of structures in the use of lexical bundles often peculiar to the discipline in order to convey their disciplinary messages. This would lead to the need to emphasize the instruction of the most common structures in that discipline in a way for the lectures to be as comprehensive as possible for the intended audiences
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