Functional analysis of Subject and Verb in Theses Abstracts on Applied Linguistics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Department, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

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


The purpose of the present study is to analyse abstracts related to Applied Linguistics, and more precisely the discourse functions of grammatical subjects and verbs. The corpus consisted of 50 PhD thesis abstracts written on the subject of Applied Linguistics. All of the abstracts were written from 2010 to 2014. The theses from which the abstracts were extracted are available in the ProQuest database. Based on the model put forth by Swales and Feak (2004), the elements of the abstracts were identified. In accordance with Ebrahimi (2014), frameworks were used to analyse discourse functions, while the realisation of grammatical subjects and verbs was analysed for tense types. The results revealed that the “introducing part of study” and “research-related objects” were the predominant types of grammatical subjects. Indeed, these performed more discourse functions in Applied Linguistics PhD thesis abstracts compared with other grammatical subject types. The results also indicated that simple past tense was predominant in aim, method, and results sections, while the simple present was predominant in the background and conclusion sections.


  • Receive Date: 17 April 2017
  • Revise Date: 23 May 2017
  • Accept Date: 15 June 2017
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2017