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Register (Linguistics), Lexicography, Conversation analysis -- Methodology


In using a frequency-driven, fixed-word approach to identifying multi-word sequences, we follow Altenberg (1993, 1998), who carried out initial work of this type with spoken texts in the London-Lund corpus. Butler (1997) applies this approach to Spanish. In the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber et al. 1999, chapter 13 ; hereafter the Longman Grammar), we emphasized the structures of lexical bundles, and discussed the structures' associations with various discourse functions. Here we summarize major findings of that work and then extend it, presenting an initial classification of the lexical bundles into functional categories. We continue to adopt a register perspective--comparing the bundles across different varieties of language based on their contexts of use. In the present paper, we focus on the comparison of conversation and academic prose in English, though the methodology can be applied to other registers as well as other languages.


This paper was published in Lexicographica and the final publication is available at



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