The analysis explores the openings of research articles in historical writing in Italian and English. The features of different “academic cultures” are not only seen in the different role attributed to narrative or expositive/argumentative elements in the opening: they are also reflected in self-reference and lexical choice. The study is based on two comparable corpora of openings and combines corpus and discourse tools of analysis. Focusing on the statement of purpose in openings, the study shows that the English corpus is clearly characterized by frequent statements of purpose. Intentionality is mostly expressed through modal "will" and the purpose is often attributed to the text itself, mostly identified by its genre (article, paper, essay). In the Italian corpus, the statement is slighltly more limited (possibly deferred), but above all it is often more indirect and less formulaic. The expression of intention is much more explicitly lexicalised, and the presence of 1st person singular is much greater, while self-reference nouns referring to the discourse product are used much more sparingly in statements of purpose, which often tend to present the text through generalized spatial reference rather than through a denomination of its academic genre. All in all, Italian historians, while showing a tendency to dominate openings in their personal relationship to the object of investigation through evaluative comments and personal statements, tend to make use of highly indirect statements of purpose, which offer the reader an idea of the key topics or points often without without explicitly relating them to specific purposes or positions. Writers in English, on the other hand, show greater awareness of the reader’s need for a specific statement of purpose, while at the same time foregrounding the role of the text itself, on a par with the writer. Use of more or less standardized signals may lead to different emphasis on dialogic and monologic positioning of the writer’s thesis. The general trend can also be closely related to both disciplinary and general academic traditions.

Historical research articles in English and in Italian: a cross-cultural analysis of self-reference in openings / Bondi, Marina. - STAMPA. - (2007), pp. 65-84.

Historical research articles in English and in Italian: a cross-cultural analysis of self-reference in openings

BONDI, Marina
2007

Abstract

The analysis explores the openings of research articles in historical writing in Italian and English. The features of different “academic cultures” are not only seen in the different role attributed to narrative or expositive/argumentative elements in the opening: they are also reflected in self-reference and lexical choice. The study is based on two comparable corpora of openings and combines corpus and discourse tools of analysis. Focusing on the statement of purpose in openings, the study shows that the English corpus is clearly characterized by frequent statements of purpose. Intentionality is mostly expressed through modal "will" and the purpose is often attributed to the text itself, mostly identified by its genre (article, paper, essay). In the Italian corpus, the statement is slighltly more limited (possibly deferred), but above all it is often more indirect and less formulaic. The expression of intention is much more explicitly lexicalised, and the presence of 1st person singular is much greater, while self-reference nouns referring to the discourse product are used much more sparingly in statements of purpose, which often tend to present the text through generalized spatial reference rather than through a denomination of its academic genre. All in all, Italian historians, while showing a tendency to dominate openings in their personal relationship to the object of investigation through evaluative comments and personal statements, tend to make use of highly indirect statements of purpose, which offer the reader an idea of the key topics or points often without without explicitly relating them to specific purposes or positions. Writers in English, on the other hand, show greater awareness of the reader’s need for a specific statement of purpose, while at the same time foregrounding the role of the text itself, on a par with the writer. Use of more or less standardized signals may lead to different emphasis on dialogic and monologic positioning of the writer’s thesis. The general trend can also be closely related to both disciplinary and general academic traditions.
Lexical complexity: Theoretical assessment and translational perspectives.
9788884924315
PLUS (Pisa University Press)
ITALIA
Historical research articles in English and in Italian: a cross-cultural analysis of self-reference in openings / Bondi, Marina. - STAMPA. - (2007), pp. 65-84.
Bondi, Marina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/586627
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