A study of lexical bundles in academic lectures in the base corpus / Karima Ibrahim El Twati

Karima Ibrahim , El Twati (2019) A study of lexical bundles in academic lectures in the base corpus / Karima Ibrahim El Twati. Masters thesis, University of Malaya.

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      Lexical bundles are combinations of more than two words which co-occur frequently in a given register (Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad, & Finegan, 1999). They lead to coherence in texts or speeches and play a key role in fluent linguistic production. Recent decades have witnessed an increasing body of research on lexical bundles, however there is still a question of whether these expressions are used differently in academic speech of different disciplinary divisions. To this aim, this study investigates and compares the frequencies, structures, and discourse functions of the most frequently occurring four-word lexical bundles in academic lectures across two broad disciplinary groups, namely Arts and Humanities and Life and Medical Sciences. The comparative study was run on a 594,878 corpus of academic lectures (40 from each academic division). The lectures were sourced from British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus. The most frequent four-word bundles were identified in each corpus using (AntConc). Then the structural and functional taxonomies proposed by Biber, Conrad, & Cortes (2004) were used as analytical frameworks to group lexical bundles in terms of their grammatical types and the discourse functions they serve. Primary findings revealed some variations between the two corpora in relation to the distributional patterns of the target bundle. In addition, the two groups of lecturers also showed different tendencies towards the selection of grammatical types to form lexical bundles and the functions that the bundles carried out in academic lectures. The results suggest that the selection of bundle types and the way they are used to fulfill disciplinary functions in the academic lectures are to a large extent disciplinary-bounded. Some bundles were also found to be specific to each corpus. Disciplinary lectures appeared to have their own specific ways of selecting lexical bundles to convey disciplinary materials in a way to be as comprehensible as possible for the audiences. Based on the obtained results, it can be suggested that lexical bundles are considered as a pivotal means in distinguishing the academic speech of different fields of studies. This study has implication in ESL/ EFL academic settings. Findings of these study open more windows to how lexical bundles and their communicative functions are employed in academic disciplinary lectures. Students who study in these disciplines could also benefit from findings of this research by being familiarized with the structural and functional characteristics of lexical bundles.

      Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
      Additional Information: Dissertation (M.A.) – Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, 2019.
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic lectures; Disciplinary division; Discourse function; Formulaic language; Lexical bundles
      Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
      P Language and Literature > PE English
      Divisions: Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
      Depositing User: Mr Mohd Safri Tahir
      Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 07:31
      Last Modified: 18 Jan 2020 11:11
      URI: http://studentsrepo.um.edu.my/id/eprint/10639

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