Profiling Vocabulary in Psychology Journal Abstracts: A Comparison between Iranian and Anglo-American Journals

Document Type : Original Article


University of Qom, Iran


Lexical profiling has yielded fruitful results for language description and pedagogy (Liu, 2014), and particularly highlighted the significance of academic vocabulary for EFL learners in this process. This investigation, likewise, attempts to comparatively profile the vocabulary, more particularly the academic vocabulary, in the ‘abstract’ section of scholarly articles in Iranian and Anglo-American refereed journals in psychology. Iranian journals under study publish articles in Persian but also include an English abstract whereas the latter publish papers in English. For this purpose, a corpus (consisting of 307,126 words), with two sub-corpora of almost similar size and characteristics, was collected from Iranian and Anglo-American journals and analyzed through the software Range. The analyses conducted show a coverage of over 15 percent and the use of over 500 words of the Academic Word List (AWL) in both Iranian and Anglo-American sub-corpora. However, there are variations in academic and nonacademic vocabulary use in abstracts across the two sub-corpora above. Most of the academic words used belong to the beginning AWL sub-lists. Pedagogical implications are made for reading and writing, particularly in EAP contexts.