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Metadiscourse in Academic Speech

Aguilar, Marta

Metadiscourse in Academic Speech

A Relevance-Theoretic Approach

Series: Europäische Hochschulschriften / European University Studies / Publications Universitaires Européennes - Volume 317

Year of Publication: 2008

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 288 pp., 8 ill., 16 tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-03911-509-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.430 kg, 0.948 lbs

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Book synopsis

Even though metadiscourse has recently received considerable attention, most research revolves around written, not spoken, metadiscourse. This book studies spoken metadiscourse in two academic genres in the engineering field, the lecture and the peer seminar. It examines what motivates metadiscourse and how engineering academics resort to different types of metadiscourse when they address different audiences. Based on relevance theory (RT), this study provides a socio-cognitive framework within which metadiscourse is analysed. The author draws on RT’s generic concept of cognitive environment and uses it to describe the academic context in particular. This theoretical perspective provides novel insights into motivations, abilities and preferences of engineering academics when using metadiscourse in the two genres under study.


Contents: Exploring discourse – Exploring metadiscourse – The scientific community: situating cognition – Two forms of communication in the academia: Analysis of lectures and peer seminars from a socio-cognitive approach – An RT interpretation of metadiscourse: A qualitative and a quantitative analysis.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Marta Aguilar is a lecturer in English for science and technology at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain). Her research interests include academic discourse, genre analysis and writing pedagogy for non-native speakers of English. She has recently co-authored a book on technical writing for engineers and other technical professionals.


European University Studies: Series 21, Linguistics. Vol. 317