Facts and things: Advanced ESL learners’ use of discourse-organising nouns

Marie Kristin Tåqvist


This study examines the use of discourse-organising nouns (DONs), such as fact, issue, and thing, in a corpus of Swedish advanced students’ academic writing in second language (L2) English, and in what ways texts produced by the L2 students resemble or differ from those produced by advanced native-speaker students and from expert writing in this respect. The L2 student writing was found to approximate the L1 student writing and the expert writing in several ways, including overall frequency of DON usage, but with less variety and more frequent occurrences of semantically vague types and types expressing attitude and involvement.


discourse-organising nouns; cohesion; register; academic writing; L2 learners; ICLE; LOCNESS; ICE

Full Text: PDF