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LINGUIST List 22.4226

Wed Oct 26 2011

Diss: General Ling/Translation/Turkish: Çakır: 'Forms of ...'

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        1.     Hamide Çakır , Forms of Constructing Scientific Knowledge and Encoding Writer’s Stance in Turkish and English Research Article Abstracts


Message 1: Forms of Constructing Scientific Knowledge and Encoding Writer’s Stance in Turkish and English Research Article Abstracts
Date: 25-Oct-2011
From: Hamide Çakır <hamidecyahoo.com>
Subject: Forms of Constructing Scientific Knowledge and Encoding Writer’s Stance in Turkish and English Research Article Abstracts
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Institution: Dokuz Eylül University
Program: General Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Hamide Çakır

Dissertation Title: Forms of Constructing Scientific Knowledge and Encoding Writer’s Stance in Turkish and English Research Article Abstracts

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                            Translation

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Turkish (tur)

Dissertation Director:
Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner

Dissertation Abstract:

Scientific discourse bears some unique linguistic features. Nominalization,
a meaning making mechanism used in scientific texts, (Halliday, 1994; 1998)
has grammatical and semantic functions. By nominalizing a process, we are
able to pack a lot of information into a nominal group and semantically,
the nominalized process becomes a participant (Banks, 2005). Thus through
removal of human agency, objectivity and anonymity are achieved
(Stålhammar, 2006). The passive voice and the personification of inanimate
subjects (PGM) are other linguistic features in scientific discourse
applied to achieve impersonality and objectivity. Personal pronouns on the
other hand, enable the academic writer to establish a subjective writer's
stance. Based on these assumptions, the present study attempts to analyze
lexico-grammatical features in research article abstracts within the
framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), focusing specifically
on voice, personal pronouns and grammatical metaphor in the form of
nominalization and PGM to examine how Turkish and English academic writers
construct scientific knowledge and writer's stance.

The corpus consists of 720 abstracts from the disciplines of economics,
sociology, psychology, linguistics, engineering, physics, chemistry and
biology. Considering variations in scientific languages across cultures and
disciplines, this study presents an analysis of journal article abstracts
written in Turkish (n=240) and their corresponding translations into
English (n=240) as well as abstracts originally written in English
(n=240). The study adopts a qualitative and quantitative corpus-based
comparative approach.

The findings indicate cross-linguistic and cross-disciplinary similarities
and differences. Turkish and English original abstracts showed a similar
distribution in the use of nominalization; however the parallel texts
revealed instances of demetaphorization where implicit information in the
original texts was made explicit in translated parallel texts. Differences
also emerged in the use of voice and personal pronouns. The results
revealed that an objective stance was established in Turkish as well as in
English parallel abstracts by frequently referring to agentless passives
and personification of inanimate subjects. English original abstracts,
however, highlighted the authoritative stance and competition for space in
the scientific discourse community with a more frequent use of personal
pronouns matched by a high use of active voice. In addition, disciplinary
comparisons revealed that abstracts in the soft sciences frequently applied
nominalization, active voice and personal pronouns, whereas hard sciences
referred more frequently to the passive voice. Consequently, it could be
concluded that lexico-grammatical choices constructing scientific knowledge
and writer's stance are determined by cultural and disciplinary writing
expectations.




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