English verb-argument construction profiles in a specialized academic corpus: Variation by genre and discipline

J. Elliott Casal, Yasuhiro Shirai, Xiaofei Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates genre and discipline effects on the frequency and contingency profiles of English Verb-Argument Constructions (VACs), with implications for English for Specific Purposes pedagogy. Specifically, 11 VACs that have featured prominently in recent analyses of general domain English usage in the British National Corpus are examined in a specialized corpus of 400 research articles. Analysis includes normalized frequency, type-token ratio, frequency rank, and delta P as a measure of verb-construction association strength, with the results analyzed across disciplines and in comparison to previous analyses on general domain English corpora. A clear consistency was found in the frequency and frequency ranks of VACs across the specialized and general corpora, which points towards the importance and meaningful nature of abstract constructions. At the same time, variation in the verb-construction contingency profiles also highlights the importance of genre and community. Findings are discussed within usage-based perspectives, with careful attention to the implications for English for Specific Purposes pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-107
Number of pages14
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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