Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 6(2), pp. 52 - 59
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2018.060202
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"There is a possibility that"...—Shell Nouns in Academic Writing by Chinese and Swedish


Yishan Gao , Yi Zhang *
School of Foreign Languages, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China

ABSTRACT

This paper analyzes the use of a special type of abstract nouns, shell nouns, in two corpora consisted of 60 research articles published by scholars from China and Sweden. The frequency, classes, lexico-grammatical patterns and premodifiers of shell nouns are investigated in this study. The results indicate that though in general Chinese use significantly less shell nouns than their Swedish counterparts, especially in the cognition class of shell nouns, there is no significant difference between the two groups of authors in other classes, lexico-grammatical patterns or premodifiers of shell nouns. A possible explanation for the results is offered from the perspective of genre and discourse community. Pedagogical suggestions based on these findings are also illustrated for the teaching of shell nouns.

KEYWORDS
Shell Noun, Academic Writing, Corpus Linguistics, Chinese and Swedish

Cite this paper
Yishan Gao , Yi Zhang . ""There is a possibility that"...—Shell Nouns in Academic Writing by Chinese and Swedish." Linguistics and Literature Studies 6.2 (2018) 52 - 59. doi: 10.13189/lls.2018.060202.