A Linguistic Analysis of Conference Titles in Applied Linguistics

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST

Abstract

Over the past twenty-five years, researchers have expressed considerable interest in titles of academic publications. Unfortunately, conference paper titles (CPTs) have only recently begun to receive attention. The aim of this study, therefore, is to investigate the text length, syntactic structure, and lexicon of CPTs in Applied Linguistics. A data set of 698 titles was selected from the 2008 International Conference on Applied Linguistics held in Germany. The results from the analysis indicated that, first; the average text length of CPTs in Applied Linguistics is 10.4 words. Second, CPTs tended to be nominal, consistent with the finding in several titleology studies. Last, the lexical items of CPTs comprised a rich array of four main categories of lexicon (domain-specific words, research-related words, verbal expressions, and country/local references). These findings have implications for the scholarship on CPTs, academic writing pedagogy, and future research on academic titles.

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