Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Types and Features of Noun Phrase in Chinese Scholars' Abstracts

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Types and Features of Noun Phrase in Chinese Scholars' Abstracts

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

A range of studies has indicated that noun is a dominant part of speech, and the semantic content of sentences is borne mostly by nouns (e.g., Algeo, 2006). Therefore, as phrases based on nouns, noun phrases (NPs) are essential components of sentences. The importance of the NPs in English was acknowledged by generations of language researchers, and a large number of them paid extensive attention to noun-phrase types and features. For instance, in the most important two publications of corpus-based grammars, the Comprehensive Grammar of English (Quirk et al., 1985) and Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber et al., 2000), numerous surveys on the structures of NPs were carried out and tremendous useful conclusions were drawn which enlightened the latter language researchers profoundly. This paper focuses specifically on the use of types and features of noun phrase (NPs) for Chinese scholars. So far, however, few of the researchers have focused on NP in the aspect of scholars' dissertation abstracts with the corpus linguistic method and few of them have done the research by comparing Chinese scholars with international scholars. Thus, this paper attempts to find types and features of NP in the aspect of Chinese scholars' academic writing abstracts through a corpus-based contrastive approach, in order to probe into the underlying reasons of those distinctions.

Since the classifications of Biber et al. (2000) and Quirk et al. (1985) are widely accepted, this paper would classify NP structures on the basis of Biber's view with sentences extracted from CSDA and ESDA as follows.

I (Determiner) + Head (Simple NP)

1. Zero + Noun

...but it does not take context into full consideration... (CSDA)

...languages can influence word recognition in EFL learners... (ESDA)

2. Determiner + Head

...a schema is an abstraction of the similarities of all the members... (CSDA)

...as important as the deletion of the plural marker... (CSDA)

...this finding is interpreted in the context of... (ESDA)

II Premodifier + Head (Complex NP)

1. Adjective + Head

...the most grammatically accessible antecedent is... (CSDA)

...a Coh-Metrix-based study of the linguistic features that... (CSDA)

...researching the longitudinal development of second language learners... (ESDA)

2. Noun + Head

...research on language assessment literacy... (CSDA)

...the approach to descriptor calibration... (CSDA)

...second language acquisition research... (ESDA)

III Head+Postmodifier (Complex NP)

1. Head + To-infinite Clause

...their contextual adaptability to interpersonal relationships... (CSDA)

...Chinese applied linguists' attention to research... (CSDA)

...evidence of advancement to a higher stage... (ESDA)

2. Head + Preposition or Subordinating Conjunction (of, for, from, with)

... the number of idea units of the story retelling... (CSDA)

... used as evidence for Chinese as a discourse-oriented language... (CSDA)

... task-essential practice with interpreting agent/patient roles... (ESDA)

3. Head + Ing-clause

... impaired memory arising from an instruction... (CSDA)

... we can study and mind using the same method... (CSDA)

... extract statistical regularities from their environment allowing them to extract words... (ESDA)

4. Head + Ed-clause

... the rating scales of the rubric used in this study... (CSDA)

... a tentative intepretation based on the functional roles... (ESDA)

5. Head + Relative Clause (which, that, who, whom, whose, when, where)

... interlanguage development which is more universal than... (CSDA)

... EFL listening comprehension that has been conducted in China... (CSDA)

... low-anxiety learners who produced high levels of modified output... (ESDA)

... CF did not result in simplified writing when structural complexity. …

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