Edited by Isabel Verdaguer, Natalia Judith Laso and Danica Salazar
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 56] 2013
► pp. 73–104
This case study aims to investigate the relevance, as well as the use, of the lexical verb describe in scientific research articles, so as to determine the degree of importance of such a guiding verb within this type of discourse and within the scientific process itself. A detailed exploration of the complementation patterns is also made so as to give account of the environment in which such a verb tends to appear. This linguistic information asserts that in most cases the structure formed by the verb describe and its patterns serve to locate the reader, either spatially or temporally. This guiding function becomes essential for the reader of the scientific paper since it helps him/her process the information provided adequately. Furthermore, a comparison between the use of describe on the one hand, and some delexicalised verbs of ‘receiving’ and ‘giving’ followed by the nominal form description, on the other, is made, showing thereby a clear-cut preference for the use of the verbal form.