Investigating Action Nominalization in the Introduction Sections of Research Articles: A Cross-disciplinary Study of Hard and Soft Sciences

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


This study reports on a corpus-based study of action nominalizations and their distribution in the thematic structure of introduction sections of research articles (RAs) across hard and soft sciences. Using the UAMCorpus Tool software, the corpus was tagged to locate the action nominalization instances. Manual text analysis was undertaken to exclude cases which did not comply with action nominalization criteria and to include instances of zero-derivation nominalizations. Action nominalizations were significantly more frequent in the introduction sections of hard science RAs (χ2= 39.850, P=.000). Results, however, did not show a significant difference in the lexical densities of the introduction sections of the two text groups. Moreover, the writers of RAs indicated a higher tendency to employ the action nominalizations in clause rhemes which may be attributed to the role of clause rhemes in the information structure of clauses. ESP writing instructors may use the findings of the present study to raise the awareness of the novices of the vital role of nominalization in facilitating their production of appropriate academic discourse.


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