本文是语言学论文，This chapter summarizes the major findings and lists implications of this study fortheory, practice and pedagogy. Some limitations it possesses are shown clearly andsuggestions for further studies are indicated at last.GM theory ushers from a new perspective for studying metaphor, andnominalization is the powerful resource for creating GM. This thesis, based on theclassification proposed by Halliday,mainly studies the distribution,features andfunctions of nominalization in 60 pieces of abstracts collected from two representativejournals: Nature and The Lancet, employing both qualitative and quantitative methodsinto the analysis. From the above investigated data, the major findings are pointed outbelow.Firstly, AMJ is abundant with the use of nominalization. The statistical analysisshows that nominalization frequently occurs in every piece of AMJ,so the nominalization belongs to a prominent feature of AMJ.Secondly, with respect to the distribution of nominalization derived form differentelements in clause, it is obvious that nearly all five types of nominalization are referredin construing the abstract.As for the average nominalization number per abstract, lexical nominalizationtakes up 88.9% and 11.1% of total nominalization. And this result is lower than theresearch done by Biber et al. (1999/2000) accounting for 75%, Wang (2003, pp. 74-88)taking up 72.6% and Yang (2011, pp. 18-21) accounting for 53.26%. What makes the statistical results different may be the difference lying in corpus selection and researchscale.
With the progress of medicine science all around the world, Chinese scholarsconstantly submit medical journals with foreign experts to catch up with the globaltrend. Medical journals are essential forms to demonstrate their major findings.Meanwhile, with the rapid speed of modern life, people obtain a variety of instrumentsto get the latest information in specific field and communicate with the outside world,and readers may only pick up the abstract separately from the whole article.As a research-process genre, abstract is different from the research article genre(Swales, 1990, 1994). An abstract that proceeds a text is an advance directives of themain body of the text (Swales, 1990). The abstract functions as an independentdiscourse as well as being an advance indicator of the content and structure of thefollowing paper (Van Dijk, 1980). To sum up, an abstract, as one of in dispensable sections in journal articles, is a summary of a manuscript that allows readers to identifythe concept of a paper quickly and accurately to determine its relevance to theirinterests. Therefore, if a paper is to be accepted, a well-written abstract is of greatsignificance.However, the abstract writing ability in China is seemed not so satisfactory (Wang,2002, pp. 332-337). Fortunately, there are increasingly more learners who are aware ofthe importance of abstract and start studying abstract writing in various ways. It isadmitted that nominalization is widely used in medical papers and English is a sort ofnominalized language (Fowler, 1991, p. 79). Although the percentage of nominalizationvaries in various registers, nearly all written discourses are characterized bynominalization. Medical journal, serving as a type of relatively formal discourse, isnoted for its frequent use of nominalization. Two studies of Yang (Yang, 2006, 2011)show in scientific discourse nominalization ranks the second fraquency place. Hence,for helping students as well as contributors who submit to editors improve their abstractwriting ability, it is necessary to obtain the method of applying nominalization to dailywriting. Luckily, more and more investigators who are interested in nominalization setabout finding different perspectives to study nominalization.English abstract, as a formal discourse, has aroused many scholars’ attentions.However, the syntactic features of nominalization in abstracts of medical journals haveoften been neglected. Therefore, this thesis is intended to explore how nominalization isemployed in medical journals and how its syntactic features are embodied.
