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Is there a correlation between form and function? A syntactic and functional investigation of the introductory it pattern in student writing

Abstract

The introductory it pattern, as in ‘It is important to note that information was added’, is a tool used by academic writers for a range of different rhetorical and information-structural purposes. It is thus an important pattern for students to learn. Since previous research on student writing has indicated that there seems to be a correlation between form and function of the pattern, the present study sets out to investigate this more systematically in non-native-speaker and nativespeaker student writing in two disciplines (linguistics and literature). In doing so, the study adds to and extends previous research looking into factors such as NS status and discipline. It uses data from three corpora: ALEC, BAWE and MICUSP. The results show that there is indeed a correlation between form and function, as the most common syntactic types of the pattern each display a preferred function and vice versa. While very few differences across NS status were found, there were certain discipline-specific disparities. The findings, which could be useful for teaching students about the use of the introductory it pattern, also have implications for the automatized functional tagging of parsed corpora.

Open access
Assessing the inter-coder reliability of the Body Type Dictionary (BTD)

Abstract

Computer-assisted content analysis has many advantages compared to a manual scoring system, provided that computerised dictionaries represent valid and reliable measures. This study aimed to assess the inter-coder reliability, alternate- form reliability and scoring consistency of the Body Type Dictionary (BTD) (Wilson 2006) based on Fisher and Cleveland’s (1956, 1958) manual body boundary scoring scheme. The results indicated an acceptable inter-coder agreement with barrier and penetration imagery in the sub-sample (N = 53) of manually coded Rorschach responses. Additionally manually coded scores showed an acceptable correlation with the computerised frequency counts, and thus indicating an alternate-form reliability. In the full data set (N = 526), barrier imagery in the Rorschach responses only correlated with the picture response test, showing low scoring consistency, which might disconfirm the notion of body boundary awareness representing a stable personality trait but instead it might be dependent on the level of cognitive dedifferentiation.

Open access
Book Review

1 My translation. REFERENCES Brinkema, Eugenie 2014. The Forms of the Affects . Durham, NC; London: Duke University Press. de Saussure, Ferdinand 1966. Course in General Linguistics . Trans. Wade Baskin. New York, Toronto, London: McGraw-Hill. Elam, Keir 1980. The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama . London, New York: Routledge. Frampton, David 2006. Filmosophy: A Manifesto for a Radically New Way of Understanding Cinema . New York: Wallflower, Columbia University Press. Golumbia, David 2016. ‘“Correlationism”: The Dogma

Open access