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ERIC Number: EJ796658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1475-1585
Shell Nouns as Cohesive Devices in Published and ESL Student Writing
Aktas, Rahime Nur; Cortes, Viviana
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, v7 n1 p3-14 Jan 2008
This paper analyzes the use of a special type of unspecific noun, called "shell nouns" [Hunston, S., & Francis, G. (1999). "Pattern grammar". Amsterdam: Benjamins; Schmid, H. (2000). "English abstract nouns as conceptual shells: From corpus to cognition". Berlin: Walter de Gruyter], which are frequently used as cohesive devices, in the written production of published scientists and international graduate students. These nouns act like "shells" because when they are used in this function, they can enclose or anticipate the meaning of the preceding or succeeding discourse. Using a corpus-based methodology and quantitative and qualitative procedures, our study analyzes the frequency of some of these shell nouns, the different lexico-grammatical patterns in which they occur, and the functions associated with these patterns. The result of this study indicates that students used some of these nouns more frequently than published authors and that the functional patterns in which these nouns were used varied between the two groups of writers. These results provide valuable information that can be directly applied to English for Academic Purposes (EAP) instruction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A