The Rhetoric of the Abstract in English and Spanish Scientific Discourse: A Cross-Cultural Genre-Analytic Approach

The Rhetoric of the Abstract in English and Spanish Scientific Discourse: A Cross-Cultural Genre-Analytic Approach

by Pedro Martin-Martin


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Scientific discourse is increasingly internationalised, as a result of the great influence that the discourse conventions of the international English-speaking academic community exert on scientific communication worldwide. Contrastive rhetoric studies, however, have shown that the particular configuration of different discourse communities may have an influence on the construction of genres. This book explores rhetorical preferences in the research article abstract genre. The main focus of the study is an investigation of the extent to which there is cross-linguistic variation in terms of the rhetorical strategies used by writers in abstracts to foreground their main knowledge claims and present themselves as qualified discourse community members. From a quantitative and qualitative perspective, the author compares the rhetorical structure and other socio-pragmatic features of abstracts written in English for international scientific journals with those written in Spanish for Spanish journals in the experimental social sciences, and more specifically in the disciplines of phonetics and psychology. In the interpretation of results, the author mainly draws on socio-cultural and contextual factors to account for cross-cultural rhetorical variation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783039106387
Publisher: Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften
Publication date: 07/29/2005
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

The Author: Pedro Martín-Martín teaches English Text Linguistics in the Department of English and German Philology at the University of La Laguna (Spain). He recently completed his Ph. D. on contrastive (English/Spanish) academic discourse, which is his main area of interest. He is currently working on a multidisciplinary project on the rhetorical strategies used by Spanish academics when seeking to publish a research paper in international English-language journals.

Table of Contents

Contents: Scientific/academic discourse, the research article abstract, the contrastive rhetoric paradigm – The concepts of ‘discourse community’ and ‘genre’ – The rhetorical structure of abstracts – The concept of ‘move’ as a unit of analysis – The socio-pragmatic strategy of hedging – A taxonomy of hedging devices – Personal attribution in academic discourse – Semantic references and discourse functions of first person pronouns – The rhetorical management of academic criticism – A taxonomy of rhetorical strategies to convey critical speech acts – The politics of abstract writing.

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