The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 20, No. 1, pp.384-410
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Mar 2020
Received 11 Aug 2020 Revised 15 Sep 2020 Accepted 20 Sep 2020

Constructing a Vocabulary List of English Textbooks in Semantics and Pragmatics

Hye-Kyung Lee ; Hyeon-Okh Kim
Ajou University
Ajou University

Copyright 2020 KASELL
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aims to develop a vocabulary list of semantics/pragmatics and to complement an existing academic vocabulary list in general linguistics. For that purpose, a semantics/pragmatics corpus (SPTC) consisting of approximately 1,400,000 words was compiled. By combining both a quantitative analysis (i.e., AntWordProfiler) and a qualitative manual examination, a semantics/pragmatics vocabulary list was constructed of 409 word families out of the corpus. The compiled list was then compared with an existing introductory linguistics word list to identify lexical patterns that were common with general linguistics and unique to semantics/pragmatics. The results of the analysis showed that a set of (sub-)technical terms characterized the semantics/pragmatics texts, which suggests the need for a specialist vocabulary list for students in semantics and pragmatics. The result also showed that the semantics and pragmatics texts feature a more frequent use of specific conjunct adverbs including hence, which proved to be instrumental in presenting key terms and topics and organizing the flow of arguments. This might have been because semantics/pragmatics texts are richer with technical terms than are introductory linguistics texts. Pedagogical implications and directions for future research are also suggested.


semantics/pragmatics vocabulary list, technical terms, academic vocabulary, linguistics vocabulary list


This work was supported by the Ajou University research fund. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments. All the remaining errors are, of course, of the authors’ own.


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Hye-Kyung Lee, ProfessorDepartment of English, Ajou University206 Worldcup-ro, Youngtong-gu,Suwon 16499, KoreaEmail:

Hyeon-Okh Kim, ProfessorDepartment of English, Ajou University206 Worldcup-ro, Youngtong-gu,Suwon 16499, KoreaEmail: