Cognitive implications of nominalizations in the advancement of scientific discourse


  • Iria Bello Heidelberg University
Keywords: English scientific register, nominalizations, cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, information structure


Nominalizations are well-known features of scientific writing. Scholars have been intrigued by their form and by their functions. While these features have been widely studied, the cognitive side of nominalizations in scientific texts still needs further attention. Nominalizations contribute to the advancement of discourse and at the same time add abstraction to the processes they convey and make them become more reified in the eyes of the reader. They are not mere verbal transformations as they change completely the cognitive configuration of the process they express. With examples retrieved from the astronomy subcorpus (CETA, 2012) of the Coruña Corpus the aim is to study nominalizations in the interface between cognition and language. The ultimate goal is to complement all the theoretical-descriptive studies on the topic by approaching the cognitive dimension and build a bridge for studies on the production and understanding of English scientific register.


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Author Biography

Iria Bello, Heidelberg University

She obtained her bachelor's degree in English Philology in 2006 and two years later, her master's degree. After spending a year teaching Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts, U.S.A.), she became a PhD student. For two years (2010-2012) she held a pre-doctoral scholarship, awarded by Xunta the Galicia, to carry on teaching and research activities at the English Department at UDC. During this time she also spent three months doing research for her dissertation at Cambridge University. In 2014 she obtained her PhD in English linguistics, with a dissertation which deals with nominalization in Late Modern English scientific texts. Since October 2014 she works at the Department of Translation and Interpretation of Heidelberg University (Germany).
How to Cite
Bello, I. (2016). Cognitive implications of nominalizations in the advancement of scientific discourse. International Journal of English Studies, 16(2), 1–23.