A Corpus-Based Study of the Lexical Make-up of Applied Linguistics Article Abstracts

Document Type: Research Paper


Semnan University


This paper reports results from a corpus-based study that explored the frequency of words in the abstracts of applied linguistics journal articles. The abstracts of major articles in leading applied linguists journals, published since 2005 up to November 2001 were analyzed using software modules from the Compleat Lexical Tutor. The output includes a list of the most frequent content words, lists of frequent words and abbreviations not found in the British National Corpus. The study also weighed applied linguistics abstracts against the General Service List and the Academic Word List and identified words in these abstracts which are shared by the GSL or AWL or are unique to one set. The report separately lists words from the GSL and AWL which are proportionally more frequent in these abstracts than in general written texts, and hence may be reasonably regarded as playing key textual roles in applied linguistics abstracts and, by extension, discourse.