Verbs in Applied Linguistics Research Article Introductions: Semantic and syntactic analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English, Sepidan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sepidan, Iran

2 English department, Shadegan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shadegan, Iran


This study aims to investigate the semantic and syntactic features of verbs used in the introduction section of Applied Linguistics research articles published in Iranian and international journals. A corpus of 20 research article introductions (10 from each journal) was used. The corpus was analysed for the syntactic features (tense, aspect and voice) and semantic meaning of verbs. The findings showed that in both groups of introductions, the common tenses were the present and past, rather than future. In introductions published in the international journal, the present tense was used more often than in those published in the Iranian journal, whereas past tense was used twice as frequently in Iranian journal introductions. Regarding the aspect of verbs, the simple aspect was common in both groups of introductions, but more frequent in Iranian journal introductions. The perfect aspect was more common in international journal introductions. Concerning voice, the active voice was predominant in both groups of introductions. Semantically, verbs with mental, activity, communication and existence meanings were common in both groups. The semantic meanings of verbs were not significantly different in the two groups of introductions. The findings of this study can have implications for novice, non-native writers in Applied Linguistics in helping them design and write more appropriate research article introductions.