Article published in:New Frontiers in Learner Corpus Research
Edited by Victoria Hasko
[International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 18:3] 2013
► pp. 357–390
Agentivity as a determinant of lexico-grammatical variation in L2 academic writing
This paper examines novice writers’ strategies in the (non-)representation of authorship in academic writing drawing on data from the Corpus of Academic Learner English and a native-speaker control corpus. The analysis focuses on the quantitative and qualitative use of pronouns, subject placeholders, as well as verbs and inanimate nouns that frequently occur in academic writing. The findings indicate that even advanced learners are insecure about the (non-)representation of authorship in academic texts, but lack the resources to report events and findings without mentioning an author-agent. The learner data evidence a significant overrepresentation of first person pronouns and subject placeholders as default strategies to suppress the author-agent. This imbalanced clustering is argued to be due to a significant underrepresentation of constructions with inanimate nouns as subjects that are preferred reporting devices in abstracts and research articles in the humanities. The paper concludes by addressing implications for language teaching, testing and assessment.
Keywords: academic writing, lexico-grammatical variation, inanimate subjects, advancedness, agentivity
Published online: 28 October 2013
Cited by 10 other publications
No author info given
Callies, Marcus & Sandra Götz
Larsson, Tove & Henrik Kaatari
Lozano, Cristóbal & Marcus Callies
Staples, Shelley & Randi Reppen
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 may 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.