Language Varieties of the Abstracts in Journal Articles Written by Chinese and American Scholars: A Contrastive Corpus Analysis using the Gramulator

Danmin Ye, Dongzhu Wang


In this study, we identify the systematic language varieties and discourse characteristics that are indicative of the academic writings of Chinese and American scientists. We conduct a Contrastive Corpus Analysis using the computational tool, the Gramulator, to identify indicative features in Chinese science journal abstracts as compared to American science abstracts. The results suggest that the Chinese scientists tend to employ different linguistic features from their American counterparts. Specifically, Chinese science abstracts can be characterized as non-standard varieties of English by the choice of the three items: the agent, the tense, and two major types of reporting verbs. We conclude that the results may account for the interpretation of Chinese academic writings of English as non-prototypical in terms of discourse style. This study sheds light on language varieties and methodology that may be helpful to English Language Learners as well as materials developers in countries such as China.



Language varieties, science abstracts writing, contrastive corpus analysis, the Gramulator

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