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Volume 10 Number 4, Winter 2013, Pages 1-239   

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Analyzing the Journal Corpus Data on English Expressions Across Disciplines

    Sayako Maswana, Toshiyuki Kanamaru and Akira Tajino

While a number of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) studies have examined the linguistic features extracted from research paper corpora based on “frequency” and “range,” few attempts have been made to examine whether these criteria meet the perspectives of actual readers and writers of research papers, or to explore the relationship between linguistic features and textual organization. This paper attempts to reveal the nature of expressions researchers consider “useful” by comparing them with those generated based on frequency and examining their relationship with structural segments (moves) of research papers. In the study, over 20,000 English expressions were extracted from the perspectives of as many as 51 researchers from 15 disciplines at a research-oriented university in Japan. With a focus on one- and four-word expressions, the main findings show use of salient adverbial expressions, noun phrases without post-modifier fragments in the researcher-selected expressions, and the existence of expression-dependent and expression-independent moves. The findings reflect researchers' multiple perspectives, such as linking and creating words and phrases, which would increase and improve learners' means of expression. The results of the study provide an interdisciplinary expression corpus with contextual information, which may be used to complement frequency-based expression resources.

Keywords: English expressions, vocabulary, lexical bundles, moves, research papers, collaboration

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