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ERIC Number: EJ894893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1475-1585
On the Use of Demonstrative Pronouns and Determiners as Cohesive Devices: A Focus on Sentence-Initial "This/These" in Academic Prose
Gray, Bethany
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, v9 n3 p167-183 Sep 2010
A key concern for writers is the creation of cohesion in a text, and writers are told by style manuals to avoid the use of demonstratives ("this," "that," "these," "those") as pronouns in order to maintain cohesion. However, previous corpus-based investigations have already revealed that authors of academic texts use demonstratives as both determiners and pronouns. Using a corpus of academic research articles in Education and Sociology, I investigate the extended linguistic environments in which the demonstratives "this" and "these" are used with the goal of understanding how expert writers employ demonstratives as pronouns and determiners to create cohesion. The results of the study indicate that pronominal uses of "this/these" most overwhelmingly refer to antecedents that are complete clauses (but not extended discourse that spans sentence boundaries). When the demonstratives are followed by a noun, shell nouns and abstract nouns are used most of the time. Shell nouns, in contrast to other abstract nouns, most often refer to antecedents that are complete clauses or that are "extended," meaning that the antecedent spans sentence boundaries. The implications of these results for teaching academic writing are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A