Lexical bundles in academic texts by non-native speakers

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2013, vol. 38, iss. 2, pp. [37]-58
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Recent research (e.g. Biber et al. 1999, Wray 2000, Biber 2006, 2007, Cortes 2002, 2004, Hyland 2008, Simpson-Vlach and Ellis 2010) has evidenced the importance of lexical bundles – recurrent sequences of words – as a major component in coherent linguistic production and an essential aspect of the shared knowledge of a professional discourse community. While most investigations of lexical bundles in academic discourse have focused on their identification, structure, discourse functions and discipline variation, significantly less attention has been paid to the problems non-native speakers experience in acquiring genre- and discipline-specific recurrent expressions. The present study is concerned with the use of lexical bundles in non-native speaker academic discourse. The investigation is carried out on a corpus of diploma theses written by Czech students of English with the aim of finding out to what extent the authors of diploma theses use the different functional types of lexical bundles typical of expert academic discourse. While addressing the issues of accuracy, first language interference and the role of different functional types of bundles in coherent discourse production, the author also considers some approaches to teaching genre- and discipline-specific lexical bundles.
[1] Biber, Douglas (2006) University Language: A Corpus Study of Spoken and Written Registers. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[2] Biber, Douglas and Federica Barbieri (2007) 'Lexical bundles in university spoken and written registers.' English for Specific Purposes 26, 263–286. | DOI 10.1016/j.esp.2006.08.003

[3] Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan (1999) Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

[4] Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad, and Viviana Cortes (2004) '"If you look at...": Lexical bundles in university teaching and textbooks.' Applied Linguistics 25, 371–405. | DOI 10.1093/applin/25.3.371

[5] Chamonikolasová, Jana (2005) 'Comparing the structures of academic texts written in English and Czech.' In: Slovak Studies in English 1. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 77–84.

[6] Cheng, Winnie, Chris Greaves, Jihn Sinclair and Martin Warren (2009) 'Uncovering the extent of the Phraseological tendency: Towards a systematic analysis of concgrams.' Applied Linguistics 30, 236–252. | DOI 10.1093/applin/amn039

[7] Čmejrková, Světla, František Daneš and Jindra Světla (1999) Jak napsat odborný text. Praha: Leda.

[8] Cortes, Viviana (2002) 'Lexical bundles in Freshman composition.' In: Reppen, Randi, Susan M. Fitzmaurice and Douglas Biber (eds.) Using corpora to explore linguistic variation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 131–146.

[9] Cortes, Viviana (2004) 'Lexical bundles in published and student disciplinary writing: Examples from history and biology.' English for Specific Purposes 23, 397–423. | DOI 10.1016/j.esp.2003.12.001

[10] Cortes, Viviana (2006) 'Teaching lexical bundles in the disciplines: An example from a writing intensive history class.' Linguistics and Education 17, 391–406. | DOI 10.1016/j.linged.2007.02.001

[11] Cowie, Anthony C. (1992) 'Multiword lexical units and communicative language teaching.' In: Arnaud, Pierre J. L. and Henri Bejoint (eds.) Vocabulary and Applied Linguistics. Palgrave: Macmillan, 1–12.

[12] Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga (2008) 'Interaction in Academic discourse: communicative strategies for the expression of stance.' In: Tomášková, Renáta, Sirma Wilamová and Christopher Hopkinson (eds.) Ends and Means in Language: Communication and Textual Strategies in Mass Media, Commercial and Academic Discourse. Proceedings from a Conference. Ostrava: Universitas Ostraviensis, 14–18.

[13] Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga (2009a) 'Building up discourse coherence: Creating identities in political speeches.' In: Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga and Renata Povolná (eds.) Coherence and Cohesion in Spoken and Written Discourse. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 97–119.

[14] Dontcheva-Navratilova, Olga (2009b) 'Evaluation in non-native writer's academic discourse: Stance devices.' In: Hanušová, Světlana et al. (eds.) Research in English Language Teacher Education. Brno: Masaryk University, 33–42.

