Kochetova L.A., Ilyinova E.Yu. English Academic Discourse in Translinguistic Context: Corpus-Based Study of Lexical Markers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.5.3

Larisa A. Kochetova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of English Philology, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5278-7373

Elena Yu. Ilyinova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of English Philology, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3310-4020


Abstract. The paper applies the Matrix method to an investigation into translinguistic features of English academic discourse that is serving worldwide a means of cross-cultural exchange between researchers with translingual skills. Based on the corpus approach to the comparison of the two corpora that comprise samples of professional academic writing in various fields of study (Art and Humanity, Natural and Social sciences), the paper seeks to identify both quantitatively and qualitatively correlations in repertoire and frequencies of recurrent linguistic expressions between the native English-language and non-native (Russian) academic discourse performers. The corpora were investigated along with the use of lexical bundles, re-occurring lexical units, which were grouped into noun-based and preposition-based phrases with post-modifier fragments, verb-based phrases with any form of verb components. The data comparison points to a code-mixing trend at the syntagmatic layer, which is a translingual fusion of English words in accord with a mixture of syntagmatic relations typical of English and Russian variations of academic discourse. It was found that non-native writing does not reveal as much lexical flexibility as native writers do and to a large extent relies on formulaic expressions, most of which are not conventional for expert native academic writing. Native Russian writers use excessively noun-based phrases with abstract nouns and underuse noun phrases without prepositions. Verb phrases with that- and to-clauses are mainly characteristic of native professional writing whereas non-native writing employs patterns with active verbs and passive constructions. It was found that non-native writing lacks quantifying phrases and hedging expressions that mitigate the proposition.

Key words: academic discourse, corpus, corpus methodology, lexical bundles, English language, translingualism.

Citation. Kochetova L.A., Ilyinova E.Yu. English Academic Discourse in Translinguistic Context: Corpus-Based Study of Lexical Markers. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 25-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.5.3

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