Young Adult (YA) literature is widely read and published, yet few linguistic studies have researched it. With an increasing push to include YA texts in the classroom, it becomes necessary to thoroughly research the linguistic nature of the register. A 1-million-word corpus of YA fiction and non-fiction texts was created. Children's and adult fiction corpora were taken from a subset of the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) database. The study noted differences in use of modals and pronouns among children's, YA, and adult registers. Previous research has suggested that children's literature focus more on spatial relations, while adult literature focuses on temporal relationships. However, the results of this study were unable to verify such relationships. The study also found that YA varied from children's and adult literature in regards to expletives, body part words, and familial relationships. The findings of this study suggest that YA is linguistically distinct from children's and adult. This indicates that future studies should focus more on target audience age. These results could also be applied to L1 reading pedagogy.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Nelson, Kyra McKinzie, "Lexical Trends in Young Adult Literature: A Corpus-Based Approach" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 5805.
young adult literature, corpus, fiction, academic research