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Post-modification of stance nouns in Noun Complement construction: A corpus-based study of academic writing across disciplines and cultures
Noun Complement Construction
|Issue Date:||2021-02-01 13:56:53 (UTC+8)|
Academic writing is not simply concerned with the presentation of facts. In fact, academic writers tend to incorporate their own attitudes and judgements into the text. Thus, how to project an authorial stance that persuades readers of the writer's claim has become a pivotal element in academic written discourse. Different linguistic features, such as hedges, reporting verbs, directives, tense, have been examined for the roles they play in stance-making practices. A relatively neglected means of stance expression, however, has been the post-modification of the stance noun in the Noun Complement construction (as common to many cell marking techniques in This procedure has the disadvantage common to many cell marking techniques that the cells selected for labelling need to be highly colchicine-resistant). This study employed a corpus-based and mixed-methods approach to examining the use of this structure. The three major goals of this study are to describe how the target structure is used across different disciplinary and cultural contexts in terms of (1) its lexico-grammatical features, (2) its functions, and (3) the underlying motivations behind its use.
The research in this study is based on a self-built corpus of 600 samples of published research articles from the journals based in the UK or US and in Taiwan or mainland China in two branches of the natural (chemistry, physics, biology) and social sciences (applied linguistics, law, economics). The inferential statistical methods were applied to identifying the variances in the lexico-grammatical features of the target structure between disciplinary fields and academic writers of different native languages and cultures (English and Chinese). For the qualitative analyses, an analytical framework for description of the post-modification functions in Noun Complement construction was developed to analyze the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural differences in the functions served by these statistically significant lexico-grammatical features. An explanatory model of the underlying motivations behind different uses of the target structure was also constructed to reveal the reasons that underlie the ways in which writers from contrasting disciplinary fields and linguistic-cultural backgrounds use this structure differently. Results show that the variations in disciplinary and cultural uses of post-modification can be attributed to the various factors in the linguistic, rhetorical, relational, and socio-cultural dimensions of the practices and structures of the particular disciplinary fields and cultures.
In summary, this dissertation contributes to a better understanding of the Noun Complement construction in terms of its post-modification use from the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives between the academic communities of the natural and social sciences in the native English countries and the Great China region. It also provides insight into pedagogical practice for new members of the Chinese disciplinary communities and into future research on the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural use of Noun Complement construction in English academic writing.
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