This book explores how experienced authors repeat word forms in three
different genres: research articles, short stories and political speeches.
Methods from corpus linguistics are used to elicit all the repeated word
forms in each text and then the material is analysed to establish the
nature of the repetitions. The analysis seeks answers to the questions: in
what naming complexes are the words repeated; is the same concept evoked;
is the referential type repeated; are there metaphoric, pragmatic or other
shifts in the meaning of the word? Taxonomy of repetition types is evolved
which leads to conclusions about the role of repetition in creating
The book provides evidence that repetitions amount to about 60% of the
words in a text and they form groups of chains typical for each genre. Thus
the way words are repeated serves to create the skeleton of a genre.
Comparisons show that in texts written by inexperienced authors the
repetitions are considerably fewer than in the work of the experienced
ones. The study also reveals which types of repetition decrease the quality
of the text.
Specific applications of the theory are suggested for assessing the quality
of a text, creating short summaries and building good texts in the
The study is placed within the framework of discourse studies of lexical
repetitions and presents a brief non-technical description of the
linguistic field. Inasmuch as the issue of how words relate to objects in
reality is one of the criteria for assessing the repetitions, an overview
is given and the analysis elicits specific reference types.