1887
Volume 11, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

This paper reports on patterns of verb choice in identifying relational clauses (e.g. ‘X is Y, Y is X’) in English technical manuals. While it is obvious that specific lexical verbs will feature in identifying clauses of different functions, e.g. (defining), (naming), (exemplifying), less transparent is the distribution of these more specific verbs and the general or neutral verb . The findings suggest that verb choice in (technical) identifying clauses is strongly associated with the degree of equivalence constructed between the two central nominal groups in the clause (the Token and Value). Equivalence relations are one-to-one (rather than one-to-many) and exhaustive (rather than semantically open). Major grammatical influences on equivalence include nominal group structure, ergativity of the clause, and the inclusion of features (e.g. interpersonal, logical or textual) that undermine the privileging of an experientially homogeneous world-view. The results challenge the notions that and specific verbs are interchangeable and that is an unmarked choice. On the contrary, the data reveal that under certain conditions is the more marked choice. The results have practical implications for teachers and students of English (in particular, students of English for Academic and/or Specific Purposes) as well as translators.

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2001-01-01
2019-10-21
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Definitions , English technical discourse , Equative clauses , Markedness and Relational verbs
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