Native speaker advantage in academic writing? Conjunctive realizations in EAP writing by four groups of writers

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13 Scopus citations


This paper joins the Native vs. Non-native writer dichotomy discussion of whether native speakers of English enjoy advantage in the academic writing context from the linguistic perspective by analyzing conjunctive realizations of four groups of writers: English L1 and L2 graduate students; English L1 and L2 scholars in applied linguistics. Fifteen essays from each group are compared on their explicit conjunctions and Logical Grammatical Metaphors (LGMs). Both graduate student groups employ explicit conjunctions more than the two scholar groups. For LGMs, not only do both graduate student groups differ from the two scholar groups, they also differ significantly from each other. In contrast, the two scholar groups show similar usage in explicit conjunctions and LGMs. Qualitative differences of conjunctive usage and lexical varieties are also found among the four groups. The study points out that writer experience overweighs their native-speaker status in academic writing. The findings question the native-speaker linguistic advantage to a certain extent and indicate complexity of this issue. As language for academic purposes is strikingly different from spoken language and cognitively more demanding, academic language needs to be learned and developed out of disciplinary studies with targeted instruction for all novice writers, regardless of their native or non-native speaker status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2017


  • Conjunctive realization
  • EAP writing
  • Logical grammatical metaphor
  • Native vs. non-native writer dichotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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