Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number1 March 2021 Pp. 401 -420
The Low Co-occurrence of Nominalization and Hedging in Scientific Papers Written by
Chinese EFL Learners
College of Foreign Languages
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Received: 12/24/2020 Accepted: 3/2/2021 Published: 3/24/2021
This article hypothesizes that one of the reasons for Chinese EFL learners’ rigid use of nominalization and insufficient use of hedging in academic writing can be attributed to the unclear understanding of the relationship between these two expressions. The aim of the research is to first prove and then explain the possible co-occurrence of nominalization and hedging in scientific papers, with the intention of deepening Chinese EFL learners’ understanding of the reasons for their possible co-occurrence. After a corpus-assisted statistical analysis of sixty abstracts selected from leading scientific journals written by native English speakers, it’s been found that there is indeed a tendency for nominalization and hedge to co-occur both at the textual-level and clause-level. Besides, a tentative analysis is conducted to explain the pattern of their co-occurrence. It has been observed that the number of nominalized expressions in clauses is inversely correlated with the probability degree of hedging, and the position of nominalization in the clause (theme or rheme) influences the generalization level of hedging. The research results could shed light on the pedagogic approach in improving Chinese EFL learners’ academic writing by making evident that the elusive Grammatical Metaphor competence could be enhanced by deepening the understanding of the inter-relationship between seemingly different in-congruent expressions like nominalization and hedges.
Keywords: Chinese EFL learners, co-occurrence, hedge, nominalization, Systemic Functional Linguistics
Cite as: Liu, X. (2021). The Low Co-occurrence of Nominalization and Hedging in Scientific Papers Written by Chinese EFL Learners.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (1) 401-420.
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