Chapter TwoLITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Previous Studies on Nominalization
Jespersen (1924, p. 137) discusses the two clauses as Table 2.1 presented. Owingto nominalization, there comes to some shifts in rank. In (1a) Doctor is the subjectbelonging to the primary member, but in (1b) the subject, Doctor changes into thepossessive case shifting down to the secondary member in the noun phrase, Doctor’sreally astonishing cleverness. Meanwhile, clever, really, astonishingly are all shifted upthe same level. This example shows that (1b) is more compact than (1a).While in the later period, Quirk et al. (1985) further discusses nominalization. Hetakes nominalization as a noun and noun phrase corresponding to a clause structure andclaims that nominalization should be separated from word category shift. However,Quirk et al. just defines nominalization vaguely without specifying how to distinguishnominalization and word category shift. The weakness of traditional approaches tonominalization relies on that they just focus on the syntax level without taking semanticand text into consideration.Conducted by Immediate Constituent analysis, Bloomfield (1933) regardsnominalization as an endocentric construction, in accordance that nominalization isdetermined by its head and it is a kind of word form change by virtue of adding thenominal derived affixes. For instance:The two clauses possess the same meaning and the subtle difference, connectingwith the headword and its functions. Both two words fear and fears serve as headwordin (2a) and (2b). However, fear acts as predicate belonging to Material Process whilefears acts as part of the subject belonging to Sensor in Mental Process, which aredevoted to different word classes and are employed to fill different slots in clause.Another representative of structural grammar, Fries proposes the binary constituentanalysis while analyzing the construction of nominalization. The construction of thenominalization an oral examination of the students which is thorough can be analyzedas Fries (1952, p. 266) does. See Figure 2.1.Wang and Chen (2008) exerts the use of nominalization in argumentative writingby Chinese EFL students with a comparison of nominalization to native English corpus.This study finds that the use of nominalization by Chinese EFL learners is generallyless than English native speakers, but the difference is not statistically significant. Thefindings of this study may contribute to English lexicology and writing teaching inChina. Tan (2011) reports a corpus-based contrastive study on metaphoric applicationon nominalization in scientific discourse between Chinese EFL learners and Englishnative speakers. This empirical study shows that Chinese learners seldom exertnominalization to realize Theme-Rheme cohesion, shedding some implications onimproving Chinese EFL learners’ scientific writing ability.
2.2 Previous Studies on Abstract
As the proportion of publication contributed to research information continues toincrease worldwide, abstracts keep on growing in significance but they all proveinadequate. This section will review the abstract in terms of its definition, significance,and classification, following by studies from several aspects.Abstract, as the front matter in published papers, plays an essential role inacademic writing, serving as advance indicators of the whole text (Swales, 1990, 1994).It has been acknowledged that few journals publish passages without submittingabstract, so that abstract takes the role of first impression to readers or editors.With regard to readers, today is an information-exploded time as people have tohandle a mass of information in short time. As for editors of academic journals, thedelivered abstract composes the evidence to estimate whether an article can be receivedfor publication. Towards students in China who are required to accomplish a thesis anddissertation in order to fulfill the degree diploma, both Chinese and English abstractsare indispensably requisite, so that students are in great need of attaching importance toabstract. Now many universities keep a watchful eye on abstract writing and offercourses to teach them how to write a well-written abstract in relation to exams tested forthe practical abstract-writing ability.As the scholars researched so far, the importance of abstract among the languagelearners is stated and it should be in line with the functions and usage of abstracts.With respect to Gibson (1993, pp. 55-56) arises four basic types of abstracts calledinformative, indicative, critical and author-prepared abstracts. Furthermore Yu (2003)summaries as follows: (1) The indicative, or descriptive type, accommodates generalsubject matter of the article, often indicating the context in a qualitative way andproving some evidence of the article relevant to the reader’s purpose so as to help thereader decides whether to keep reading the full passage or not. (2) The informative, orinformational abstract, highlights the major findings and results, quantitatively butbriefly, without unfolding interpretation or illustration, so that readers have not to referto the original text. (3) The critical abstract, is rarely found in most common journals,for there is neither information such as research method or findings nor compactedmessage of the article. However, it adds some subjective point of view and evaluationof the original article. (4) The author-prepared abstract, is rare for most academicspreface abstract before the full text or deliver to conference’ organizers.Due to the big proportion of indicative and informal abstracts in academiccommunity, this thesis adopts the first two types of abstract proceeding to analyze thedata collected.