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zhang yan - adversative and concessive conjunctions in efl writing

Adversative and Concessive Conjunctions in EFL Writing Corpus-based Description and Rhetorical Structure Analysis

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Lingua: Inglese


Pubblicazione: 10/2021
Edizione: 1st ed. 2021


This book explores the usage patterns of a group of adversative and concessive conjunctions in English texts written by Chinese EFL learners and their native speaker counterparts. Focusing on probability profiles and systemic potentials, the study encompasses three stages and combines the strengths of two research methods – the corpus-based approach and text-based analysis – to examine the conjunctions under the theoretical framework of systemic functional linguistics and rhetorical structure theory. Starting with an overview of seventeen conjunctions across two corpora in terms of overall frequency, positional distribution and distribution of semantic categories, the book then offers a more detailed discussion of three individual conjunctions, highlighting the interconnections between 1) syntactic positions and co-occurrence patterns and 2) semantic relations encoded by these conjunctions. Lastly, it presents a case study of one full-length text taken from the learner corpus, applying rhetorical structure theory to provide new insights into the relevance of adversative and concessive relations to text structure. This comprehensive, in-depth analysis is both diagnostic and pedagogically informative.


1 Complexity of adversative and concessive conjunctions
1.1 Comparing different approaches to conjunction
1.1.1 Conjunctions and linking adverbials in traditional grammar
1.1.2 Systemic functional linguistic approach to clause-complexing
1.1.3 Previous research on linking adverbials and conjunctions in L2 writing
1.2 Adversative and concessive relations: some basic distinctions
1.2.1 Adversative and concessive relation in the system of clause-complexing
1.2.2 Antithesis, neutral contrast and concession in Rhetorcial Structure Theory
1.2.3 Semantic opposition, denial-of-expectation and correction
1.3 Overview of the present book
2 A combined method of corpus-based and text-based analysis of adversative and
concessive conjunctions
2.1 Corpus-based Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) description
2.1.1 Corpora description
2.1.2 Corpus analysis procedures
2.2 Text-based analysis: Using SFL-based textual analysis and Rhetorical Structure
Theory (RST) analysis
3 Adversative and concessive conjunctions: Comparing frequency distribution across
two corpora
3.1 Overall frequency and distribution of inter-dependency types: Structural vs.
cohesive conjunctions
3.2 Distribution of semantic categories: Adversative vs. concessive
3.3 A complementary view: Circumstantial argumentation vs. clause-complexing
and conjunction
3.4 Syntactic distribution
3.4.1 Syntactic distribution of structural conjunctions
3.4.2 Syntactic distribution of cohesive conjunctions
3.5 Chapter summary
4 Analyzing structural conjunction but by investigating its co-occurrence patterns
4.1 Overview of most frequent co-occurrence patterns of but across two corpora
4.2 Analysis of but in fact
4.2.1 Co-occurrence of but in fact in the native corpus
4.2.2 Co-occurrence of but in fact in the learner corpus
4.3 Analysis of but I think
4.3.1 Functions of but I think in the native corpus
4.3.2 Functions of but I think in the learner corpus
4.4 Chapter summary
5 Analyzing cohesive conjunction however by investigating its syntactic positions and agnation structures
5.1 Positional distribution of however across two corpora
5.2 Analysis of sentence-initial however
5.2.1 Sentence-initial however for adversative extension
5.2.2 Sentence-initial however for concessive enhancement
5.3 Analysis of the major variants of medial position however
5.3.1 Functions of post-subject however
5.3.2 Functions of however after an initial circumstantial Adjunct
5.3.3 Functions of paratactic use of however
5.4 Chapter summary
6 Text-based analysis of adversative and concessive conjunctions
6.1 An overview of the text-based analysis: Extending SFL-based text analysis by
Rhetorical Structure Theory
6.2 SFL-based textual analysis
6.2.1 Thematic interpretation
6.2.2 Instantiation patterns of clause-complexing and CONJUNCTION
6.3 Applying RST analysis to highlight the relevance of adversative and concessive
relations to text structure
6.4 Chapter summary
7 Conclusion
7.1 Summary of findings 
7.2 Limitations of the study 
7.2 Pedagogical implications


Dr. Yan Zhang holds a Ph.D. in English Linguistics from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on corpus-based study of L2 writing applying systemic functional linguistics, and her recent work has been published in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Dr. Zhang is also an award-winning teacher, teaching EAP (English for Academic Purposes) courses with a focus on chemical and environmental engineering to undergraduate and graduate level students at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China.

Altre Informazioni



Condizione: Nuovo
Dimensioni: 235 x 155 mm Ø 391 gr
Formato: Brossura
Illustration Notes:XVI, 234 p. 42 illus., 18 illus. in color.
Pagine Arabe: 234
Pagine Romane: xvi

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