Lexical bundles in university spoken and written registers

Douglas Biber, Federica Barbieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

389 Scopus citations


Lexical bundles - recurrent sequences of words - are important building blocks of discourse in spoken and written registers. Previous research has shown that lexical bundles are especially prevalent in university classroom teaching, where they serve three major discourse functions: stance expressions, discourse organizers, and referential expressions. The present study extends this line of research by investigating the use of lexical bundles in a wide range of spoken and written university registers, including both instructional registers and student advising/management registers (e.g., office hours, class management talk, written syllabi, etc.). The findings show that lexical bundles are even more prevalent in non-academic university registers than they are in the core instructional registers. Most surprisingly, lexical bundles are very common in written course management (e.g., course syllabi), in contrast to previous research which showed bundles to be much more common in speech than in writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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