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Volume 14 Number 4, Winter 2017, Pages 587-836 PDF Download

Functional Distribution of Lexical Bundle in Native and Non-Native Students' Argumentative Writing

    Daehyeon Nam

Although the idea of collocation has been the core of the Firthian linguistic approach, only recently did language researchers and practitioners pay close attention to recurrent multi-word combinations or lexical bundles. Unlike the studies of roles of collocation in a language, the research of lexical bundles has shown that they are crucial building blocks of discourse and register in academic disciplines. Given the fact that the role of lexical bundles in the writings of academic community has become a subject of ESL/EFL, the current study investigates the functional distribution of lexical bundles between the argumentative writing corpora contributed by Korean and American college students. The functional lexical bundle types and tokens are compared regarding the distribution and frequency. A series of statistical analyses demonstrated that, in the Korean students' argumentative writing, stance lexical bundle and discourse organizers are more frequently used. On the other hand, the American students' writing includes more referential expressions. These findings suggest that, when aiming for a proficient and advanced writing level, Korean college students need to be frequently exposed to lexical bundles and explicitly taught with the discourse functions in the academic writing genre. This paper also introduces and discusses pedagogical implications and future research suggestions.

Keywords: lexical bundle, functional distribution, corpus, argumentative writing