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A comparative analysis of word use in popular science and research articles in the natural sciences: A corpus linguistic investigation
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Within the realm of the natural sciences there are different written genres for interested readers to explore. Popular science articles aim to explain advanced scientific research to a non-expert audience while research articles target the science experts themselves. This study explores these genres in some detail in order to identify linguistic differences between them. Using two corpora consisting of over 200 000 words each, a corpus linguistic analysis was used to perform both quantitative and qualitative examinations of the two genres. The methods of analysis included word frequency, keyword, concordance, cluster and collocation analyses. Also, part-of-speech tagging was used as a complement to distinguish word class use between the two genres. The results show that popular science articles feature personal pronouns to a much greater extent compared to research articles, which contain more noun repetition and specific terminology overall. In addition, the keywords proved to be significant for the respective genres, both in and out of their original context as well as in word clusters, forming word constructions typical of each genre. Overall, the study showed that while both genres are very much related through their roots in natural science research they accomplish the task of disseminating scientific information using different linguistic approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 34
Keywords [en]
corpus linguistics, popular science, popularization, research articles, word frequency, concordance, keyword-in-context, word clusters, part-of-speech
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44626OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44626DiVA, id: diva2:1330702
Subject / course
English
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-28 Created: 2019-06-26 Last updated: 2019-06-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf