Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1.  March 2022                             Pp.240-255

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Collocation Networks of Selected Words in Academic Writing: A Corpus-Based Study

Eman Adil Jaafar
Department of English
College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Iraq


Received: 1/4/2021                              Accepted: 3/10/2022                            Published: 3/24/2022


This study aims at shedding light on the linguistic significance of collocation networks in the academic writing context. Following Firth’s principle “You shall know a word by the company it keeps.” The study intends to examine three selected nodes (i.e. research, study, and paper) shared collocations in an academic context. This is achieved by using the corpus linguistic tool; GraphColl in #LancsBox software version 5 which was announced in June 2020 in analyzing selected nodes.  The study focuses on academic writing of two corpora which were designed and collected especially to serve the purpose of the study. The corpora consist of a collection of abstracts extracted from two different academic journals that publish for writers from different countries around the world. This corpus-based study aims at examining the significance of chunks of language in texts. The concept of collocations is crucial in corpus linguistics to identify semantic relations. This can help in the teaching and learning processes. Furthermore, this study is conducted to answer the following research questions; first, whether the three words study, paper, and research are used interchangeably in the corpora or not? Second, what are the shared collocational associations surrounding the selected nodes?  Finally, it is worth noting that the study of collocations highlights the linguistic features of texts through computational analytical tools that can save time and help to gain objective results systematically. The findings show that ‘research’ and ‘study’ are used rather interchangeably in the writing of the abstracts; however, ‘paper’ has fewer shared collocations in the same academic context.
Keywords: academic writing, collocational networks, corpus linguistic, GraphColl,   linguistic significance, node

Cite as: Jaafar, E.A.  (2022).   Collocation Networks of Selected Words in Academic Writing: A Corpus-Based Study
Arab World English Journal, 13 (1) 240-255.


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Received: 1/4/2021   
Accepted: 3/10/2022
Published: 3/24/2022 

Eman Adil Jaafar is Assistant Professor of linguistics at the Department of English/ College of Education for Women / University of Baghdad. Her research interests include but are not restricted to stylistics, corpus and cognitive stylistics, and applied linguistics.