International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Realization of Nominalization Functions in Abstracts
Lei Yue, Yi Zhang

Abstract summarizes the main content of an academic paper, reflecting the essence of an research article, and its language needs to be concise, objective and coherent (Kang & Sun 2012). Based on Halliday’s grammatical metaphor and classifications of nominalization, the current study investigates realization of nominalization functions in academic abstracts. Two separate corpora are constructed, which include 60 abstracts from Chinese journals (Foreign Language Teaching and Research and Modern Foreign Languages) and 60 abstracts from international journals (The Modern Language Journal and Applied Linguistics). Finally, it is found that both Chinese and Western scholars use nominalizations to increase the conciseness of abstracts through increasing lexical density, improving language economy and downgrading sentences to nominal groups; they use nominalization to improve objectivity by hiding the original actor, obscuring modality and objectifying the author’s personal opinion; they also employ nominalization to promote textual cohesion by connecting sentence through anaphoric reference, reiterating lexical items and elaborating nominal group.

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