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CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH

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CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH

Lexical Bundles in Spoken and Written Russian

Daehyeon Nam,Sungmin Lee

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.46-46

Abstract
Lexical Bundles in Spoken and Written Russian ×

The current study explores the characteristics of frequently-used multi-word expressions (i.e., lexical bundles) in spoken and written Russian. Lexical bundles are retrieved from a one million word Russian National Corpus (RNC) sample. The lexical bundles in spoken and written sub-corpora of the RNC are analyzed quantitatively regarding discourse functions of reference expressions, stance bundles, and discourse organizers. The analysis confirms that the spoken and written Russian corpora exhibit significantly different lexical bundle distribution patterns: there are more referential expressions in written Russian; while there are more stance bundles in spoken Russian. The study also suggests future study calling more in-depth investigation for developing language-specific discourse functions.

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A Keyword-based Approach to Exploring Diachronic Changes in Maritime Safety Standards of SOLAS Convention

Yilian Qi

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.47-47

Abstract
A Keyword-based Approach to Exploring Diachronic Changes in Maritime Safety Standards of SOLAS Convention ×

SOLAS Convention, as the most important international maritime treaty regulating ship safety, sets up the minimum safety levels for construction, equipment and operation. Due to the development of technology, safety understanding and management, all three safety standards are undergoing revision over time. This paper aims to explore and explain the trend of these changing standards by employing a keyword analysis on SOLAS Convention based on the idea that keywords are indicative of changes in writing style, which can ultimately be linked back to social change. To achieve this objective, five consolidated versions of SOLAS Convention covering the period from 1974 to 2015 were targeted to collect data. Keywords of three safety standards in each version were extracted respectively using WordSmith tools. For discovering the degree of diachronic changes in each safety standard, statistical measures like frequency count and type-token ratio were adopted to compare the lexical distribution and density of each keyword list. The findings suggest that all three safety standards have been revised over time and the changes vary in terms of degree and content. This study is believed to be useful for understanding the safety concerns in maritime industry and to contribute to the literature in the diachronic research conducted by keyword-based approach.

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Creating a Reliable Academic Vocabulary List

Seonmin Park

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.48-48

Abstract
Creating a Reliable Academic Vocabulary List ×

Vocabulary is one of the crucial factors for students’ academic comprehension (Anderson, 2008; Grabe, 2009; Laufer, 1992; Nation, 2001; Qian, 2002). Thus, academic vocabulary lists have been created for research and materials of English as a foreign language (EFL) and English for specific purpose (ESP). Although the academic vocabulary lists have been widely used, few studies have probed into the reliability of the lists. Miller and Biber (2015) pointed out this gap and suggested that the reliability of word lists would be investigated by simply dividing a corpus into random smaller sub-corpora. A thirty-million-word corpus was created with 900 academic articles across nine disciplines of humanity, social sciences and sciences. Then the corpus was divided into two sub-corpora and sixteen criteria sets of register frequency, range, discipline measurement and dispersion were applied to each sub-corpus for vocabulary list creation. The replicability of the vocabulary lists was examined to find a set of criteria extracting the most reliable vocabulary list. The results showed that the combination of the lenient register frequency and discipline measurement, and the strict dispersion was the most desirable condition to create a reliable academic vocabulary list. This result was similar to Gardner and Davies (2012)’ methodology to create their vocabulary list called Academic Vocabulary List, but does not show the impact of range on the replicability of an academic vocabulary list. The implications and limitations were also addressed.

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Nominal Stance in Korean EFL Learners : A Corpus-based Study of Problem-solution Writings

Jungyeon Koo

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.49-49

Abstract
Nominal Stance in Korean EFL Learners : A Corpus-based Study of Problem-solution Writings ×

Compared to conversations and other written genres, written academic prose favours heavy nominal groups, in which the head noun is typically accompanied by premodifiers such as adjectives or nouns, and/or by postmodifiers such as prepositional phrases (Parkinson & Musgrave, 2014). In particular, a Noun Complement structure, a relatively neglected means of stance expression has been underresearched in the study of stance and the way writers to convey an attitude to their compositions and readers. The current study examines this structure as a nominal stance construction related to students’ advanced academic literacy (Jiang, 2015). By means of corpus-based contrastive analysis, this study compares the uses of this stance construction in problem-solution essays of 70 Korean university students (L2) with those of English native students (L1) of similar age (20s) and educational level (undergraduate students). The findings observe that EFL students employ fewer examples of nominal stance constructions compared to native English ones and that they showed the use of limited types of this construction. It might be caused by lack of the EFL learners’ L1 proficiency and the inherent difficulty of noun phrase constructions in the acquisition of syntactic structures. This research can also make suggestions for EAP (English for Academic Purposes) writings and instructions.

