An Analysis of Research in Academic Prose between Native Speakers and Chinese Learners

Lifen Shen, Wencun Chen


This study is a corpus-based lexical study that aims to compare the use of research as a noun between native speakers and Chinese EAP learners in research articles in Linguistics. A self-built learner corpus of academic English (CMFD) and its parallel corpus (PQDT) are applied. Quantitative analysis of frequency and qualitative analysis of collocation of node words are used in this paper. The results reveal Chinese EAP learners use research more frequently than native speakers, and native speakers never use “researches” as a plural form of noun in academic writing while Chinese EAP learners use this form frequently. Compared with native speakers, Chinese learners tend to make the following errors: an overuse of research; using research as a countable noun; disorder in using of “research” and “researches”; confusedness of “numerous research” expressions; mixed collocation prosodies. The knowledge gained by this study can increase awareness of proper use of research in composition of instructors and L2 writers, leading to clearer, more accurate texts.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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