A corpus-based analysis of lexical verbs in L2 professional engineering writing

Radina, Binti Mohamad Deli and Chuah, Kee Man and Nur Tahirah, Binti Razali (2019) A corpus-based analysis of lexical verbs in L2 professional engineering writing. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 9 (8). pp. 461-472. ISSN 2224-4441

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Abstract

This study focuses on the use of English lexical verbs in the writings of Malaysian professional engineers. The research objectives were to: (1) identify frequently used lexical verbs in written engineering texts, (2) determine whether these frequent verbs are highly relevant for engineering, and (3) whether the verbs are technical or nontechnical in nature. A total of 20 written texts consisting of official reports, ‗pass down‘ instructions and memos from the fields of electrical, electrical and mechanical engineering were collected. The texts were contributed by non-native English speaking Malaysian engineers from various Malaysian-based companies. The annotated data was analysed using the AntConc 3.5.7 software. All verb forms were found to be used in texts namely the base, the infinitive, the past tense, the third person singular simple present tense, the present continuous and the past participle forms. The corpus contained the highest number of lexical verbs in the base form compared to the singular simple present form which had the lowest occurrence. A further analysis showed that the base form was used in the imperative to relay task instructions to peers or subordinates, while the singular present form may correlate with the infrequent usage of the active form in engineering texts. Of all 30 frequent verbs in the top 5 for each verb form, only eleven can be considered as highly relevant for engineering despite their non-technical nature. The results further suggest that overlaps exist between commonly used non-technical verbs in academic and professional engineering writing.

Item Type: E-Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corpus, Lexical verbs, Verb forms, Professional engineering writing, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Language Studies & Communication Studies
Depositing User: Gani
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2019 00:32
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2020 06:30
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/26665

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