Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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A signalling noun is the use of an abstract noun the full meaning (realisation) of which can only be made specific by reference to its linguistic context. Examples of nouns which can function as signalling nouns are attitude, consequence, difficulty, effect, process, reason and result. The realisation of a signalling noun may occur across clauses or within the clause. Using the ICLE Locness (L1 writers) corpus as a reference corpus and a learner English corpus written by Cantonese-speaking learners of English, this paper presents a comparison of the use of signalling nouns by these two L1 and L2 writer groups. Use of different functions, realisation patterns and selection and range of individual nouns are compared. In this way a profile is built up of the use of signalling nouns by the two target groups and areas for pedagogic intervention are identified.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): abstract noun; cohesion; learner corpus; lexical cohesion; signalling noun
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