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Lexical chains and topic continuity in the register of popular scientific writing

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This article presents a corpus study of lexical chains in the register of popular scientific writing, based on the English and German original texts included in the CroCo Corpus. This register is characterized by patterns resulting from the combination of accessible knowledge and scientific validity. The study aims at investigating cross-linguistic differences in terms of frequency and length of lexical chains. Chain elements are extracted by identifying the most frequent noun per text (and any lexical items associated with it by synonymy, hyponymy, or meronymy). The sentence IDs in the corpus markup are used to automatically calculate distances between occurrences of the target items. The analysis of immediacy chains and discontinuities in chains supports the investigation of contrasts in terms of topic continuity patterns.
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Keywords: cohesion; contrastive register analysis; lexical chains; popular scientific writing; topic continuity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 26, 2018

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