Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2589-7233
  • E-ISSN: 2589-7241
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Grammatical metaphors are indispensable resources that scientists employ to create scientific worlds. Nominalization, as a powerful tool of grammatical metaphor, can shed new light on the nature of economics through reconstruing human experiences in the process of economic activities. This study endeavours to initiate an innovative way to study nominalizations in economics discourses by extracting nouns in a self-built 1-million-word corpus of economics textbooks (CETB). The results show that nouns and nominalizations, accounting respectively for 21% and 10% of the total words in the corpus, have construed the vast theoretical edifice of modern economic knowledge. In addition to transmitting disciplinary knowledge to achieve ideational functions, nominalizations can also situate the participants within the economics discourse community to fulfil interpersonal functions, and facilitate the text to progress as a chain of reasoning to perform textual functions. This investigation of nouns as well as lexical bundles not only provides new insights into nominalization but also provides an important entry point to observe discipline-specific lexis and the typical co-text in which items occur. This study, as a combination of work in economics, corpus linguistics and systemic functional linguistics, has implications for education in economics as well as the study of disciplinary English in other fields.


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