Vol. 8:1 (2003) ► pp.97–108
The textlinguistic dimension of corpus linguistics
The support function of English general nouns and its theoretical implications
Corpus research can provide important insights into different areas of language description. The present paper takes a textlinguistic approach to the description of English and puts into perspective the ‘support function’ of general nouns such as man, move and thing. The support function captures various ways in which general nouns are used to present information appropriately in a given context. Specifically, three aspects of the support function are discussed: ‘giving emphasis’, ‘adding information in passing’ and ‘providing an introduction’. From a more theoretical point of view, the present paper argues for an integration of the pattern grammar approach with a textlinguistic perspective.
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