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Interpersonal themes and author stance in student writing. Signe Oksefjell Ebeling (University of Oslo) ICAME 30, 2009. The British Academic Written English Corpus (BAWE). ESRC-funded project (2004-2007): An investigation of genres of assessed writing in British Higher Education
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Signe Oksefjell Ebeling (University of Oslo)
ICAME 30, 2009
The literacy practices of a disciplinary community embody different orientations to knowledge constructions […] The initial constituent of the clause appears to have particular significance in the way it reflects the writer's beliefs and values, and thus provides an indicator of disciplinary difference in professional academic writing. (North 2005: 435)
The way in which authors "intrude to stamp their personal authority onto their arguments or step back and disguise their involvement" (Hyland 2005: 176).
Table 1 Distribution of interpersonal themes in the four disciplines per 100 t-units
Does the difference in use of interpersonal themes in the expression of stance represent a more general tendency of broader disciplinary groupings rather than variation between individual disciplines?
Table 2 Distribution of interpersonal themes in A&H vs. SS per 100 t-units
Researchers have shown that
I propose that
These actions suggest
Figure 2 shows that
It is clear that
There appears to be
Figure 1 Projection framework (based on Hunston (1993), Wickens (2001))
Merrigi and Lovari state that shepherds originally tolerated the wolf, … (BAWE – Anthr. 3001h)
… this implies that a company drawn abroad by market opportunities is often exposed to new technologies …(BAWE – Business 0253f)
Example of ‘pattern’ or clusters of interpersonal theme (projection): Personal Non-Self: arguments in the literature
No, at least the use of projecting clauses to express stance seems to be tied to individual disciplines rather than to broader disciplinary groupings. This is particularly evident in the disciplines representing the Social Sciences. [The A&H disciplines investigated here are more similar in this respect than their SS counterparts.]
BAWE was developed at the Universities of Warwick, Reading and Oxford Brookes under the directorship of Hilary Nesi and Sheena Gardner (formerly of the Centre for Applied Linguistics [previously called CELTE], Warwick), Paul Thompson (Department of Applied Linguistics, Reading) and Paul Wickens (Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes), with funding from the ESRC (RES-000-23-0800).