This article aims to explore the use of nominalization in Pakistani ESL learners’ academic writing. Following descriptive analytic approach, a general distribution pattern of nominalization is investigated within the context of disciplinary variation. Based on this general distribution pattern, the use of different features of nominalization is investigated in hundred academic texts (problem-solution essays) produced by the students of humanities and sciences at undergraduate level. From the field of humanities, students of BS English are selected while students of BS Engineering represent the field of science. An average word length is 600 words each text. Contrary to the existing literature on GM use, the analysis reveals that the use of nominalization is not in strong relation with scientific writing only.
On one hand, the findings confront with the proposed view of He and Yang (2018) that the use of nominalization is not discipline sensitive. While on the other side, the results show weak agreement with them reporting that nominalized construction cannot be taken as an indicator for technicality of any text. The current study is of implication to discipline-based training of Pakistani ESL learners. Moreover, it signifies that the importance of grammatical metaphor (of which nominalization is the
most common feature) in academic texts arises the need to focus on its varied forms and functions in L2 instruction.