Grammatical Complexity in Academic English: Linguistic by Douglas Biber, Bethany Gray

By Douglas Biber, Bethany Gray

Grammatical Complexity in educational English makes use of corpus-based analyses to problem a few dominant stereotypes and assumptions inside of linguistics. Biber and grey take on the character of grammatical complexity, demonstrating that embedded phrasal constructions are as vital as embedded established clauses. The authors additionally overturn ingrained assumptions approximately linguistic swap, displaying that grammatical swap happens in writing in addition to speech. This paintings establishes that educational writing is structurally compressed (rather than elaborated); that it's always now not specific within the expression of that means; and that clinical educational writing has been the locus of a few of crucial grammatical alterations in English over the last two hundred years (rather than being conservative and immune to change). Supported all through with textual proof, this paintings is key examining for discourse analysts, sociolinguists, utilized linguists, in addition to descriptive linguists and ancient linguists.

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In grammatical terms, this has favored the rapid disappearance of archaisms such as upon for on or the subjunctive in all but its mandative use, and led to a decrease in the popularity of typical markers of formal and written style such as the passive voice. On the other hand, it has facilitated the spread of informal grammatical options such as contractions, the going to-future, or certain types of progressives into domains in which they used to be rare. (Mair 2006: 88) Earlier investigations of these patterns suggested that they represent a general historical trend in English.

Biber 1988: 9) Biber and Conrad (2009: 6) further develop this argument, claiming that ‘linguistic features are always functional when considered from a register perspective’; that ‘linguistic features tend to occur in a register because they are particularly well suited to the purposes and situational context of the register’. These functionally-motivated patterns of linguistic variation characterize present-day spoken registers (Chapter 4) and written registers (Chapter 5), as well as historical change in writing (Chapter 6).

Everyday conversation, newspaper writing, fiction, academic writing). The academic writing corpus is designed to represent several sub-registers, including humanities prose, social science articles, and natural science articles. 40 Academic writing: Challenging the stereotypes Chapter 2 also outlines the research methods for our analyses, including corpus annotation, interactive and automatic analysis techniques, and quantitative research designs. Finally, Chapter 2 introduces and exemplifies the grammatical features discussed in the book, including the full set of clausal and phrasal complexity features.

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