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Who’s afraid of phrasal verbs? The use of phrasal verbs in expert academic writing in the discipline of linguistics

Alangari, M., Jaworska, S. and Laws, J. (2020) Who’s afraid of phrasal verbs? The use of phrasal verbs in expert academic writing in the discipline of linguistics. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 43. 100814. ISSN 1475-1585

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2019.100814

Abstract/Summary

This study investigates the hitherto understudied area of the use of phrasal verbs (PVs) in expert academic writing in the discipline of Linguistics. It uses a novel methodology combining the notion of grammatical collocation with the Quirkian approach to clause structure analysis and insights from Frame Semantics to identify the extent to which PVs are used in academic writing in comparison with other verb categories. Using a specifically designed corpus of L1 English academic expert writing in Linguistics, we investigate the frequency (types, and tokens) and meanings of PVs in this sample. Contrary to previous findings, our results indicate that PVs form a large proportion of verbs identified in expert writing. An analysis of meanings of the most frequent phrasal verbs in the corpus indicates that in academic writing PVs are used in restricted and sometimes metaphorical senses which are less common in general language use. We conclude our study by suggesting some recommendations for introducing phrasal verbs into the teaching repertoire of English for Academic Purposes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:87172
Uncontrolled Keywords:phrasal verbs; expert academic writers; Linguistics; corpus linguistics; clause structure; frame semantics
Publisher:Elsevier

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