Comparing structural and functional lexical bundles in MUET reading test

Christina Ong Sook Beng, Yuen Chee Keong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study aims at identifying the structural and functional types of lexical bundles (LBs) used in the reading passages of Malaysian University English Test (MUET). A specialised corpus of MUET reading passages was built. The passages were categorised into five main disciplines namely Applied Science, Pure Science, Business, Humanities and Social Science. Using WordSmith Tools version 5, the lists of frequently occurring LBs in all the five disciplines were generated. They were then sorted according to Biber, Conrad and Cortes' (2004) Structural Taxonomy and Hyland's (2008) Functional Taxonomy. Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test were adopted to determine the association between the structural and functional categories of the five disciplines. The results revealed that the number of LBs across the structural and functional categories in the five disciplines differed significantly. However, a strong association was observed between the two categories in all five disciplines where LBs incorporating noun phrases (NPs) usually performed research-oriented function whereas LBs incorporating dependent clauses (DCs) were strongly bound to text-oriented function. LBs incorporating verb phrases (VPs) on the contrary were linked to participant-oriented functions as well as other types of functions. Significant association was identified between the categories in all the disciplines. The two additional categories encompassing various structures of LBs and other functions not listed in Biber et al.'s (2004) Structural Taxonomy and Hyland's (2008) Functional Taxonomy respectively were also significantly associated. The key finding of the study was that structural categories and discourse functions are closely interrelated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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taxonomy
applied science
Lexical Bundles
social science
Taxonomy
discourse
science
Functional Categories

Keywords

  • Lexical bundles (LB)
  • MUET
  • Reading test
  • Reading text
  • Structural and functional categories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

Comparing structural and functional lexical bundles in MUET reading test. / Beng, Christina Ong Sook; Chee Keong, Yuen.

In: Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.03.2017, p. 133-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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