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Verbs and Noun Phrases--Two Tendencies in Philosophical Essays.

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Noun phrases are often used in academic writing to express the abstract character of the topics discussed. Nouns, especially nominalizations, make it possible to express complicated ideas in a condensed and compact manner, whereas the corresponding verbs make texts easier to understand and more dynamic. In this paper, a case study is presented that focuses on the use of verbs and noun phrases in six philosophical essays. The texts can be characterized as "popular essays." Therefore, two opposite tendencies in the use of verbs vs. noun phrases can be expected. On the one hand, the abstract character of philosophy as a science can increase the frequency of noun phrases, but on the other, the popular essay as a genre encourages the use of verbs because it aims at ease of understanding. (Author/VWL)

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Author:Koskela, Merja
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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