Prevalence of Prefabricated Structures in Academic Discourse: A Corpus-Based Study


  •  Muhammad Yousaf    
  •  Wasima Shehzad    

Abstract

Multiword structures that appear in a text more than expected frequency are called lexical bundles. These prefabricated structures vary in length but the most common lexical bundles are four-word lexical bundles which have been explored by many scholars worldwide. The current study aimed to explore five-word lexical bundles, which have lesser been researched. For this purpose a corpus of about 4.7 million words was compiled which consists of PhD dissertations written in Pakistani context. Moreover, the dissertations were selected from three different disciplines to make the study cross disciplinary. The corpus was analyzed according to the taxonomy of lexical bundles given by Biber et al. (1999). The analysis shows that lexical bundles are predominant feature of PhD dissertations in Pakistani context. Moreover, frequency of lexical bundles varies from discipline to discipline, and the structural variation of lexical bundles is also found across disciplines. Dominant structures across disciplines are not fixed as Prepositional Phrase Fragments is the dominant category in the corpus of English Studies and corpus of Social Sciences, whereas, Verb Phrase Fragments is the dominant category in the corpus of Bio Sciences.


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