Exploring Exploring conventionalized phraseology in advanced academic writing of Tunisian linguistics students

a lexical bundles analysis


  • Al montassar Bellah Taieb Tunis University
  • Naouel Toumi ISLAATM, University of Monastir




Multi-word combinations are crucial for the production of various discourse types as well as for the construction of a credible and persuasive academic persona. This study aims to investigate the frequency, structure and function of the most frequently occurring 4-lexical bundles in writings from the field of linguistics. Following Biber et al.’s (1999) corpus driven-approach, a total of 87 and 113 of lexical bundles were identified in expert and student writing, respectively. Findings revealed substantial differences in the frequency distribution of lexical bundles across the structural categories. More precisely, the study indicated that student cohort relied heavily on clausal bundles and misused certain lexical bundle types. Expert writers, on the other hand, showed increased use to phrasal bundles which are considered indicative of proficient academic writing. In terms of function, the analysis showed a preferential attachment to certain lexical bundle functions, with text-oriented bundles occurring significantly in student writing as opposed to research-oriented bundles which were predominantly used in expert writing. These functional differences also suggested diachronic changes in experts’ use of these word sequences due to the discipline’s discursive demands.

Keywords: Lexical bundles, academic writing, corpus-driven analysis, structural categories, functional categories

Author Biographies

Al montassar Bellah Taieb, Tunis University

Almontassar Bellah Taieb is a PhD student at the University of Carthage, Tunisia. He holds an MA degree in TESOL from the University of Tunis, Tunisia. He is particularly interested in academic writing, phraseology and writing assessment.

Naouel Toumi, ISLAATM, University of Monastir

Naouel Toumi is Assistant Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at ISLA Moknine, University of Monastir, Tunisia. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Reading, UK. Her research interests include ESP/EAP teaching and academic discourse. She published a book and articles on metadiscourse and codeswitching.  




How to Cite

Taieb, A. montassar B., & Toumi, N. (2022). Exploring Exploring conventionalized phraseology in advanced academic writing of Tunisian linguistics students: a lexical bundles analysis. Arab Journal of Applied Linguistics, 6(02), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1234/ajal.v6i02.315



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