In Hyland (2000) the philosophy corpus was characterised by a heavy use of interpersonal metadiscourse, appreciably more than all the other disciplines examined, whereas his 2005 study casts further critical light on the ideational and interpersonal construction of discourse, arguing that all discourse, regardless of whether it is explicitly informational, is constructed between interlocutors who bring with them certain affiliations, expectations and shared background knowledge. The present study takes Bhatia’s genre-oriented perspective (Bhatia 1993, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007) as its starting point in examining the conventions of generic integrity as identified in a corpus of jurisprudence and philosophy of law, considering in particular the metadiscursive devices, including both evaluative lexis and stance markers, deployed by authors with an allegiance to competing schools of thought to express dissent from the position of authors in the wider discourse community. A dialogic tension emerges between marking the author’s distance from the arguments put forward by their colleagues, and maintaining collegiality, reflecting an awareness that interpersonal relations in the academic community may suffer as a result of comment perceived to be overly critical, emphatic or acerbic. This reflects a tendency in the academic community to avoid extreme forms of evaluation, in line with “the conventional restraint and understatement of written scientific discourse” (Giannoni 2006: 158), taking account of the fact that “vicious criticisms can seriously undermine an author’s credibility and lavish praise can be unwelcome as superficial and undiscriminating” (Hyland 2000: 45). The present study seeks to provide an overview of devices deployed in the domain of jurisprudence and philosophy of law by expert scholars critiquing the work of colleagues while seeking not to overstep the confines of collegiality in order to avoid undermining the personal relations that are essential to the production and refinement of domain-specific knowledge.
Generic Integrity in Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law: Metadiscursive Strategies for Expressing Dissent within the Constraints of Collegiality / Bromwich, William John. - STAMPA. - 160:(2012), pp. 127-148.