Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2005

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

Abstract

This study compares the functions of abstract nouns previously defined as "shell nouns" (Schmid, 2000) to create cohesion in academic texts written by professional published authors and international graduate students. To make this comparison, two corpora of research papers, one by international graduate students and one by published authors, were collected from 6 different academic disciplines (Art and Design, Biology, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy). The 35 shell nouns (Hinkel, 2004) were investigated in order to find out the frequency patterns in both corpora. The six shell nouns identified as the most common ones in the published corpus were qualitatively compared between published authors' and international graduate students' writings, and further analyzed for cohesive functions through different lexico-grammatical patterns in the two corpora. Specifically, the functional analysis was conducted to find out how these shell nouns function in different lexico-grammatical patterns (th-be-N, th-N, N-be-cl, N-cl) as cohesive devices in both corpora. The findings of this study indicated that the two groups of writers used shell nouns at almost the same rate of frequency. In addition, they employed various functions for these nouns as cohesive ties in the text in some new lexico-grammatical patterns (the N, the N of, a(n) N, a(n) N of, the same N) which had not been previously identified. Finally, the analysis of frequency, lexico-grammatical patterns, and functions of these shell nouns used by the two groups of writers provided some information about the use of these nouns as cohesive devices in academic writing, and possibly raised awareness for their cohesive functions that could eventually be applied in English for Academic Purposes courses.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-7104

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Rahime Nur Aktas

Language

en

OCLC Number

(OCoLC)63193078

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

56 pages

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