Variations in Textualization: A Cross-generic and Cross-disciplinary Study, Implications for Readability of the Academic Discourse

Document Type : Original Article


1 Payame Noor University, Iran

2 Algonquine College, Canada

3 Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of TEFL and English Literature, Payame Noor University


According to discoursal views on language, variations in textualization strategies are always socio-contextually motivated and never happen at random. The textual forms employed in a text, along with many other discoursal and contextual factors, could certainly affect the readability of the text, making it more or less processable for the same reader. On the basis of these assumptions, the present study set out to examine how our data varied across genres and disciplines in terms of our target textual forms. These forms are as follows: the magnitude of T-unit (MOTU), the degree of embeddedness of the main verb in T-unit (DE), the physical distance between the verb and its satellite elements (PD), the magnitude of the noun phrase appearing before the verb (MOX), and the magnitude of noun phrase appearing after the verb (MOY). Our data consisted of 20 research articles randomly selected from two different disciplines of Biology and Applied Linguistics, to be analyzed in terms of the above-named textual strategies. One way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey tests were used for data analyses. The results revealed cross-generic as well as cross-disciplinary differences in the employment of the above textual forms. These findings were discussed in terms of the academic concepts and discourse on the one hand and the possible effect of the required textual forms on the readability of the text on the other hand.