31 SES 04.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
According to functional linguistic theory, the acquisition of knowledge and that of language are parallel phenomena (see for example Halliday 1985). At the same time, different subjects and disciplines have developed their own ways to describe the world, to construe meaning and their own linguistic means to exploit and present this knowledge. As concluded by Ribeck and Borin (in press) within the field of Swedish textbook studies, subjects cannot be generalized with respects to lexical features. Sadly, both Nordic and international studies have indicated that subject-specific linguistic distinctions rarely are made explicit to the students (Chandler 1995, Dysthe et al. 2006). A direct consequence of this situation is that students often perceive form level transitions as ‘’discoursal shocks’’ (Ask 2005). To prevent language related traumas from occurring and to instead be able to offer well-informed and adequate linguistic support to students, the school needs to be more aware of specific linguistic demands at different form levels. Altogether there seems to be an undisputed call for subject-specific language studies.
My poster presentation will be of a study that constitutes a subset of my newly published dissertation in natural language processing within the field of subject-specific language. The overall purpose of my thesis is to account for subject-specific grammatical features on the educational levels of the Swedish secondary and upper secondary school. This undertaking includes identification of typical linguistic patterns related to vocabulary, phraseology and syntax. I am also interested in describing the linguistic progression in the textbooks from different subjects, from secondary school textbooks, though upper secondary school textbooks, up to academic (university-level) texts.
In my poster presentation, I intend to focus the lexical inventory part of this task, which includes automatic identification of core-vocabulary with subject-specific usages. I will show examples of index lists over vocabulary extracted from a corpus of 5.2 million words originating from Swedish secondary and upper secondary textbooks in the natural sciences, social sciences and mathematics. The linguistic investigation focuses on features in the natural sciences, i.e., biology, physics and chemistry, and textbooks from other disciplines are mainly included for comparative purposes. Besides internally comparing the textbook registers from different disciplines to one another, the textbooks in natural science are also compared to reference corpora, comprising narrative and academic texts.
Ask, Sofia 2005. Tillgång till framgång. Lärare och studenter om stadieövergången till högre utbildning. Växjö: University of Växjö, Department of arts. Chandler, Daniel 1995. The act of writing. A media theory approach. Aberystwyth: University of Wales. Dysthe, Olga, Siri Breistein, Jens Kjeldsen and Liv Ingeborg Lied 2006. Studentperspektiv på rettleiing. Dysthe, Olga and Akylina Samara (eds.), Forskningsveiledning på master- og doktorgradsnivå, 207–227. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag. Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood 1985. An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold Ltd. Ribeck, Judy and Lars Borin 2014. Lexical bundles in Swedish secondary school textbooks. Human language technology challenges for computer science and linguistics. Lecture notes in computer science, 238–249. Berlin: Springer International Publishing. Ribeck, Judy, Håkan Jansson and Emma Sköldberg 2014. Från aspekt till övergripande – en ordlista över svensk akademisk vobabulär. Vatvedt Fjeld, Rut and Marit Hovdenak (eds.), Nordiska studier i lexikografi 12. Rapport från konferensen om lexikografi i Norden, August 2013. Oslo, 370-384.
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