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Perception vs. evidence: An analysis of this and these in academic prose
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
English for Specific Purposes (Full Text) vol. 30 no. 1 (2011)
Prescriptivism versus descriptivism
English for Academic Purposes
Volume 30 Issues 1, p. 31-43.pdf
This study investigates the use of this and these as pronouns versus determiners in a corpus of research articles in Applied Linguistics and Materials and Civil Engineering. The study reveals that authors in the two disciplines use both structures in a similar manner, with pronominal uses constituting one-fifth of all occurrences. Five types of nouns were found to follow this/these as determiners: concrete, deictic, shell (Hunston & Francis, 2000; Schmid, 2000), adverbial head, and other abstract nouns. Shell nouns constituted over 40% of all nouns following this/these as determiners. The functions of shell nouns and their high frequency of occurrence lead to the conclusion that this/these + shell noun is a frequently used cohesive structure in academic research articles. The knowledge gained by this study can increase awareness of these demonstrative structures in composition instructors and L2 writers, leading to clearer, more cohesive texts.
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