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Book Information


Title: The Development of Scientific Writing
Subtitle: Linguistic Features and Historical Context
Written By: David Banks
Series Title: Discussions in Functional Approaches to Language

This book is one of the first applications of a functional approach to
language across time. It first summarizes and evaluates previous studies of
the development of scientific language, including Halliday’s exploration of
this fascinating topic. It then traces the development of scientific
writing as a genre, in terms of its linguistic features, from Chaucer’s
Treatise on the Astrolabe (the first technical text written in English)
almost to the present. It goes on to consider texts by major scientists of
the late seventeenth century, and then analyses and discusses a corpus of
texts taken from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society,
covering the period 1700 to 1980.

The main linguistic features studied are the use of passive forms, first
person pronouns, nominalization, and thematic structure. This brings out
the interestingly different patterns of development in the physical and
biological sciences. It also highlights previously unnoticed effects, such
as the influence of mathematical modelling on texts in the physical
sciences - though not, interestingly, the biological sciences - from the
late nineteenth century onwards. Thus scientific language - like virtually
all language - is intimately related to the context (here the ‘field’)
within which it is produced.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 184553316X
ISBN-13: 9781845533168
Pages: 224
Prices: U.K. £ 50.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1845533178
ISBN-13: 9781845533175
Pages: 224
Prices: U.K. £ 16.99

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 184553316X
ISBN-13: 9781845533168
Pages: 224
Prices: U.S. $ 95.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1845533178
ISBN-13: 9781845533175
Pages: 224
Prices: U.S. $ 35.00