Article published in:Dialogues in Diachrony: Celebrating Historical Corpora of Speech-related Texts
Edited by Merja Kytö and Terry Walker
[Journal of Historical Pragmatics 19:2] 2018
► pp. 167–185
Lexical bundles from one century to the next
An analysis of language input in English teaching texts
This corpus study compares lexical bundles found in the language input of a selection of historical and current English language teaching materials to see what insights they can give into changes in spoken language use. English teaching texts published between 1905 and 1917 were used to construct a historical corpus, and a collection of English language self-study texts published between 2004 and 2014 were used for comparison. Both groups of texts focused on spoken language. The most frequent three-word lexical bundles extracted from each corpus varied considerably. The contemporary texts showed both a greater use of formulaic language and more syntactic complexity within it, while the historical texts relied on simpler structures. An exploratory analysis of the lexical bundles in the historical texts suggests, however, that viewed in conjunction with other historical sources, they can assist in building a picture of spoken language use of the period.
Keywords: corpus, English teaching texts, lexical bundles, spoken English
Published online: 01 February 2019
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