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In this study, we investigate uses of linking adverbials in present-day written American English, in response to an observation from a previous study that occurrences of linking adverbials may vary according to varieties of English. The American English 2006 corpus (Potts & Baker, 2012) was utilized for the purpose of the study. Distribution patterns of linking adverbials were examined in the light of their categories and text genres, namely general prose, academic prose, fiction, and media texts. The results showed that among the four text genres, linking adverbials occur most frequently in academic prose and least frequently in fiction and media texts. The distribution patterns of linking adverbials by category revealed that the additive group occurs most frequently across the board while the sequential group the least. These overall findings correspond to previous studies of linking adverbials in other varieties of English, thereby suggesting that uses of linking adverbials are associated with text genres and categories, rather than with varieties. However, it is also found that such major distribution tendencies are not shared by a large number of linking adverbials in each group. This suggests that individual LAs have their idiosyncratic usage patterns, and these are associated with their frequencies in each genre. Analysis of some individual LAs revealed that there are other contextual factors, apart from text genres, including textual positions and co-occurrence patterns, which deserve attention in future research on linking adverbials.
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