Academic naming: Changing patterns of noun use in research writing.

Hyland, Ken and Jiang, Feng Kevin (2021) Academic naming: Changing patterns of noun use in research writing. Journal of English Linguistics. ISSN 0075-4242 (In Press)

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In this paper we explore the ways academics name processes as things and how these practices have changed over the past 50 years. Focusing on nominalization, all-noun phrases and acronyms, we document an increase in these features across a corpus of 2.2 million words from the same leading journals in four disciplines. Our results show that nominalisations and acronyms have increased in all four fields, particularly in applied linguistics and sociology, and that while noun-only phrases have fallen in electrical engineering, they have risen in the other disciplines, especially sociology. We also suggest that noun phrases have increasingly come to name methodological approaches, rather than concepts or objects, and we seek to account for these changes. We observe that these increases in naming are related to the need for succinctness in modern research writing and the advantages of endowing named objects with a real existence which can then be credited with explanatory authority. We question, however, the appropriacy of these practices for interpretation in the social sciences.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nominalisation,acronyms,noun phrases,corpus analysis,academic writing,naming practices
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2021 00:47
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2021 23:46

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