A lexical bundle approach to comparing languages
Contrastive studies of phraseology have tended to focus on figurative units, such as idioms and metaphors, and paid comparatively less attention to less colourful types of units such as collocations and lexical bundles, which are equally, if not more, worthy of study. This chapter tries to fill this gap by exploring the potential contribution of a lexical bundle approach to language comparison. Some guidelines are presented to help solve some of the methodological challenges posed by a cross-linguistic comparison of lexical bundles. The approach is illustrated with a study of lexical bundles in English and French with a particular focus on units that have a metadiscursive function. Two different genres are compared — parliamentary debates and newspaper editorials — in an attempt to tease out systemic differences between languages and genre effects.