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A Corpus-based Analysis of Reader Engagement in the Letter to Shareholders: A Cross-cultural Study of Chinese and U.S. Corporate Communication

William Lee

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.50-50

Abstract
A Corpus-based Analysis of Reader Engagement in the Letter to Shareholders: A Cross-cultural Study of Chinese and U.S. Corporate Communication ×

Adopting an audience-centred approach in business writing is considered fundamental to successful business communication and is widely advocated by leading textbooks of the field targeted at both university students and professionals. Thill and Bovee (2013) explain this approach embraces a ‘you’ attitude whereby the emphasis of the message is placed on the reader rather than the writer. Although a large pool of literature on writer-reader interaction has developed under concepts such as metadiscourse, appraisal, stance, and evaluation; these generally place a focus on writer as opposed to reader-orientated aspects of language. Moreover, the attention from linguists have overwhelmingly been directed towards academic writing. This study uses corpus analysis to explore features of audience involvement in the letter to shareholders of Chinese and U.S. companies. Utilising the engagement framework (Hyland, 2005), I examine how corporate leaders attempt to explicitly recognise the presence of their readers and construct relationships with this complex and diverse set of stakeholders. The results reveal engagement features are an integral element of both Chinese and U.S letter to shareholders; however the density was noticeably lower in the Chinese sample. While this does not necessarily render the Chinese discourse less audience-centred, it does represent a cultural divergence that has implications for the learning and teaching of business communication and ESP. Currently, U.S.-centric textbooks and guides dominate but with China’s prominent commercial position entrenched there is a need to develop a greater understanding of Chinese business communication styles so that students and professionals globally can benefit from such insights.

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A Corpus-based Study of Entire and Whole Using Wmatrix

Myoung-ho Ha

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.51-51

Abstract
A Corpus-based Study of Entire and Whole Using Wmatrix ×

English dictionaries usually provides only the senses of each word without explicitly showing the subtle nuances of the synonymous words. The great challenge in English language teaching is to distinguish the similarities and differences of near synonyms for EFL learners so that they will be able to understand and use the words correctly. This paper is intended to explore comprehensively the similarities and differences in meaning and usage of two near-synonyms, entire and whole through Wmatrix. This paper consists of 4 steps; administrating questionnaire to college students, analyzing BNC and COHA, applying the dictionary definitions to corpus data, and analyzing and sorting 200 noun collocates (MI>3) using Wmatrix web tool. The findings show that there are clear differences between two near-synonyms and that utilizing the semantic categories through Wmatrix can contribute to distinguishing and learning near-synonyms.

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Automatic Alignment of English-Chinese Terminology Using Contextual Information

Yaochen Deng

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.52-52

Abstract
Automatic Alignment of English-Chinese Terminology Using Contextual Information ×

In this paper, we present anew approach to automatic alignment of multi-word terms based on contextual information. With the English-Chinese Parallel Corpus of Maritime Conventions (ECPCMC) as a basis, we first extract the candidate terms from the corpus of each language separately using a hybrid approach which combines a list of user-adjustable morphosyntactic patterns and a term weighting measure. Then the extracted terms are aligned based on the contextual information with the assumption that translation equivalents are often used in similar contexts. For this purpose, we extract the collocates of each candidate term in either side of the languages in the corpus and comparethem for the degree of similarity at the semantic attribute level. Since the collocation extraction is restricted to the concordance lines containing the candidate term, this method not only overcomes the limitations of conventional statistical methods requiring large corpora to be effective but also improves the accuracy of automatic alignment. Experiments based on a section of ECPCMC, which is annotated with terms manually, indicate that the proposed approach is promising, giving an encouraging 85.3% precision and 60.6% recall on average.

