A Comparative Study of Anticipatory it Lexical Bundles in Applied Linguistics and Analytical Chemistry Research Articles

Document Type: Original Article


English Language Center, Isfahan University of Technology


Lexical bundles, frequent word combinations that commonly occur in different registers, have attracted researchers in corpus linguistics in the last decade. While most previous studies of bundles have been mainly concerned with variations in the use of these word sequences across different registers, very few studies have focused on their use across disciplines. To address possible disciplinary variations in the use of these word combinations in academic register, this quantitative and qualitative study chose to investigate, compare, and contrast range, frequency, and function of anticipatory it bundles as a sub-set of these word clusters with important metadiscursive functions in published writing. For this purpose, the study zoomed in research articles of applied linguistics and analytical chemistry as a soft and hard science, respectively. The results indicated that generally anticipatory it bundles could be regarded as a distinctive characteristic of academic writing in both disciplines. At the same time, each discipline was found to draw almost on a particular set of it bundles in the development of its discourse. However, analytical chemistry seemed to rely more on these bundles in the development of its discourse. Functional analysis also showed that it bundles served a wide variety of functions in both disciplinary areas. Therefore, this study called for a more robust pedagogical focus on different multi-word sequences like anticipatory it lexical bundles. The findings also highlighted the importance of a more genre-focused EAP (English for academic purposes).