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Genre constraints across languages: causal metatext in Spanish and English Research Articles

AutorMoreno, Ana I.
Palabras claveCausal relations
Coherence relations
Academic Writing
Discourse analysis
Contrastive rhetoric
Research articles
Business and economics
Genre conventions
Rhetorical strategies
Fecha de publicación1997
CitaciónEnglish for Specific Purposes 16(3):161-179 (1997)
ResumenThe present paper starts out by assuming that, despite a relative uniformity of research articles (RAs) imposed by the requirements of the genre, there will be significant intercultural variation in the rhetorical preferences of national cultures. Its aim is to find evidence for or against this assumption. To do so, it focuses on one micro-level feature of text rhetoric, the use of causal metatext (or text about text) in orienting readers in the interpretation of cause-effect intersentential relations (CEISRs). An empirical contrastive analysis of 36 RAs in English and 36 RAs in Spanish on business and economics written by native speakers of each language is carried out. In fact, the results show that both language groups seem to make CEISRs explicit with similar frequency. In addition, they use similar strategies for expressing CEISRs, as reflected in the amount of emphasis given to the causal relation, the basic mechanism of coherence used and the choice of peripheral or integrated signals. Moreover, those strategies appear similarly distributed. The only differences across the two languages are shown in their tendencies towards verbal or nominal anaphoric and anaphoric-cum-cataphoric signals. Thus, overall these results tend to suggest that it is the writing conventions of the RA genre, and not the peculiarities of Spanish and English writing cultures, that govern the rhetorical strategies preferred by writers to make the CEISR explicit and the frequency with which these are made explicit.
Descripción19 pages, 1 figures, 3 tables, 1 appendix.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(96)00023-3
Aparece en las colecciones: (CCHS-IEDCYT) Artículos
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