Local grammars of movement in financial English

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Local grammars of movement in financial English


Author: Sui, Xin
Title: Local grammars of movement in financial English
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2016
Subject: English language -- Business English.
Finance -- Terminology.
English language -- Terms and phrases.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 1 online resource (487 pages)
487 pages
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b2898259
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8550
Abstract: The present research study explores the local grammars of movement in financial English to illustrate the value and significance of a fuller description of specific kinds of language use with specific language patterns. In financial settings, the language of 'movement' is closely related to risks and returns, and therefore of great importance to the stakeholders (e.g. Ahmad, Gillam & Cheng, 2005). However, to date the language of movement has not yet been studied systematically. This study fills the gap by describing the local grammars of movement in financial English. It describes and compares the language of four types of movement, namely upward movement, downward movement, no movement, and unspecified movement, across five types of discourses in corporate annual reports, namely public relations discourse, discourse of economics, corporate governance discourse, accounting discourse and legal discourse. Local grammar refers to a linear grammatical system and focuses on the functions and meanings of the language (Gross, 1993; Hunston & Sinclair, 2000; Barnbrook & Sinclair, 2001). Rather than studying the language as a whole, local grammar deals with only part of the language, and hence a more simple, more precise, and more useful description of the relation between grammatical patterns and meanings and functions (Hunston & Sinclair, 2000). The corpus analysed was the 1.5-million-word Corpus of Corporate Annual Reports (CCAR) composed of 18 corporate annual reports from the Hang Seng Index constituent companies in Hong Kong. The study is corpus-driven, using ConcGram 1.0 (Greaves, 2009) to generate concgram lists of word co-occurrences. From the lists, the most frequent phraseologies of movement in each discourse type were identified.
The local grammars of the 27 phraseologies of movement were examined by concordance analysis. Concordance analysis involved analysing the clauses that contain each phraseology in terms of functional and lexico-grammatical elements. The comparison of the local grammars across the five discourse types in the corporate annual reports reveals that although a few discourses share certain local grammar patterns, each discourse has its unique patterns and characteristics. The distribution of phraseologies of movement and the local grammars of the phraseologies across discourse types confirm Bhatia's (2010) argument that the corporate annual report is made up of different discourses with different communicative purposes and language features. By exploring the local grammars of the language of movement in financial English, the current study provides a much more thorough description of the local grammars of phraseologies in the CCAR, and has identified various discourse-specific communicative purposes in the annual reports. The study has important implications for teaching and learning in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and professional communication. The methodology can also be replicated in the study of the local grammars of other genres and communicative contexts.

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