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Danica Salazar (University of Barcelona)

Native and non-native writers’ use of lexical bundles in general and scientific English


The paper will report the preliminary results of an ongoing study on the use of lexical bundles in general and scientific English through the frequency-driven analysis of their forms and functions in the Spanish subsection of the International Corpus of Learner English (SPICLE) and in a similar corpus composed of biomedical research articles written in English by Spanish native speakers. The argumentative essays written by Spanish students in SPICLE represent general English while the biomedical corpus represents scientific English. Frequency criteria are used to identify lexical bundles and concordances are examined to classify them according to their function. The results obtained are compared with those found in two native corpora: a corpus of editorials from British newspaper The Times and a corpus of biomedical research articles written by native English-speaking scientists. Comparisons of the four corpora distinguish those lexical bundles common to general and scientific English from those that are specific to scientific English. Differences between the general and scientific-English corpora reveal the bundles characteristic of their discipline that Spanish life scientists need to learn, while those between the native and non-native corpora bring to light those combinations that Spanish writers find difficult to master. The results of this study will contribute valuable phraseological information to the SciE-Lex Electronic Combinatory Dictionary being developed at the University of Barcelona.

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