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LINGUIST List 21.2407

Sun May 30 2010

Diss: Disc Analysis/Text/Corpus Ling: Rahman: 'A Comparative Study ...'

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        1.    Mujib Rahman, A Comparative Study of Native and Pakistani Geology Reseach Articles

Message 1: A Comparative Study of Native and Pakistani Geology Reseach Articles
Date: 30-May-2010
From: Mujib Rahman <drmr1956yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: A Comparative Study of Native and Pakistani Geology Reseach Articles
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Institution: University of Edinburgh
Program: Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1995

Author: Mujib Rahman

Dissertation Title: A Comparative Study of Native and Pakistani Geology Reseach Articles

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Gibson Ferguson
Tony Lynch
Jean Ure

Dissertation Abstract:

Working within the framework of genre analysis and systemic linguistics,
this thesis presents a comparative analysis of published native and
Pakistani geology experimental research articles (RAs) with a view to
examining differences in the Pakistani geologists' scientific reporting
vis-a-vis their native counterparts: differences in discourse organisation
(genre), thematic choices (thematic configuration), the method of
development, and the use of interpersonal (mood/ modality, attitudinal
adjuncts, etc.) and textual rhetoric (discourse adjuncts, metalinguistic
comments, etc.). Also, a Three-Move rhetorical model is developed and
proposed for the RA discussion section which is then used to compare the
two datasets, each consisting of thirty research articles written by native
and Pakistani academic geoscientists. Experimental RAs were used in the
study for three very apparent reasons: (i) they are unquestionably the
greatest exemplars of 'information exchange' in the world of science,
bearing the full thrust of a discourse community's epistemic objectives;
(ii) they have an established generic and discourse structure; and (iii)
they have one globally acknowledged intention, that of persuading other
scientists to consider and accept the truth and the worth of the author's
research. All this makes the experimental RAs amenable to all kind of
textual, discourse, and rhetorical analyses. The theoretical frameworks
used in the study proved not only productive but also illuminating. In
fact, the framework of rhetorical prosodies (interpersonal & textual
rhetoric) was unique to this study. In this respect, and in all other
respects, the Pakistani RAs exhibited obvious and subtle differences.
Following are the most important findings: (1) The Pakistani geologists did
not give as much importance to the crucial Swalesian Move-2 (Establishing
the niche) as their native counterparts; (2) the Pakistani geologists used
longer introductory Moves in both the introduction and the discussion
sections; (3) the Pakistani discussions had a shorter Move 2 (Discussing
the findings) and a shorter Move 3 (Generalising the findings); (4) the
Pakistani scientists used fewer interpersonal and textual points of
departure than their native counterparts; (5) the Pakistani geologist had
problems with chaining topical themes, crucial for having a uniform focus
and a consistent method of development; (6) the Pakistani writers also used
fewer interpersonal prosodies, and fewer First Person pronouns, though they
used more modal expressions (hedges). As all the differences were found to
be statistically significant, the main conclusion drawn from this study is
that the Pakistani writers are more tentative and less assertive in their
claims. Another distinctive feature of this study was the use of actual
records of native referees' comments on Pakistani manuscripts submitted to
international journals. The native referees' comments corroborate all the
findings reported in the study. Finally, a series of workshops are proposed
to address the problems identified in the course of this study. Directions
for further research are also pointed out.

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