Zur Leistung der Abstrakta in der studentischen Wissenschaftssprache: ein quantitativer L1-L2-Vergleich
This article examines the role of abstract nouns which are used to carry propositional content. These are referred to here as “satzbezogene nominale Verweise” (SNV) and they are operationalised using a combination of semantic, functional and structural criteria. Varied use of these nominal linking devices seems to be a consistent feature of academic writing not only in English but also in German. The manifold functional aspects of the concept (signalling, containment, pointing) make it a valid instructional point in the development of L2-writers in university settings. The question that automatically arises is whether there are any disparities between the ways L1-writers make use of the nouns compared to L2-writers. The study (re)introduces the theoretical underpinnings of the concept into German linguistics and presents a quantitative comparison between L1 and L2 (Czech) writers with respect to their use of SNVs. For the purposes of the study a corpus comprising a total of 54 master theses was designed. Apart from accounting for the L1 of the students, other variables include the subdiscipline (literary studies or linguistics), phoric direction and grammatical constructions associated with the individual nouns.
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