'A tale of two cities': Lexical bundles as indicators of linguistic choices and socio-cultural traces

Tania Shepherd, Sonia Zyngier, Vander Viana

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This study focuses on the frequency and nature of the lexical choices in two corpora made up of 195 creative writing texts produced by Brazilian public school pupils, living in two markedly different places: a violent inner-city area, and a semi-rural setting near a small market town. To this end, the research adopts a frequency and distribution approach for the extraction and comparison of sequences of words in each of the corpora. Initially, the discussion focuses on the methodological difficulties encountered when dealing with texts produced by language users with orthographic and punctuation problems. Subsequently, the concept of 'lexical bundles' is applied to the data in question, i.e., the most frequent sequences of words are extracted, and classified according to Biber, Conrad & Cortes' (2004) framework. Finally, results are presented which highlight the large number of lexical patterns in the texts written by the inner-city pupils. It is suggested that these differences may be attributed to the sociological profile of each individual group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStylistics and social cognition
EditorsLesley Jeffries, Dan McIntyre, Derek Bousfield
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
ISBN (Print)9789042023123
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Publication series

NamePALA Papers
ISSN (Print)1871-1197


  • Lexical bundles
  • Children's writing
  • Discourse analysis
  • Linguistic choices
  • Socio-cultural traces
  • Phraseology

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