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Use of Lexical Features in Non-native Academic Writing

Sonca Vo

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.53-53

Abstract
Use of Lexical Features in Non-native Academic Writing ×

Research in English for Academic Purposes has often analyzedlearner language discourse to provide evidence on learner language development (Biber & Gray, 2013; Staples, Egbert, Biber, & McClair, 2013). From the lexical perspective of a second language, previous analyses of learner discourse have focused more on vocabulary frequency measures; however, single word based analyses have been found to be insufficient in capturing learner language development (Read & Nation, 2006). Therefore, together with the measure of single word distributions, analysis of lexical bundles is also called for(Read & Nation, 2006). This study explored the use of lexicon and lexical bundles in written performances across three proficiency levels in an English Placement Test (EPT) corpus (N = 1,388) from a large Midwestern university in the US. The results showed that higher proficiency learners used a higher number of types and tokens and word families, a higher percentage of the second most frequent 1,000 words of English (K2 tokens) and Academic Word List (AWL) tokens, and a higher level of type-token ratio and lexical density than lower proficiency learners. Regarding the use of lexical bundles, although lexical bundles were used more often by lower level learners, most of those bundles were prompt dependent. Prepositional phrase-based lexical bundles with a discourse function were common in higher level responses while noun phrase-based and verb phrase-based bundles with referential and stance functions were frequent in lower level responses. This study has implications for teaching practice, second language acquisition research on learner language development, and second language writing assessment.

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Extraction of Functional Sentence Stems (FSSs) in English Academic Texts

Jingjie Li

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.2 No. pp.54-55

Abstract
Extraction of Functional Sentence Stems (FSSs) in English Academic Texts ×

Pawley and Syder (1983) propose the concept of lexicalized sentence stems as “a unit of clause length or longer whose grammatical form and lexical content is wholly or largely fixed”(ibid: 191-192), and they conclude that native speakers rely much on stringing lexicalized sentence stems together for their fluent communication (ibid: 202). The concept of lexicalized sentence stems has values in phraseology; however, ‘lexicalization’ is not particularly operationalizable in empirical research, as corpus studies have shown that most phrasal units are only partially lexicalized (see Moon 1998: 37, etc.). Granger and Paquot(2008: 44) develop further the notion of lexicalized sentence stems and propose textual sentence stems. According to them (ibid: 44), textual sentence stems are routinized fragments ofsentences that serve textual functions, and a textual sentence stem typically involves a subject and a verb. Examples of textual sentence stems are the final point is, another thing is,it will be shown that andI will discuss. The concept of textual sentence stems lends itself more easily to empirical research than the lexicalized sentence stem in that it attaches more importance to functions of the sentence stem rather than its lexicalization. However, Granger and Paquot did not propose the practical methods and procedures for identifying textual sentence stems so defined, particularly in corpus-based studies. In addition, sentence stems, as the clause-level phraseological units, may perform such functions as the research-oriented function or participant-oriented function in Hylland’s term (2008:13-14), other than the textual or text-oriented function. And in some cases a sentence stems may perform multiple functions simultaneously. For these reasons, in the present research, we propose to opt for the term ‘functional sentence stem’ (henceforward FSS). This paper aims to explore common functional sentence stems in academic English texts, with a view to uncovering their typical forms and specific functions in context, in order to better inform ESP students of language resources with higher pedagogic utility. Functional sentence stems are temporarily defined as “An FSS is a recurrent contiguous lexico-grammatical sequence which contains a subject-predicate structure and which is associated with a particular function pertaining to a particular textual environment. The FSS may have a range of variations. ” The definition spells out several important defining features of the linguistic entity. Firstly a FSS consists of a subject-predicate structure, which makes it more compete in grammatical structure than the lexical bundle. For example, previous studies show that, data indicate that and it is not surprising that are all FSSs dealt with in the present study. Second, statistically, an FSS has to be significantly recurrent to ensure that it is a common means for meanings and functions. In the present study, only those FSSs whose frequencies have reached a frequency threshold of 10 or above and whose new-MI scores have reached 3.0 or above will be counted as a FSS. Thirdly, an FSS performs particular functions in association with co-occurring lexical and grammatical features in the local textual environment. And the functions can be of different types and nature, but most often a FSS is typically used to help organize textual information or to express the writer’s attitudinal or evaluative meanings. Fourthly, a FSS is usually not a fixed expression and it may have a range of varied forms. For instance, this paper describes may be varied to this paper discusses, the present paper examines, etc. We then use the new-MI measure (Wei & Li 2013) to extract from an academic English corpus a large number of FSSs, structural and functional characteristics of which are carefully examined and described in association with their co-selection patterns. Results indicate that FSSs are important means for a wide variety of specific discourse acts pertaining to characteristic local textual environments. The findings have potentially valuable implications for ESP pedagogy, offering, in particular, insights for improving non-native novice writers’ academic writing performance.

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Extraction of Functional Sentence Stems (FSSs) in English Academic Texts ×
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The Inauguration of Corpus Linguistics Research

Se-Eun Jhang

CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH :: Vol.1 No. pp.-2--1

Abstract
The Inauguration of Corpus Linguistics Research ×

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