[15] Ellis, Nick (2002) 'Frequency effects in language processing. A review with implications for theories of implicit and explicit language acquisition.' Studies in Second Language Acquisition 24, 143–188.

[16] Halliday, Michael A. K. (1985) An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

[17] Halliday, Michael A. K. and Ruqaiya Hasan (1976) Cohesion in English. New York: Longman.

[18] Hunston, Susan (2007) 'Using Corpus to Investigate Stance Quantitavely and qualitatively.' In: Englebretson, Robert (ed.) Stancetaking in Discourse, Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 27 – 48.

[19] Hyland, Ken (2008) 'As can be seen: Lexical bundles and disciplinary variation.' English for Specific Purposes 27, 4–21. | DOI 10.1016/j.esp.2007.06.001

[20] Kortmann, Bernd (1991) Free Adjuncts and Absolutes in English. Problems of Control and Interpretation. London: Routledge.

[21] Mair, Christian (2010) 'Grammaticalisation of new patterns of clausal subordination: 'on (the) basis (that) + finite clause' and '(on) account (of) + finite clause' in present-day English.' In: Malá, Markéta and Pavlína Šaldová (eds.) ... For Thy Speech Bewrayeth Thee. A Festschrift for Libuše Dušková. Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 153–168.

[22] Moon, Rosamund (1992) 'Textual aspects of fixed expressions in learners' dictionaries.' In: Arnaud, Pierre J. L. and Henri Bejoint (eds.) Vocabulary and Applied Linguistics. Palgrave: Macmillan, 13–27.

[23] Nattinger, James (1988) 'Some current trends in vocabulary teaching.' In: Vocabulary and Language Teaching. London and New York: Longman, 62–82.

[24] Nattinger, James and Jeanette DeCarrico (1992) Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[25] Nesi, Hilary and Helen Basturkmen (2009) 'Lexical bundles and discourse signalling in academic lectures.' In: Flowerdew, John and Michaela Mahlberg (eds.) Lexical Cohesion and Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[26] Povolná, Renata (2010a) 'Can non-native speakers of English use contrastive discourse markers correctly when writing academic texts.' In: Malá, Markéta and Pavlína Šaldová (eds.) ... For Thy Speech Bewrayeth Thee. A Festschrift for Libuše Dušková. Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 209–231.

[27] Povolná, Renata (2010b) 'Exploring sequential relations in learner discourse.' In: Ciuk, Andrzej and Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska (eds.) Exploring Space: Spatial Notions in Cultural, Literary and Linguistic Studies. Vol. 2. Space in Language Studies. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 177–188.

[28] Povolná, Renata (2012) 'Causal and Contrastive Relations in Novice Academic Writing'. Brno Studies in English 38 (2), page numbers – in the present issue.

[29] Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.

[30] Scott, Mike, Tim Johns and Simon Murison-Bowie (1993) MicroConcord. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[31] Simpson, Rita (2004) 'Stylistic features of academic speech: The role of formulaic expressions' In: Connor, Ulla and Thomas A. Upton (eds.) Discourse in the Professions. Perspectives from Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 37–64.

[32] Simpson-Vlach, Rita and Nick C. Ellis (2010) 'An academic formulas list: New methods in phraseology research.' Applied Linguistics 31 (4), 463–512.

[33] Sinclair, John (1987) 'Collocation: A progress report.' In: Steele, Ross and Terry Threadgold (eds.) Language Topics: Essays in Honour of Michael Halliday. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

[34] Stašková, Jaroslava (2004) 'Options of identity: Authorial presence in research articles abstracts.' In: Slovak Studies in English 1. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského, 201–207.

[35] Vogel, Radek (2008) 'Sentence linkers in essays and papers by native vs. non-native writers.' Discourse and Interaction 1 (2), Brno: Masaryk University, 119–126.

[36] Wray, Alison (2000) 'Formulaic sequences in second language teaching: Principle and practice.' Applied Linguistics 21 (4), 487–489.

[37] Wray, Alison (2002) Formulaic Language and the Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.